Today is Nintendo’s 130th birthday, which is pretty incredible when you think about it. The company was started on the 23rd September 1889.
Founded in the same year as Coco-Cola, The Wall Street Journal, and the opening of the Eiffel Tower. A year when Vincent van Gogh painted his famous The Starry Night and the first Jukebox was installed in a bar. 1889 was quite a year.
The company was founded by a man called Fusajiro Yamauchi and at first was initiall called Nintendo Koppai. Nintendo fans may know that the word loosely translates as ‘leave luck to heaven’, which basically implies leave your fortune in the hands of fate. Fans may not know that Koppai translates simply to ‘cards’ in Japanese. Over time as the company grew in popularity the name evolved into ‘Nintendo Playing Cards’ until it was finally just ‘Nintendo’.
It’s hard to put into words quite what the gaming industry, or perhaps the arts themselves owe to Nintendo. Their path on occasion has been a bumpy one, but innovation and creativity has always been at the company’s centre. Where in recent years Nintendo’s competition has aimed to out-do each other placing an emphasis on the raw power of their gaming hardware, Nintendo has often taken the road less travelled.
Their experimental business model has often been a gamble, but their most recent gamble; The Nintendo Switch has seemingly beaten the house. Perhaps Nintendo did as their name suggested and left ‘luck to heaven’. Or they just created a kick ass portable gaming system, something they’ve been doing for nearly 30 years. Although this one can also be used on of TVs.
It’s interesting to wonder if Mr Yamauchi ever envisioned the face of his company being an Italian plumber who spends more time jumping on mushrooms than fixing sinks!
Whatever the case, here’s to another 130 years.
Thank you Nintendo.