Nintendo is the world’s largest video game company by revenue. What started out as a manufacturer of card games in 1889 (that’s right, 1889) is now one of the most influential video game companies with a market value of over $85 billion! As an example of their cultural impact, a few days ago Nintendo announced its collaboration with Vans (famous clothing and shoe company) to launch a series of Nintendo-themed sneakers. And even though, for the moment, Vans has declined to provide any details as to the looks or the collaboration itself, there are pictures of the new shoes online, which means the buzz may have some validity.

Nintendo fans, however know very well this is not the first time the legendary video game company has tested the waters of a different business product. Throughout its history the company has experimented with card games, cab services, and even love hotels! None were all that successful. If you want to know more about your favorite video game company’s history, such as how Mario got his name or what the Nintendo Hotels were all about, check out these 25 Addicting Facts About Nintendo Every Gamer Should Know. You won’t regret it.

25

When Nintendo was founded in 1889 one of its original and most popular products were playing cards. For this reason, they still sell them today in limited editions.

Nintendo cards

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

24

Nintendo 64 was a groundbreaking console, being the first to feature 3D graphics. It was also the last major console to use cartridges.

Nintendo 64

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

23

It has previously been reported that the Game Boy was the main influence and inspiration for the BMO gadget in Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time series.

Carton Network Studios

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

22

The Game Boy console was the second handheld system released by Nintendo. The Game & Watch was released in 1980 but didn’t have any outstanding success.

Game Boy

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

21

Shigeru Miyamoto, legendary videogame designer (Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong), has had games on every Nintendo console; his earliest work appeared in arcade games in the late seventies. Time has called him the “Steven Spielberg of video games.”

Shigeru Miyamoto, legendary videogame designer (Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong), has had games on every Nintendo console; his earliest work appeared in arcade games in the late seventies. Time has called him the “Steven Spielberg of video games.”

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

20

Very few people, however, are aware that Miyamoto originally wanted to be a cartoonist but abandoned manga comics because he felt that he wasn’t good enough to compete with some of the best illustrators in the field.

Miyamoto

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

19

Nintendo attempted to become LEGO’s greatest competition at some point by building its own brick system called N&B Blocks. Judging from the fact that not many people (if any at all) know or remember anything about this should tell you about its lack of commercial success.

Lego tools

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

18

As of March 2016, all models of Nintendo DS combined have sold nearly 160 million units worldwide. This makes the DS the biggest-selling handheld console to date.

Nintendo DS

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

17

The company’s first venture into video games came when it secured the rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey console in Japan in 1974.

Magnavox Odyssey

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

16

Nintendo’s global revenue has surpassed an astonishing $5.5 billion according to Forbes.

Forbes

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

15

Miyamoto’s first NES game never came to the United States because of its demonic characters. Devil World was pretty much a Pac-Man clone and was banned because the protagonist killed demons with the power of the crucifix and the Bible.

Devil World

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: YouTube

14

Nintendogs were inspired by a Shetland sheepdog named Pikku. For the record, Pikku belonged to who else? Shigeru Miyamoto, Nintendo’s famous game designer.

Nintendogs

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: YouTube

13

Nintendo had the same president for more than fifty-five years, longer than any other videogame company in history. The late Hiroshi Yamauchi was president and chairman of Nintendo from 1949 until 2005, during which time he became one of the richest men in Japan with a net worth of $2.7 billion.

Hiroshi Yamauchi

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

12

The most popular symbol of video gaming that pretty much every major videogame company uses nowadays, the “cross” D-pad, was created in 1982 for Nintendo’s Donkey Kong.

The most popular symbol of video gaming that pretty much every major videogame company uses nowadays, the “cross” D-pad, was created in 1982 for Nintendo’s Donkey Kong.

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

11

During the early sixties one of Nintendo’s many ambitious attempts to make it big included a “Love Hotel,” where adults could rent rooms by the hour and you know . . . have some fun before gaming was cool.

Nintendo building

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

10

Also during the same decade, Nintendo tried to import the classic Western game Twister to Japan but the whole project failed miserably.

Nintendo building

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

9

In 2007 a radio station in Sacramento launched a contest with the catchy title “Hold Your Pee for a Wii.” The contest required listeners to drink as much water as possible without using the bathroom. The whole thing ended tragically when twenty-eight-year-old Jennifer Strange died of water intoxication.

water

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

8

Nintendo almost released an accessory and game that would have allowed players to create their own knitting patterns. However, during market research, all seven of the beta test volunteers died of old age and the project was eventually canceled.

Nintendo almost released an accessory and game that would have allowed players to create their own knitting patterns. However, during market research, all seven of the beta test volunteers died of old age and the project was eventually canceled.

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: YouTube

7

The Seattle Mariners are owned by Nintendo of America, represented by CEO Howard Lincoln. Yep, Nintendo is the only videogame company that owns an MLB team.

Seattle Mariners

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

6

Donkey Kong, Mario, and Princess Peach were inspired by characters from the cartoon Popeye. Nintendo created them after they failed to obtain a license to make a Popeye video game.

Popeye

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: YouTube

5

The chronology of the Legend of Zelda series was the subject of debate among fans until an official timeline was released on December 21, 2011, in the collector’s book Hyrule Historia. Apparently, only one Legend of Zelda game is a chronological sequel to the original. According to Nintendo’s official timeline, all other subsequent games in the franchise occur hundreds or thousands of years in the past with some of them even coexisting in a parallel universe.

The Legend Of Zelda

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: YouTube

4

A lawyer named John Kirby calls his sailboat Donkey Kong and Nintendo can’t sue him for this. See, Kirby won a case for Nintendo in 1984, and to show him its appreciation the company bought him a boat along with the “exclusive worldwide right to use the name for sailboats.”

Donkey Kong

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: Wikipedia

3

In 1993, Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Serebrov spent an astonishing 196 days in the Russian space station, managing to orbit our beautiful planet over three thousand times. To have something to do during his downtime he took a Game Boy with him and played Tetris. This made Nintendo the first videogame company to have a product to leave Earth’s atmosphere.

Tetris

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: YouTube

2

Mario, arguably the most famous mustachioed plumber in videogame history, was named after Nintendo’s warehouse landlord and Seattle real estate developer Mario Segale.

Super Mario

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: deviantart.com

1

The word “Nintendo” is composed of three kanji (Chinese letters used in the Japanese system of writing) characters: nin, ten, and do. So, if you translate “Nintendo” you will find it means something like “leave luck to heaven.”

Nintendo Logo

Source: History of Nintendo, Image: YouTube