世界百大品牌 – Rank no.67 – Japan

世界百大品牌 – Rank no.67 – Japan

Top 100 Brand in The World – Rank no.67 – Nintendo – Japan

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6,086 $m
Nintendo is determined to stay true to its roots, focusing on “gaming population expansion” while strategizing forward-thinking approaches to get ahead of its industry’s current struggles. All-in-one devices, such as smartphones and tablets, have stolen much of the game sector’s thunder; new business models like free-to-play have emerged; and competitors have announced high-powered next generation systems. Its new generation Wii U received mixed reviews and, without a strong cast of compelling games, it did not perform as well as anticipated. The Nintendo 3DS may be the leading platform in Japan, but the success has not yet been replicated overseas. Its short-term outlook rests on the titles it offers, and the brand hopes that a slew of new releases will drive sales outside Japan. While adopting some of the changing paradigms of the market, like advanced communication features and downloaded software delivery, it has been reluctant to make any dramatic changes to its previously successful business model (although Nintendo has announced an experimental entry into the free-to-play market). CEO Satoru Iwata has also mentioned the possibility of integrating e-payment systems such as Suica (East Japan Railway’s e-money card) to allow payments for products and services, add-on content for games, or pay-per-view options in VOD (Video on Demand) services. Only time will tell if this is enough as the traditional console industry faces an era of transition.
Nintendo Co., Ltd.

Nintendo’s logo, which dates back to the 1980s. The current color was adopted in 2006; the previous red version is still used on some properties, mostly in Japan.[1]
Native name 任天堂株式会社
Type Kabushiki gaisha
Traded as
Founded Kyoto, Japan(September 23, 1889)[2]
Founder(s) Fusajiro Yamauchi
Headquarters Kyoto, Japan[3]
Area served Worldwide
Key people
Revenue Decrease ¥635.6 billion (FY 2013)[4]
Operating income Decrease ¥36.1 billion (FY 2013)[4]
Profit Increase ¥7.2 billion (FY 2013)[4]
Total assets Increase ¥1.4 trillion (FY 2013)[4]
Total equity Decrease ¥1.1 trillion (FY 2013)[4]
Employees 5,095 (as of January 2013)[5]

Nintendo Co., Ltd. (任天堂株式会社 Nintendō Kabushiki gaisha?) is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics company headquartered in Kyoto, Japan. Nintendo is the world’s largest video game company by revenue.[6] Founded on September 23, 1889[2] by Fusajiro Yamauchi, it originally produced handmade hanafuda cards.[7] By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as cab services and love hotels.[8]

Abandoning previous ventures, Nintendo developed into a video game company, becoming one of the most influential in the industryand Japan’s third most valuable listed company with a market value of over US$85 billion.[9] Nintendo of America is also the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team.[10]

The name Nintendo can be roughly translated from Japanese to English as “leave luck to heaven.”[11] As of June 30, 2013, Nintendo has sold over 655.9 million hardware units and 4.12 billion software units.


Main article: History of Nintendo

Former headquarters plate, from when Nintendo was solely a playing card company

1889–1956: As a card company[edit]

Nintendo was founded as a card company in late 1889, originally named Nintendo Koppai. Based in KyotoJapan, the business produced and marketed a playing card game called Hanafuda. The handmade cards soon became popular, and Yamauchi hired assistants to mass-produce cards to satisfy demand. Nintendo continues to manufacture playing cards in Japan[13] and organizes its own contract bridge tournament called the “Nintendo Cup.”[14]

1956–1974: New ventures[edit]

The Nintendo Love Tester

In 1956, Hiroshi Yamauchi, grandson of Fusajiro Yamauchi, visited the U.S. to talk with theUnited States Playing Card Company, the dominant playing card manufacturer there. He found that the world’s biggest company in his business was only using a small office. This was a turning point when Yamauchi realized the limitations of the playing card business. He then gained access to Disney’s characters and put them on the playing cards to drive sales.

In 1963, Yamauchi renamed Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd. to Nintendo Co., Ltd.[15] The company then began to experiment in other areas of business using newly injected capital. During this period of time between 1963 and 1968, Nintendo set up a taxi company, alove hotel chain, a TV network, a food company (selling instant rice, similar to instant noodles) and several other things.[citation needed] All of these ventures eventually failed, and after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, playing card sales dropped, and Nintendo’s stock price plummeted to ¥60.

In 1966, Nintendo moved into the Japanese toy industry with the Ultra Hand, an extendable arm developed by its maintenance engineerGunpei Yokoi in his free time. Yokoi was moved from maintenance to the new “Nintendo Games” department as a product developer. Nintendo continued to produce popular toys, including the Ultra MachineLove Tester and the Kousenjuu series of light gun games. Despite some successful products, Nintendo struggled to meet the fast development and manufacturing turnaround required in the toy market, and fell behind the well-established companies such as Bandai and Tomy.

In 1973, its focus shifted to family entertainment venues with the Laser Clay Shooting System, using the same light gun technology used in Nintendo’s Kousenjuu series of toys, and set up in abandoned bowling alleys. Following some success, Nintendo developed several more light gun machines (such as the light gun shooter game Wild Gunman) for the emerging arcade scene. While the Laser Clay Shooting System ranges had to be shut down following excessive costs, Nintendo had found a new market.

1974–1983: Early electronic era[edit]

Nintendo’s first venture into the video gaming industry was securing rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey video game console in Japan in 1974. Nintendo began to produce its own hardware in 1977, with the Color TV Game home video game consoles. Four versions of these consoles were produced, each including variations of a single game (for example, Color TV Game 6 featured six versions of Light Tennis).

A student product developer named Shigeru Miyamoto was hired by Nintendo at this time.[16] He worked for Yokoi, and one of his first tasks was to design the casing for several of the Color TV Game consoles. Miyamoto went on to create, direct and produce some of Nintendo’s most famous video games and become one of the most recognizable figures in the video game industry.[16]

In 1975, Nintendo moved into the video arcade game industry with EVR Race, designed by their first game designer, Genyo Takeda,[17] and several more titles followed. Nintendo had some small success with this venture, but the release of Donkey Kong in 1981, designed by Miyamoto, changed Nintendo’s fortunes dramatically. The success of the game and many licensing opportunities (such as ports on the Atari 2600Intellivision and ColecoVision) gave Nintendo a huge boost in profit and in addition, the game also introduced an early iteration of Mario, known then as Jumpman, the eventual mascot of the company.

In 1980, Nintendo launched Game & Watch—a handheld video game series developed by Yokoi where each game was played on a separate device—to worldwide success.

1983–present: Video game consoles and handhelds[edit]

The logo adopted by Nintendo during the 1980’s.

Home consoles[edit]

In 1983, Nintendo launched the Family Computer home video game console in Japan (abbreviated “Famicom” and known outside Japan as the Nintendo Entertainment System or NES) alongside ports of its most popular arcade titles. In 1985, the NES launched in North America, and was accompanied by Super Mario Bros., one of the best-selling video games of all time.[18] The Famicom was followed by the Super Famicom in 1990, released outside Japan in 1991 and 1992 as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). This was Nintendo’s console of the 16-bit 4th generation, boasting superior graphics, game speed, and sound over the Famicom of the 8-bit 3rd generation, and whose main rival was the Sega Mega Drive (known in North America as Sega Genesis). A console war between Sega and Nintendo ensued during the early 1990s.[19]Although relatively late to market, the SNES considerably outsold the Mega Drive.[citation needed]

Aiming to produce an affordable virtual reality console, Gunpei Yokoi designed the Virtual Boy, a table-mounted semi-portable console featuring stereoscopic graphics. Users view games through a binocular eyepiece and control games using a gamepad. Critics were generally disappointed with the quality of the games and graphics, and complained of gameplay-induced headaches.[20] The system sold poorly and was quietly discontinued.[21] Amid the system’s failure, Yokoi retired from Nintendo.[22]

With its market shares slipping to Sega’s Mega System and new rival Sony’s PlayStation, Nintendo utilized a $185 million marketing campaign, centered around the “Play it Loud” slogan, to revitalize its brand.[23] The company’s 5th generation home console, the Nintendo 64, was released in 1996 and features 3D polygon model rendering capabilities and built-in multiplayer for up to four players. The system’s controller introduced the analog stick and later introduced the Rumble Pak, an accessory for the controller that producesforce feedback with compatible games. Both were the first such features to come to market for home console gaming and eventually became a standard built-in feature for many controllers in the industry.[24] Announced before the console’s launch, an expansion device called the Nintendo 64DD (“DD” standing for “Disk Drive”) utilizing 64 MB magneto-optical disks was developed and in 1999 eventually released to Japan, but its commercial failure there resulted in only nine games being released and precluded further worldwide release.

The 6th-generation GameCube followed in 2001 and was the first Nintendo console to utilize optical disc storage instead of cartridges.[25] Though only supported by seven games (three of which only support LAN play), the release of the Broadband Adapter and Modem Adapter peripheral made the GameCube Nintendo’s first Internet-enabled console. While profitable, sales paled in comparison with new rival Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s latest, the PlayStation 2.[citation needed]

The Wii was released in 2006 and introduced the Wii Remote—with motion sensing and pointing capabilities[26]—and on-board 802.11b/g Wi-Fi functionality, used for services such as Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and the Internet Channel.[27] Since its release, the Wii has spawned many peripheral devices, including the Wii Balance Board and Motion Plus, and has had several hardware revisions. With the release of the Wii, Nintendo revised the color of its company logo from red to gray. The successor to Wii, the Wii U, features improved,HD graphical capabilities and a new controller, the Wii U GamePad. The GamePad features a touch screen, 9-axis of motion sensors, a microphone and a camera. The Wii U launched in two versions, “Basic” and “Premium” (“Deluxe” in North America), with 8GB and 32GB of on-board flash memory respectively.[28] The “Basic” version was discontinued September 20, coinciding with a drop in price for the “Premium” version.[29]


The Nintendo 3DS, one of Nintendo’s latest handheld systems which featuresautostereoscopic 3D.

After the success of the Game & Watch series, Yokoi developed the Game Boy handheld console, which was released in 1989. Eventually becoming the best-selling handheld of all time, the Game Boy remained dominant for more than a decade, seeing critically and commercially popular games such as Pokémon Yellow released as late as 1998 in Japan and 2000 in Europe. Incremental updates of the Game Boys PocketLight and Color did little to change the original formula, though the latter introduced color graphics to the Game Boy line.

The first major update to its handheld line since 1989, Game Boy Advance features improved technical specifications similar to those of the SNES. The Game Boy Advance SP was the first revision to the GBA line and introduced screen lighting and a clam shell design, while later iteration, the Game Boy Micro, brought a smaller form factor.

Although originally advertised as an alternative to the Game Boy Advance, the Nintendo DS replaced the Game Boy line after its initial release in 2004.[30] It was distinctive for its dual screens and a microphone, as well as a touch-sensitive lower screen. The Nintendo DS Lite brought a smaller form factor[31] while the Nintendo DSi features larger screens and two cameras,[32] and was followed by an even larger model, the DSi XL, with a 90% bigger screen.[33]

Further expanding the Nintendo DS line, the Nintendo 3DS uses the process of autostereoscopy to produce a stereoscopic three-dimensional effect without glasses.[34] Released to major markets during 2011, the 3DS got off to a slow start, initially missing many key features that were promised before the system launched.[35] Partially as a result of slow sales, Nintendo stock declined in value. Subsequent price cuts and game releases helped to boost 3DS and 3DS software sales and to renew investor confidence in the company.[36] As of August 2013, the 3DS was the best selling console in the United States for four consecutive months.[37] The Nintendo 3DS XL was introduced in August 2012 and includes a 90% larger screen, a 4GB SD card and extended battery life. In August 2013, Nintendo announced the Nintendo 2DS, a version of the 3DS without a stereoscopic 3D screen. It has a slate-like design as opposed to the hinged, clamshell design of its DS-line predecessors. The 2DS was released on October 12, 2013 in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, although no Japanese release has been announced.



Main article: Nintendo marketing

Nintendo of America has engaged in several high-profile marketing campaigns to define and position its brand. One of its earliest and most enduring slogans was “Now you’re playing with power!”, used first to promote its Nintendo Entertainment System. It modified the slogan to include “SUPER power” for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and “PORTABLE power” for the Game Boy. Its 1994 “Play It Loud!” campaign played upon teenage rebellion and fostered an edgy reputation. During the Nintendo 64 era, the slogan was “Get N or get out.” During the GameCube era, the “Who Are You?” suggested a link between the games we play and the people we are. The company promoted its Nintendo DS handheld with the tagline “Touching is Good.” For the Wii, they used the “Wii would like to play” slogan to promote the console with the people who tried the games includingSuper Mario Galaxy and Super Paper Mario. Its successor, the Wii U, uses the slogan “How U will play next.”

Key executives[edit]

Nintendo’s president since 2002, Satoru Iwata.

  • Satoru Iwata, Global President, Representative Director, and CEO of Nintendo of America.[38]
  • Shigeru Miyamoto, Senior Managing Director and Representative Director[39]
  • Yoshihiro Mori, Senior Managing Director, General Manager of Corporate Analysis & Administration Division, and Representative Director
  • Shinji Hatano, Senior Managing Director, General Manager of Licensing Division, and Representative Director
  • Masaharu Matsumoto, Managing Director
  • Tatsumi Kimishima, Managing Director
  • Reggie Fils-Aime, President and COO of Nintendo of America (NoA)
  • Satoru Shibata, President of Nintendo of Europe (NoE)


Nintendo Co., Ltd. (NCL) oversees the company’s global operations and manages Japanese operations specifically. The company’s two major subsidiaries, Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe, manage operations in North America and Europe respectively. Nintendo Co., Ltd.[40] was originally based in Kyoto.[a] It then moved to a new office in Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, which is now its research and development building.[b] Since 2000, the company has been based in Minami-ku, Kyoto.[c][41]

Nintendo of America, Inc. (NoA), its U.S. division, is based in Redmond, Washington. Originally the NOA headquarters handled sales, marketing, and advertising. However, the office in Redwood City, California now directs those functions. The company maintains distribution centers in Atlanta (Nintendo Atlanta) and North Bend, Washington (Nintendo North Bend). The 380,000-square-foot (35,000 m2) Nintendo North Bend facility processes more than 20,000 orders a day to Nintendo customers, which include retail stores that sell Nintendo products and consumers who order their video games and associated components online.[42] Nintendo of America’s Canadian branch,[43] Nintendo of Canada, Ltd. (NOCL), is based in Vancouver, BC, with its distribution center in Toronto, Ontario.

Nintendo of Europe (NoE) was established in June 1990.[44] The company handles operations in Europe and South Africa.[44] The subsidiary is based in Großostheim,[45] close toFrankfurt, Germany. Nintendo of Europe’s United Kingdom branch[46] handles operations in that country and in Ireland from its headquarters in WindsorBerkshire.

Nintendo Australia Pty. Ltd. (NAL) is based in Melbourne, Victoria. It handles the publishing, distribution, sales and marketing of Nintendo products in AustraliaNew Zealand, and Oceania (Cook IslandsFijiNew CaledoniaPapua New GuineaSamoa, and Vanuatu). It also manufactures some Wii games locally. Nintendo Australia is also a third-party distributor of some titles from Rising Star GamesNamco Bandai Games Europe, AtlusThe Tetris CompanySegaTecmo Koei Games Europe and Capcom Europe.

iQue, Ltd., a Chinese joint venture between its founder, Wei Yen, and Nintendo, manufactures and distributes official Nintendo consoles and games for the mainland Chinese market, under the iQue brand. The product lineup for the Chinese market is considerably different from that for other markets. For example, Nintendo’s only console in China is theiQue Player, a modified version of the Nintendo 64. The company has not released its more modern GameCube or Wii to the market, although a version of the Nintendo 3DS XL was released in 2012.

Nintendo established Nintendo of Korea (NoK) on July 7, 2006.[47]

  • The exterior of Nintendo’s main headquarters inKyoto, Japan

  • The Nintendo of America headquarters inRedmond, United States

  • Nintendo of Europe headquarters inGroßostheim, Germany

  • Nintendo’s Tokyo office


Research & Development teams[edit]

First-party studios[edit]

Research & Development Divisions[edit]

Nintendo’s internal Research & Development operations are divided into four main division: the Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development (or EAD), the main software development division of Nintendo, which focuses on internal-only video game development; the Nintendo Software Planning & Development (or SPD), which main focus is overseeing second and third-party licensing and development activity; the Nintendo Integrated Research & Development (or IRD), the main hardware development division of Nintendo, which focuses on home and handheld video game console development; and the Nintendo Network Business & Development (or NBD), which focuses on developing other minor hardware and peripherals as well as Nintendo Network service development.

Nintendo Research & Development Divisions
Division Department Group Works
EAD Kyoto Software Development Comprehensive Development Group Not necessarily responsible for a specific franchise or genre.
Group No. 1 Mario Kart and Nintendogs series.
Group No. 2 Animal Crossing and Wii series.
Group No. 3 The Legend of Zelda series.
Group No. 4 New Super Mario Bros.Pikmin and Big Brain Academy series.
Group No. 5 Wii Fit and Steel Diver series.
Sound Group Aids in music and sound effect creation.
UI Design Group Aids in UI and special effect creation.
Tokyo Software Development Group No. 1 Super Mario Galaxy series and overseeing The Legend of Zelda remakes.
Group No. 2 Flipnote Studio and Super Mario 3D series.
Technology Development Development Environment Group Various game engines.
Technology Design Group Software Development Kits (SDK’s) for Nintendo consoles.
SPD Software Planning & Development Group No. 1 WarioWareRhythm HeavenFriend Collection and Metroid series.
Group No. 2 Fire EmblemEndless OceanStyle Savvy series
Group No. 3 Metroid PrimeDonkey Kong CountryMario vs. Donkey KongPaper MarioSuper Mario StrikersBattalion WarsExcite and Fluidity series.
Group No. 4 Donkey KongMario Party and Wii Party series.
Software Development & Design Software Development Group Brain AgeJam with the Band series, and additional Touch! Generations titles.
UI Design Group Some Wii ChannelsNintendo DS/DSi General Interface and Nintendo 3DS General Interface
Sound Group Manages music and sound effect creation for both internal and external projects.
Character Design Group Manages character creation for both internal and external projects.
IRD Integrated Research & Development Group No. 1 Home video game consoles and respective peripherals.
Group No. 2
Group No. 3
Group No. 4
Group No. 5
Research & Engineering Development Planning Design Group Handheld video game consoles and respective peripherals.
Technology Design Group
Mechanical Design Group
Industrial Design Group
NBD Nintendo Network Business Nintendo Network Planning Group Nintendo eShopMiiverse and other Nintendo Network services.
Mechanical Design Group Other hardware and peripherals.

Research & Development Subsidiaries[edit]

Although most of the Research & Development is being done in Japan, there are some R&D facilities in the United States and Europe that are focused on developing software and hardware technologies used in Nintendo products. Although they all are subsidiaries of Nintendo (and therefore first party), they are often referred to as external resources when being involved in joint development processes with Nintendo’s internal developers by the Japanese personal involved. This can be seen in a variety of “Iwata asks…” interviews.[48]

Nintendo Research & Development Subsidiaries
Name Location Works
Nintendo Software Technology (NST) Redmond, WashingtonUSA Mario vs. Donkey Kong series, Wii Street U and other video games and applications.[49]
Nintendo Technology Development (NTD) Redmond, WashingtonUSA Video game console development and software technology.
Nintendo European Research & Development(NERD) Paris, France Various software technologies such as video compression and middleware.[50]
Nintendo Network Service Database (NSD) KyotoJapan Nintendo Network programming and server maintenance. Co-operates with the Nintendo Network Business & Development (NBD) division.

Software Development Subsidiaries[edit]

Most external first-party software development is being done in Japan, since the only overseas subsidiary is Retro Studios in the United States. Although these studios are all subsidiaries of Nintendo (and therefore first party), they are often referred to as external resources when being involved in joint development processes with Nintendo’s internaldevelopers by the Nintendo Software Planning & Development (or SPD) division.

Nintendo Software Development Subsidiaries
Name Location Works
1-UP Studio TokyoJapan Magical Vacation series, Mother 3 and A Kappa’s Trail. Currently, a development co-operation studio.[citation needed]
Creatures Inc. Chiyoda, TokyoJapan Pokémon RangerPokéPark and EarthBound (Mother) series (with HAL Laboratory and Brownie Brown).
HAL Laboratory Chiyoda, TokyoJapan KirbyEarthBound and Super Smash Bros. series.
Intelligent Systems KyotoJapan Paper MarioFire EmblemAdvance Wars,[51] WarioWare and Pushmo series.
Monolith Soft TokyoJapan Xeno and Baten Kaitos series and Disaster: Day of Crisis.[52]
KyotoJapan Development co-operation studio.[citation needed]
Nd Cube TokyoJapan Wii Party and Mario Party series.
Retro Studios Austin, TexasUSA Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong Country series.

Second-party studios[edit]

Since the release of the Famicom/Nintendo Entertainment System, Nintendo has built up a large group of second-party development partners, through publishing agreements and development collaboration. Most of these external Nintendo project are overseen by the Nintendo Software Planning & Development (or SPD) division.

Software Development
Name Works
AlphaDream Mario & Luigi series
Ambrella Pokémon DashPokémon Rumble series, Pokémon ChannelMy Pokémon Ranch,[53] Hey You, Pikachu!.
Arika Endless Ocean series, 3D Classics series.
Arzest Yoshi’s New Island
Asobism Freakyforms series.
Atlus Shin Megami Tensei X Fire EmblemShin Megami Tensei IVShin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor series, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers.
Camelot Software Planning Golden Sun series, Mario Tennis series, Mario Golf series.
Curve Studios Fluidity / Hydroventure series
DigitalScape Programming and co-programming several in-house games with the Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development (EAD) division.
Eighting Kuru Kuru Kururin series, Master of Illusion.
Game Freak Pokémon series, HarmoKnightDrill DozerMario & Wario.
Ganbarion Pandora’s Tower
Genius Sonority The Denpa Men series, Pokémon ColosseumPokémon XD: Gale of DarknessPokémon Trozei!Pokémon Battle Revolution.
Good-Feel Wario Land: Shake It! (Wario Land: The Shake Dimension in PAL regions)Kirby’s Epic Yarn (with HAL Laboratory).
Grezzo The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Anniversary Edition (with Nintendo EAD Tokyo Group No. 1).
indieszero Sennen KazokuElectroplanktonPersonal Trainer: Cooking.
iNiS Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan series, Elite Beat Agents.
Jupiter Mario’s Picross series, Pokémon Pinball series, Picross DSPicross e series.
Kuju Entertainment Art Academy series, Battalion Wars series.
Level-5 Professor Layton series, Guild series.
Mistwalker The Last Story
Monster Games Excite series,[54] Pilotwings ResortDonkey Kong Country Returns 3D.
Namco Bandai Games Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U (with Sora Ltd.)Mario Baseball series, Mario Kart Arcade GP series.
Next Level Games Mario Strikers series (Mario Football in PAL regions)Punch-Out!!Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon.
Noise Custom Robo series.[55]
Paon Donkey Kong Barrel BlastDK Jungle ClimberDK King of SwingGlory of Heracles.
Platinum Games Bayonetta 2The Wonderful 101.
Q-Games Star Fox CommandStar Fox 64 3DX-Scape (with Nintendo SPD Group No. 3).
Red Entertainment Corporation Fossil Fighters series, Project Hacker.
Sandlot Chōsōjū Mecha MGZangeki no Reginleiv.
Sega Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series, Sonic ColorsSonic Lost World.
Skip Ltd. Chibi-Robo! series, Art Style series, GiftpiaCaptain RainbowSnowpack Park.
Square Enix Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series, Mario Sports Mix (with Nintendo SPD Group No. 4)Fortune Street series, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (as Square)Mario Hoops 3-on-3.
Suzak Wario: Master of DisguiseF-Zero: ClimaxF-Zero: GP Legend.
syn Sophia Style Savvy series.
Systems Research & Development (SRD) Programming and co-programming several in-house games with the Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development (EAD) division.
Tecmo Koei Fatal Frame series, Pokémon ConquestMetroid: Other M (with Nintendo SPD Group No. 1)Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor’s Edge.
Tose The Legendary Starfy series, Game & Watch Gallery series, Super Princess Peach.
Treasure Co., Ltd. Wario WorldSin and Punishment Series.
Vanpool Dillon’s Rolling Western series, Tingle series, Paper Mario: Sticker Star (with Intelligent Systems).
Vitei Steel Diver (with Nintendo EAD Group No. 5)Rock N’ Roll Climber (with Nintendo EAD Group No. 3).
Research & Development
Name Works
Hatena Miiverse (with Nintendo Network Business & Development)Flipnote Studio series (with Nintendo EAD Tokyo Group No. 1).
Vidyo Wii U Chat (with Nintendo European Research & Development).



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Nintendo, particularly Nintendo of America, is known for a “no tolerance” stance for emulation of its video games and consoles, stating that it is the single largest threat to the intellectual rights of video game developers.[56] Nintendo claims that copyright-like rights in mask works protect its games from the exceptions that United States copyright lawotherwise provides for personal backup copies. Nintendo uses the claim that emulators running on personal computers have no use other than to play pirated video games, though a use that doesn’t involve intellectual property in this way is seen in the development and testing of independently produced “homebrew” software on Nintendo’s platforms. It is also claimed that Nintendo’s claims contradict copyright laws, mainly that ROM image copiers are illegal (they are legal if used to dump unprotected ROM images on to a user’s computer for personal use, per 17 U.S.C. § 117(a)(1) and foreign counterparts)[57] and that emulators are illegal (if they do not use copyrighted BIOS, or use other methods to run the game, they are legal; see Console emulator for further information about the legality of emulators). However, Nintendo remains the only modern console manufacturer that has not sued an emulator manufacturer.[58] Emulators have been used by Nintendo and licensed third party companies as a means to re-release older games (e.g. Virtual Console).

Content guidelines[edit]

For many years, Nintendo had a policy of strict content guidelines for video games published on its consoles. Although Nintendo of Japan allowed graphic violence in its video games, nudity and sexuality were strictly prohibited. Former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi believed that if the company allowed the licensing of pornographic games, the company’s image would be forever tarnished.[59] Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe went further in that games released for Nintendo consoles could not feature nudity, sexuality, profanity (including racismsexism or slurs), blood, graphic or domestic violencedrugs, political messages or religious symbols (with the exception of widely unpracticed religions, such as the Greek Pantheon).[60] The Japanese parent company was concerned that it may be viewed as a “Japanese Invasion” by forcing Japanese community standards on North American and European children. Despite the strict guidelines, some exceptions have occurred: Bionic Commando (though swastikas were eliminated in the US version), Smash TV and Golgo 13: Top Secret Episode contained human violence, the latter also containing implied sexuality and tobacco useRiver City Ransom and Taboo: The Sixth Sense contained nudity, and the latter also contained religious images, as did Castlevania II and III.

A known side effect of this policy was the Sega Genesis version of Mortal Kombat selling over double the number of the Super NES version, mainly because Nintendo had forced publisher Acclaim to recolor the red blood to look like white sweat and replace some of the more gory graphics in its release of the game, making it less violent.[61] By contrast,Sega allowed blood and gore to remain in the Genesis version (though a code was required to unlock the gore). Nintendo allowed the Super NES version of Mortal Kombat II to ship uncensored the following year with a content warning on the packaging.[62]

In 1994 and 2003, when the ESRB and PEGI (respectively) video game ratings systems were introduced, Nintendo chose to abolish most of these policies in favor of consumers making their own choices about the content of the games they played. Today, changes to the content of games are done primarily by the game’s developer or, occasionally, at the request of Nintendo. The only clear-set rule is that ESRB AO-rated games will not be licensed on Nintendo consoles in North America,[63] a practice which is also enforced by Sonyand Microsoft, its two greatest competitors in the present market. Nintendo has since allowed several mature-content games to be published on its consoles, including: Perfect DarkConker’s Bad Fur DayDoom and Doom 64BMX XXX, the Resident Evil series, Killer7, the Mortal Kombat series, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s RequiemBloodRayneGeistand Dementium: The Ward. Certain games have continued to be modified, however. For example, Konami was forced to remove all references to cigarettes in the 2000 Game Boy Color game Metal Gear Solid (although the previous NES version of Metal Gear and the subsequent GameCube game Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes both included such references, as did Wii title MadWorld), and maiming and blood were removed from the Nintendo 64 port of Cruis’n USA.[64] Another example is in the Game Boy Advance gameMega Man Zero 3, in which one of the bosses, called Hellbat Schilt in the Japanese and European releases, was renamed Devilbat Schilt in the North American localization. In North America releases of the Mega Man Zero games, enemies and bosses killed with a saber attack would not gush blood as they did in the Japanese versions. However, the release of the Wii has been accompanied by a number of even more controversial mature titles, such as Manhunt 2No More HeroesThe House of the Dead: Overkill andMadWorld, the latter three of which are published exclusively for the console. The Nintendo DS also has violent games, such as Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown WarsDementium: The Ward and its sequelUltimate Mortal Kombat, and Resident Evil: Deadly Silence.

License guidelines[edit]

Nintendo of America also had guidelines before 1993 that had to be followed by its licensees to make games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, in addition to the above content guidelines:.[59] Guidelines were enforced through the 10NES lockout chip.

  • Licensees were not permitted to release the same game for a competing console until two years had passed.
  • Nintendo would decide how many cartridges would be supplied to the licensee.
  • Nintendo would decide how much space would be dedicated for articles, advertising, etc. in the Nintendo Power magazine.
  • There was a minimum number of cartridges that had to be ordered by the licensee from Nintendo.
  • There was a yearly limit of five games that a licensee may produce for a Nintendo console.[65] This rule was created to prevent market over-saturation, which had contributed to the North American video game crash of 1983.

The last rule was circumvented in a number of ways; for example, Konami, wanting to produce more games for Nintendo’s consoles, formed Ultra Games and later Palcom to produce more games as a technically different publisher.[59] This disadvantaged smaller or emerging companies, as they could not afford to start additional companies. In another side effect, Square Co. (now Square Enix) executives have suggested that the price of publishing games on the Nintendo 64 along with the degree of censorship and control that Nintendo enforced over its games, most notably Final Fantasy VI, were factors in switching its focus towards Sony‘s PlayStation console.[citation needed]

Seal of Quality [edit]

Official Nintendo Seal in NTSCregions

Nintendo’s Official Seal of Quality in PAL regions

The gold starburst seal was first used by Nintendo of America, and later Nintendo of Europe. It is displayed on any game, system, or accessory licensed for use on one of its video game consoles, denoting the game has been properly licensed by Nintendo. The seal is also displayed on any Nintendo-licensed merchandise, such as trading cards and apparel.[66]

NTSC regions[edit]

In NTSC regions, this seal is an elliptical starburst titled “Official Nintendo Seal.” Originally, for NTSC countries, the seal was a large, black and gold circular starburst. The seal read as follows: “This seal is your assurance that NINTENDO has approved and guaranteed the quality of this product.” This seal was later altered in 1988: “approved and guaranteed” was changed to “evaluated and approved.” In 1989, the seal became gold and white, as it currently appears, with a shortened phrase, “Official Nintendo Seal of Quality.” It was changed in 2003 to read “Official Nintendo Seal.”[66]

The seal currently reads:[67]

The official seal is your assurance that this product is licensed or manufactured by Nintendo. Always look for this seal when buying video game systems, accessories, games and related products.

PAL regions[edit]

In PAL regions, the seal is a circular starburst titled, “Original Nintendo Seal of Quality.” Text near the seal in the Australian Wii manual states:

This seal is your assurance that Nintendo has reviewed this product and that it has met our standards for excellence in workmanship, reliability and entertainment value. Always look for this seal when buying games and accessories to ensure complete compatibility with your Nintendo product.[68]

Environmental record[edit]

Nintendo has consistently been ranked last in Greenpeace‘s “Guide to Greener Electronics” due to Nintendo not revealing information.[69] Similarly, they are ranked last in theEnough Project‘s “Conflict Minerals Company Rankings” due to Nintendo refusing to respond to multiple requests for information.[70]

Like many other electronics companies, Nintendo does offer a take-back recycling program which allows customers to mail in old products they no longer use; Nintendo of America claimed that it took in 548 tons of returned products in 2011, 98% of which was either reused or recycled.[71]

Gaming systems[edit]

Nintendo has produced a number of gaming systems, many with different iterations.

Home consoles[edit]

Home Console Release Sales
Line Console Variations Japan North America Europe Australia South Korea
Color TV Game Color TV-Game 6 1977–80[d] Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased 1977–80[citation needed] 3 million (as of 1980)[72]
Color TV-Game 15
Color TV-Game Racing 112
Color TV-Game Block Breaker
Computer TV-Game
Entertainment System
Entertainment System
Nintendo Entertainment System July 15, 1983 October 18, 1985 September 1, 1986[e] July 1, 1983 October 18, 1985[citation needed] 61.91 million (as of June 2013)[12]
Famicom Disk System February 21, 1986 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased
Famicom Titler 1989 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased
Twin Famicom July 1, 1986 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased
NES-101 model Unreleased Unreleased
Nintendo M82 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased
C1 NES TV 1983 1989 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased
Super Nintendo
Entertainment System
Super Nintendo Entertainment System November 21, 1990 August 23, 1991[f] April 11, 1992 October 12, 1991 December 1990[citation needed] 49.10 million (as of June 2013)[12]
Satellaview April 23, 1995 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased
SNES-101 October 20, 1997
SF-1 SNES TV December 5, 1990 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased
Nintendo 64 Nintendo 64 June 23, 1996 September 29, 1996 March 1, 1997 March 1, 1997 March 1, 1997[citation needed] 32.93 million (as of June 2013)[12]
Nintendo 64DD August 29, 2000 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased
iQue Player Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased November 17, 2003
Nintendo GameCube Nintendo GameCube September 14, 2001 November 18, 2001[73] May 3, 2002 June 19, 2002 June 1, 2001[citation needed] 21.74 million (as of June 2013)[12]
Panasonic Q December 13, 2001 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased
Wii Wii Wii December 2, 2006 November 19, 2006 December 8, 2006 December 7, 2006 April 26, 2008[74] 100.04 million (as of June 2013)[12]
Wii Family Edition Unreleased October 2011 October 2011 October 2011 Unreleased
Wii Mini Unreleased December 7, 2012 March 15, 2013 Unreleased Unreleased
Wii U Wii U Basic (8GB) December 8, 2012[75] November 18, 2012 November 30, 2012 November 30, 2012[76] Unreleased 3.61 million (as of June 2013)[12]
Wii U Deluxe/Premium (32GB)

Handheld consoles[edit]

Handheld Console Release Sales
Line Console Variations Japan North America Europe Australia South Korea
Game & Watch Game & Watch Silver See List of Game & Watch games 43.4 million[77]
Game & Watch Gold
Game & Watch Wide Screen
Game & Watch New Wide Screen
Game & Watch Multi Screen
Game & Watch Tabletop
Game & Watch Panorama
Game & Watch SuperColor
Game & Watch Micro Vs. System
Game & Watch Crystal Screen
Game & Watch Disk Kun
Game & Watch Mini Classics
Game Boy Game Boy Game Boy April 21, 1989[78] July 31, 1989[79] September 28, 1990 Unreleased Unreleased 118.69 million (as of June 2013)[12]
Game Boy Pocket
Game Boy Light
Game Boy Color Game Boy Color
Game Boy Advance Game Boy Advance March 21, 2001 June 11, 2001 June 22, 2001 Unreleased Unreleased 81.51 million (as of June 2013)[12]
Game Boy Advance SP
Game Boy Micro
Nintendo DS Nintendo DS Nintendo DS December 2, 2004 November 21, 2004 March 11, 2005 February 24, 2005 Unreleased 153.93 million (as of June 2013)[12]
Nintendo DS Lite
Nintendo DSi
Nintendo DSi XL
Nintendo 3DS Nintendo 3DS February 26, 2011[80] March 27, 2011[81] March 25, 2011[82] March 31, 2011[83] April 28, 2012[84] 32.48 million (as of June 2013)[12]
Nintendo 3DS XL July 28, 2012 August 19, 2012 July 28, 2012 August 23, 2012 Unreleased
Nintendo 2DS Unreleased October 12, 2013 October 12, 2013 October 12, 2013 Unreleased

Other consoles[edit]

Console Japan North America Europe Australia South Korea China Sales
Nintendo PlayStation (SNES-CD) Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased N/A
Virtual Boy July 21, 1995 August 14, 1995 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased 770,000 (as of 2013)
Nintendo 64DD December 1, 1999 Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased 15,000[85]
iQue Player Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased Unreleased November 7, 2003 Unknown (as of 2013)