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Nintendo Celebrates Turning 125 Years Old Today

Nintendo turns a staggering 125 years old today after it was founded on September 23, 1889, by Fusajiro Yamauchi. Originally, the company was best known for its production of Hanafuda playing cards, as many fans and collectors will know. Nintendo Koppai, as it was then known, mass-produced playing cards throughout a number of decades, even popping popular Disney characters on certain packs after securing a deal with the Walt Disney Production Company.

But during the early ’60s playing card sales declined. With consumers finding other games on the market, Nintendo turned its eye to a series of other markets, including setting up its own taxi service and controversially a love hotel chain. It wasn’t until the late ’60s that Nintendo took a leap of faith into games technology.

125 years on and Nintendo is still making its mark in the games industry. Mario isn’t just a plumber, he’s a whole range of jobs rolled into one red-capped Italian protagonist. And of course, he’s a household name. But his brother Luigi, often forgotten in the shadows, is also a big part of Nintendo too with his Mario Kart 8 death stare and the Year of Luigi in 2013. Let us know what your fondest memories of Nintendo are in the comment section below.

82 thoughts on “Nintendo Celebrates Turning 125 Years Old Today”

      1. I still like Nintendo man. Technically, they are my favorite video game company. I just don’t like the Wii U, which is why I typically sound like I’m against them. It’s just rare that I don’t like a console and I’ve been supremely disappointed with it. So, that’s why I talk up the Xbox and Playstation 4. One console can’t wreck a legacy after all…

  1. I’m so happy about this! Nintendo has made a lot of games that I’m never gonna forget! Some of the best memories of my childhood are about my best friend and me playing Donkey Kong Country, Killer Instinct and Super Mario World! HAPPY BIRTHDAY NINTENDO!
    Btw: I always visit this site but never leave any comments… Nintendo Commander Quadraxis, I’m your fan! (=

    1. The fuck? There won’t be propane in 100 years. We’re exhausting our fossil fuels!

      What would be smart, is to create a Pikachu farm, (grass fed and humane) to generate electricity for vast amounts of the population so we can stop burning coal!

    1. funny since Nintendo technically created ps, so that makes technically the father of PS Nintendo, then sony created micro

    2. I know. You’re right. It’s just so damn hard to keep someone who does backflips and polevaults in a nursing home!!! Dam it, why can’t they just suck like everyone else and make our job easier??!!

  2. Happy birthday to Nintendo. They are legitimately my favorite company on the planet, and the people who have supported them know that there’s something magical about them that you can’t experience anywhere else. Thank you Nintendo, for making the things we love, and here’s to another 125 years.

  3. Happy b-day Nintendo, I became an illustrator because of the games I’ve played on Nintendo 64 when I was a child, I’m thankful for that, I love to paint, draw and create, everything thanks to nintendo games inspiration.

  4. The only thing that made the daycare I went to as a kid remotely tolerable was the Nintendo 64 they had there. Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Yoshi’s Story, Pokemon Stadium, Pokemon Snap, and Smash Bros. were pretty much my life back then. It was basically how I discovered Nintendo. Other than that, my father was a big fan of Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros. back in his day, and he taught me a bit about Nintendo too. I also used to love watching Pokemon and collecting the cards before I even knew it started as a Nintendo game.

  5. I blame Nintendo for not giving us Star Wolf (Wolf O’Donnell) for Sm4sh, but I don’t really care that much because he, as my favourite character was made by Nintendo…

  6. Best memory was opening a present on Christmas and finding Super Mario Kart, and then frantically looking for the snes to find that my mom already had it all set up for us to part

  7. Feliz cumpleaños!! Hope my children and the children of my children, and the children of the children of my children… could enjoy Nintendo games in the same way I have enjoyed them (I still do). Happy Birthday!!

            1. I’m surprised at you commander :P

              It was originally going to be downright scary and the E3 trailer was surprisingly dark. (I recommend checking it out) Here’s a video that points out some of the differences between beta and the real version. (Some of them are just speculations of course and I don’t actually expect you to watch the whole thing. Just check out a few scenes to see how dark the original version was)

                1. Trust me, this would have been the next Halo or Metroid. It would appear that the Sonyans and Xbots were able to convince Nintendo to lighten it up a bit all so that it would lead to the Wii U…

                  1. Nintendo Commander Quadraxis

                    You give the other two lesser lifeforms more credit than they deserve…

                    The Xbots just came to be in that era and the Sonyans were too busy forging their new PS3 2 forces…

                    All in all, only High Command decides such things, making exceptions here and there…

  8. It’s great to share a birthday with Nintendo. Gonna celebrate by playing through a Mario game and the Smash Bros Demo on 3DS!

  9. 🎂 125 yrs.!

    Game & Watch Donkey Kong Jr. was my 1st taste of Nintendo. & once I got the Game Boy Link’s Awakening bundle, they had me. Super NES, Game Boy Color, N64, Game Boy Advance, GameCube, DS, Wii, 3DS, Wii U…their magic machines sustain my gaming spirit. Though I’m grateful for the family’s Atari, & my Saturn & PSOne, too.

    Time to break out my Club N hanafuda Time to play G&W DK Jr. on my 3DS.

  10. This article really is a couple of hours late. I’ve already wished them a happy 125th birthday on a previous article. But whatever.

    Happy 125th Birthday, Nintendo! Sony & Microsoft ain’t got shit on you when it comes to age! xD Anyway, here’s to another century, 2 decades, & 5 years!

  11. ★HollowGrapeJ★

    If only they put as much effort into their hardware as much as they did with their games. Sigh. That’s one of the main problems I have with them. They should really stop sacrificing content just because they feel like it. I love Nintendo’s games, but they really do make some of the most worst decisions in terms of hardware. It is incredibly annoying to see that every time they announce a new system, it lacks features the competition has or it’s like 2X less powerful. I hate that. I wish I could work at Nintendo and tell them “NO. Nononononono. No. That’s not how you do it! Your supposed to take everything the competition has and add new things as well!” Maybe one day Nintendo will get back into the competition. Right now they’re just doing they’re own thing. And that really infuriates me. No matter what I want they just don’t seem to give it to me. I’m hoping the next system addresses this issue. It’s already too late with the Wii U. Anyways, happy b day I guess. Lol.

    1. Miyamoto did say they are going to try harder next time with their newer hardware, because he talked about this very subject. So who knows, I can only hope they keep their word. It is getting old and now with how much everyone is so obsessed with powerful devices, I think it is about time Nintendo capitalizes on it, putting more focus into what people and developers want also, not just what their first party developers are used to working with.

      As you and many other people have said, they need to stop being so stuck in their own ways. It isn’t bad trying to be creative or do things differently but when it is at the cost of what the consumer could actually have, it starts to become a glaring issue.

      I think eventually they are going to have to drop backwards compatibility as well. Today I was thinking about backwards compatibility and how most newer systems that are far more powerful than their predecessor, are not completely backwards compatible, obviously for good reason. It holds the system back because they still need those similar components to be able to properly fully emulate every game from older hardware. I can almost bet you that is why the main reasons the Wii U’s hardware is not that different from the Wii’s, simply due to them wanting to have full backwards compatibility.

      I know people will hate it but eventually you have to let go of your older games or simply keep your old system around if you want to play them that much still. New hardware shouldn’t be held back to cater to the last generation of games.

      I don’t see why they just can’t keep it digital like everyone else either, so what, not every game will be compatible that way but it will enable them to stop limiting their hardware because of wanting it to be fully backwards compatible.

      1. ★HollowGrapeJ★

        I hope so. At this point, if the next system is another step back, I’m probably not going to buy it. I’ll just sit back on the sidelines and watch what they do with it to see if they improve. I would’ve probably done the same thing with the Wii U, but luckily, I got one for free. I would be extremely disappointed if I bought it myself for $350. Anyways, I just want Nintendo to start taking stuff like this seriously. I let it slide with the Wii and the Wii U, but they mess up again and they are losing me as a customer.

        1. Interesting how 3rd parties have strayed, how Sony & MS have strayed, but people claim they’ve left or are leaving Nintendo because they’re not the same Nintendo even though they haven’t, for the most part, changed their visions for software & hardware.

      2. I think the main reasons why Wii U’s specs are similar to Wii’s (& Wii’s specs are to GameCube’s), is consistancy. That means comparative ease of use for devs (especially w/ middleware). Devs who were familiar w/ the previous console should be somewhat familiar w/ its successor. & those who were/are inexperienced should find plenty examples & evolutionary fixes to help keep snags to a minimum. & the hardware components are similar, cutting material & engineering costs (instead of starting from scratch in console terms). The potential is maximized, if only the human element would step up. If devs did their best (or @ least tried), their might be stronger multiplats & more exclusives. If more consumers believed in a console these days, the sales would reflect as such (kinda like if Wii U’s current installbase refrained from buying multiplats elsewhere, instead of justifying publisher’s decisions to skip Wii U). Then again, when Wii U launched, it sold more units than 360’s & PS3’s respective launch sales. But most publishers merely saw a triplet for their multiplats, & gimped ones @ that. The budget PCs hadn’t even been announced & they were already being cheap. If I wanted those types of games, I’d have already gotten the platform known for them in the 7th gen, & w/ better treatment.

        Anyway, Nintendo learned a lot from the N64. As many know, it was costly & time consuming to dev for (although PS2’s architecture was comparatively more difficult). GameCube was the fruit of Nintendo’s console overhaul. It corrected much of those issues (hardware bottlenecks, dev times, discs), while retaining speedy load times & affordable MSRPs, so much so, the “weaker” PS2 cost $100 more than the “superior” tech in the GCN.

        Wii & Wii U are evolutionary counterparts. But yes, reverse compatability was/is an impetus, yet it really seems more like a byproduct now. A very good one, too, since Wii U has a lot of titles available to those who missed them last gen.

        But Nintendo still clings to the console paradigm, not the ‘off-the-shelf, budget PC’ paradigm Sony & MS have adopted. The market seems split, so it might not be fair to lump them in the same catagory, not since the 6th gen. Also, Nintendo adhere’s to their custom PowerPC architecture (GCN, Wii, Wii U) for much the same reason Sony & MS switched to x86: familiarity. PowerPC is good for consoles, while x86 is good for budget PCs, porting, & the 1st party companies w/ fingers in other tech sectors (yet they still pay 3rd party sources & rely on online fees to recoup losses).

        But people are right about change: it has to happen somewhere, be it Nintendo changing the industry, or the industry changing it. PowerPC is more advanced & efficient, just not as prevalent. But consoles are a closed & customized affair anyway.

        How much are people willing to pay for diminishing returns? How much will the industry sacrifice before there’s nothing left of it? Do we really want Nintendo to resort to a war of raw specs & graphics whoring just to sell hardware & visuals that offer little to the actual gameplay? Of course, if anyone can utilize power, it’d be Nintendo. Still, while N64 had issues that it’s power couldn’t overcome, GCN was dev & consumer friendly. (Small discs? Some PSX games had 4 in the previous gen; some 360 games had 2 in the subsequent gen). Why should Nintendo keep up w/ the Joneses if they’re the last bastion of gaming?

        1. ★HollowGrapeJ★

          You’re missing the point though. I didn’t say Nintendo should resort to power and graphics. I meant they should keep being innovative and trying new things, but WITHOUT taking away content. I could really care less about the backwards compatibility. And there are probably few people that use that feature anyways. Nintendo needs to focus on keeping up with the times instead of holding on to the past. The Wii has SO many Virtual Console games available for download. It really isn’t even necessary to add to the Wii U. They could’ve just taken some of their best classics and remade them for the Wii U instead of filling it up with tons of games that almost no one has even heard of before. They act as if it’s so difficult to make a console that is powerful AND had good games. They always use the power doesn’t win excuse. That’s just not thinking right. Nintendo may not care about power, but when you look around, you see that tons of third parties actually do. So if Nintendo isn’t going to listen to what they want, they don’t make games for their systems. Which, in result, affects their customers.

          1. Ah. I see now. Apologies. *humbly bows* Seems I agree w/ you… to some extent.

            VC on Wii U ‘is’ quite pathetic. Nintendo should’ve pushed hard to get GCN games up w/ in Wii U’s launch window (& Dreamcast, too), if not day 1. Actually, every time I fill out a Club N survey & am asked about VC, I express my displeasure. @ the very least, Wii’s VC should’ve been carried over, although it ‘is’ still accessible on Wii U. But yeah, I’ve largely steared clear of the messy & clunky Wii Shop Channel. Then there are the HD struggles that should’ve been ironed out a lot sooner. Online gaming is something I’m not into much, so I’m biased there; vastly improved over GCN’s modem, better than Wii, & free…hey, neat). & I wish Nintendo would release new entries in their hardcore franchises, if only to appease a small demographic (or introduce a new audience), & pad a console w/ a solid title (graphics &/or æsthetic facelift, new courses/stages/characters/various controller support; no big push for something “innovative” [Wave Race, F-Zero, Sin & Punishment, Space Firebird…I yearn, so]).

            As for “stronger” & costlier hardware, I disagree w/ the practice, but I understand the principle. Yet my understanding has only come after the fact, after PS4’s pre-order sales fervor & continued sales momentum. History dictates that the “weaker” console is the one that thrives, both handheld & console-wise. But I’ve yet to be impressed w/ graphics since Luigi’s Mansion, RE: Rebirth, & Baten Kaitos, even having played on PS3 & 360, Wii U, & saw footage (mostly cutscenes) for PS4 & X1. I just don’t see a big leap, nothing wowing or worth my money. Hel, I was more wowed by the 3D on 3DS; which is an illusion, but a damn good one imo. I mean, PS4 & X1 enticements? Transistor & Cuphead are more appealing to me than most multiplats skipping Wii U.

            I just don’t want Nintendo pandering, or changing like Sony did. & imo, 3rd parties have strayed far more than Nintendo has; again, in principle. Profit-wise? Well, I guess cold, hard cash makes the world go round; or lines shareholder pockets. But that applies to, say, Fire Emblem Awakening (a bit more “casual” than I would’ve liked).

            Guess I’ve just become a niche gamer according to recent trends. I love gaming & wish the industry still had room for games, the elements that once mattered, that defined the products, w/ being absent from the top of the charts…or shelves. Now the industry is more like Hollywood in so many ways.

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