When we talk about video games, we can’t omit one of the biggest names in the industry: Nintendo. This company is the oldest company that started to work on video game consoles and publishing titles.
Nintendo has many well-known games and characters in its roster. Alongside the games and characters, the most important aspect of this company is its legendary consoles.
From the first home consoles to handhelds, Nintendo has sold millions of different entertainment units. But today we are going to talk about other things; the facts about Nintendo.
The facts that you probably didn’t until now. So, stay with us, and let’s check them together.
1. Card Games Before Video Games
Back in 1889, before any video games, Nintendo used to develop card games in Japan. To this day, is the main playing-card maker in Japan, still producing Hanafuda decks.
Although they have included their video game side in their card-making business as well. Instead of flowers, they print Super Mario characters on them.
2. Game Cube is Not a Cube
Game Cube is a hit-or-miss console for Nintendo. Nintendo sold over 21 million units of it. It was well-received among players for its high-quality games and extraordinary library of different titles, and innovative controller; but it was also heavily criticized for its exterior design and lack of multimedia features.
Speaking of exterior design, albeit the name suggests, it’s not actually a cube. The console’s dimensions are 5.9×6.3×4.3 Inches which makes it a rectangular prism.
If we want to be fair “Game Rectangular Prism” doesn’t sound good at all and Nintendo gets a pass for calling the console Game Cube.
3. Nintendo Invented the Legendary D-Pad
We live in the age of analogs and mechanical keyboards, but back in the day, D-pad was the king. The revolutionary design that appeared for the first time in the G&W port of Donkey Kong was made by Gumpei Yokai.
It made 2D movement and maneuvering possible and became the new standard for many years to come for every game developer out there. It has been used in the video game industry since it was made and still has its special spot even on the most modern controllers.
4. Mario is The Jumpman!
Did you really expect a Nintendo list without an entry about the mascot of the video gaming industry, Mario?
His debut appearance was in the Donkey Kong title. As the hero of the game, he had to jump and avoid obstacles to save the damsel in distress.
But, as strange as it sounds, it was the first time a video game character used the jump action ever! It is the reason many people used to know him as the “Jumpman”.
5. NES Lasted for 20 Years
Nintendo Entertainment Service is the most iconic video console of all time. Maybe, the main reason behind it is the fact it lasted for 20 years.
Nintendo launched the console back in 1983 and supported the system until 2003. It holds the title for the longest time that a console has been supported.
The fact that it could stand the trial of time for that many years is an impressive fact! It battled its way through those golden years of the arcade era and could outstand SEGA, Atari, and Sony consoles and came out victorious.
6. DS' Name Meant to Be Something Else
As the most famous and successful handheld console of all time, DS didn’t mean to be called DS!
DS stands for “Developer’s System” or “Dual Screen” and totally makes sense. Initially, Nintendo wanted to call this legendary console “City Boy”.
As the successor to the Game Boy series, they wanted to keep the magical touch of the “Boy” series but thankfully they came to their senses and decided to call that off.
7. Mario Was Not Intended to Be the Nintendo Mascot
Yes, it is another entry about our beloved plumber. As mentioned earlier, he is the mascot of video gaming; but he was not meant to be.
Nintendo wanted Diskun to be its mascot. He was the mascot for Famicom Disk System. He appeared in every Famicom manual and its color was yellow like the system itself.
But, after the launch of Super Mario Bros., people were just interested in the Italian plumber and praised Mario. Nintendo has no chance to turn it around and maybe that’s for the best; as he is now the most iconic digital character in history.
8. Mario’s Appearance Was Changed Because of Technological Boundaries
Yet another entry about Mario; but this one is the most interesting fact about him. Shigeru Miyamoto says that Mario’s appearance went through some drastic changes because of the technological boundaries of the day.
The hat was used to cover the hair which could not be shown because it would be bland and non-believable. They used white gloves to help the player track his movements and a mustache was added to add at least a facial feature to the character.
All of those features now shape his iconic characteristics which have been used throughout all these years. From different video games to cameos and movies, Mario is everywhere and has brought joy to billions of people.
9. Nintendo’s Name Means Something Really Strange
Nintendo has changed its name various times throughout the company’s history. Back in 1963, the company’s third president (Hiroshi Yamauchi) renamed it from Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd. To Nintendo Co. Ltd because they had changed their main business models and approach.
But as it is a Japanese company, the name gets its root from Kanji characters. Nin, Ten and Do translate to “leave luck to heaven” which sounds as poetic as it is strange.
These were the facts about the pioneer company of the video game industry that you might know before. They yet stand tall in the industry and their games set new standards for other companies to follow.
Nintendo may have gone through some grey areas since the launch of its latest handheld console, Nintendo Switch, but they still are the mascot of gaming worldwide.