Nintendo: The Legend of A Small Card Shop

 Fusajiro Yamauchi. Does this name ring a bell? This man was the brains behind one of the biggest names in the gaming industry “Nintendo”. Nintendo brought along with it a culture that the whole world adopted with open arms. It quickly became a household name in all things related to gaming.

Originally, Nintendo was called “Nintendo Koppai” (Koppai is playing cards in Japanese) and they started out with manufacturing a card game called Hanafuda. The days of video games were still quite far away, but Nintendo started building an image for itself. The founder, Yamauchi took great pride in the card game’s quality and design which brought the early Nintendo great popularity with its patrons. During the 17th century, Japan cut all ties with the western world, and the import and distribution of playing cards led to serious gambling problems in the country. Hence, the authorities decided to bring down the sword and banned all the imports of playing cards to tackle this situation. Surprisingly, Japanese folks have always been known for their clever innovations, and soon after the ban, homegrown card games were developed. Yamauchi saw this as a golden opportunity to produce and sell high-quality playing cards and thus, down a narrow side street in the ancient Japanese city of Kyoto, Nintendo was born.

Over the coming decades, Nintendo transitioned into other non-card games and toy production. The most inspiring thing about this company was the fact that it always kept its pace at par with the evolving technology. It soon partnered with SONY to bring out the initial versions of electronic games. On the other side of the world, in the 1970s Magnavox Odyssey was released and this was the last piece of the puzzle for Nintendo to release the NES, and the rest is history. The very first console built by Nintendo was called Color TV-Game 6. This was nothing more than a pong game, but it sparked a revolution that no one saw coming. Around this time, the Father of Modern Video Games, Shigeru Miyamoto also hopped on board and quickly became one of the most important players in the video game industry. But Nintendo was not going to stop at just this stage, it released a new generation of consoles, the Nintendo DS, a two-screen device with multiplayer capability and the Nintendo Wii, with its motion-sensitive control allowed the company to expand its reach and influence.

Since its humble beginnings, Nintendo has risen to dizzying heights. Its successes are undeniable, but now it competes in a market packed with creativity and innovation. PlayStation, X-Box, high-end PC gaming rigs have allowed both veteran and beginner developers to innovate in exciting and challenging ways. Also, Nintendo has established itself as an industry leader and a future-thinking creator, with gaming at the core of its origins. All that remains to be seen is how far this card shop can go.