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Nintendo

From Academic Kids

Template:Infobox Company Nintendo (Japanese: 任天堂; Ninten is roughly translated as "leave luck to heaven" or "in heaven's hands. TSE: NTDOY) was originally founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards, for use in a Japanese playing card game of the same name. Over the years, it became a video game company and one of the most powerful in the industry. Aside from video games, Nintendo is also the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners Major League Baseball team. Nintendo Co., Ltd (NCL), the main branch of the company, is based in Kyoto, Kyōto Prefecture, Japan. Nintendo of America (NOA), its North American division, is based in Redmond, Washington, Nintendo of Australia, its Australian division, is based in Scoresby, Victoria, and Nintendo Europe, the European division, is based in Groostheim, Germany.

Nintendo is the longest running company in the history of the video game console market and historically the best known console manufacturer. They began in the Japanese market in 1983, the U.S. market in 1985, and the European market in 1986. Over time Nintendo has manufactured four TV consoles — the Famicom/NES, the Super Famicom/Super NES, the Nintendo 64, and the present GameCube — and many different handheld consoles, including six versions of their popular Game Boy, the Game & Watch, the ill-fated Virtual Boy, and the Nintendo DS. They have also published over 250 games, developing at least 180 of them, and have sold over 2 billion game paks and disks worldwide.

Contents

History

Related article: History of computer and video games

1889 – 1968

Nintendo Koppai was the name of a small Japanese business founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce and market the playing card game Hanafuda in Kyoto, Japan. The cards, which were all handmade, soon began to get extremely popular and Yamauchi had to hire assistants to mass produce cards to keep up with the high demand.

During 1929, Yamauchi retired from the company and allowed his son-in-law, Sekiryo Yamauchi, to take over the company as president. In 1933 Sekiryo Yamauchi established a joint venture with another company and thus renamed the company Yamauchi Nintendo & Co. In 1947 Sekiryo established the company Marufuku Co. Ltd to distribute the Hanafuda cards, as well as several other brands of cards that had been introduced by Nintendo.

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Hiroshi Yamauchi was the third president of Nintendo.

Hiroshi Yamauchi, the grandson of Sekiryo Yamauchi, took office as the president of Nintendo during the year of 1949. He renamed Yamauchi Nintendo & Co. Nintendo Playing Card Company, Ltd., and, in 1951 he renamed their distribution company, Marufuku Co. Ltd., to Nintendo Karuta Co. Ltd.

In 1959, Nintendo struck a deal with Disney to have them allow Nintendo to use Disney's characters on Nintendo's playing cards. The deal was a success and sold at least 600,000 cards in a single year.

Following this, in 1963, Yamauchi Nintendo & Co. was renamed Nintendo Co. Ltd. by Hiroshi and Nintendo began to experiment in other areas of business. During the period of time between 1963 and 1968, Nintendo founded a taxi company and a "love hotel", as well as producing toys, games and several other things (including a vacuum cleaner). Both the taxi company and love hotel ended in failure and were eventually closed.

1969 – 1980

In 1969 Nintendo established a games division within their company. In the following years, Nintendo produced several successful toys and games, the most notable being their beam guns and Ultrahand, an arm expansion toy. Most of these inventions were the ideas of a new Nintendo employee, Gunpei Yokoi.

In 1973 Nintendo expanded on their light gun idea with the introduction of The Laser Clay Shooting System, which used solar cells to simulate clay pigeon shooting. The Laser Clay Shooting System was another huge success. In 1974 the same idea was reused with the introduction of Wild Gunman, which was a laser gun game where a player would attempt to draw a light gun and shoot at an image of a gunman before the gunman "shot back". Wild Gunman was exported to the USA and Europe.

During 1975 Yamauchi began doing research into a new American trend in which you could connect a device to your television in order to play simple games, called video games. Other companies, such as Atari, had had some success in this field and Hiroshi decided it would be a good business venture for Nintendo to delve into. In the same year, he negotiated a deal with Magnavox to allow Nintendo to produce and sell the Magnavox Odyssey, a simple video game console. Since Nintendo didn't have the necessary equipment to manufacture these machines, they created a pact with Mitsubishi, who would manufacture them.

With Nintendo's new relationship with Mitsubishi, in 1977 the two companies released their joint effort video game machine, the Color TV Game 6, which allowed players to play six different very simple versions of tennis, which sold millions of units. 1977 is also the year Shigeru Miyamoto joined Nintendo, working as an art designer for arcade games.

Soon, Nintendo released several other successful home video game consoles, including an advanced version of the Color TV Game 6, called the Color TV Game 15, a racing game, and another game called Blockbuster.

In 1979 Nintendo began design work for what was to be their first handheld game console, the Game & Watch, which was another idea of Gunpei Yokoi. It was released in 1980, which is also the year that Nintendo announced the addition of a new wholly owned subsidiary, located in New York, named Nintendo of America. The Game & Watch was very successful.

1981 – 1982

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Donkey Kong starred a carpenter named Jumpman, who eventually went on to star in widely popular games of his own, although he is now known as Mario.

Also in 1980, Nintendo began the production of arcade games. These arcade games were mostly shoot-'em-ups sometimes using Nintendo's light gun, going under names such as Hellfire or Sheriff. However, this direction changed when Shigeru Miyamoto was given the task of repurposing hardware left over after the commercial failure of the arcade alien shoot-'em-up Radar Scope. Mr. Miyamoto went in a completely different direction and began work on Donkey Kong, with the help of Yokoi, which was a silly arcade game starring the attempts of an obese carpenter trying to rescue his girlfriend from an ape. Although originally frowned upon by fellow Nintendo workers, the release of Donkey Kong was a huge success and the game sold over 65,000 units, making it the most popular arcade game of the year.

During the same year, Nintendo, probably inspired by the success of Atari and several other companies, set to work on a new, more advanced multicartridge video game console. They knew that in order for the system to be successful, since other companies had already released multicartridge systems, that their console would have to be better than the rest, and still carry a feasible price.

In 1982 Nintendo released their sequel to Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. as an arcade game. Although not selling as many units as the original Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. still sold well, selling around 35,000 units. This was also the year they established Nintendo of America Inc. in Redmond, Washington and merged the New York subsidiary into it.

1983 – 1989

In July 1983, Nintendo released their Famicom (Family Computer) system in Japan, which was their first attempt at a cartridge-based video game console. The system was very successful, selling over 500,000 units within two months. The console was also technically superior and inexpensive when compared to its competitors, priced at about $100 USD. However, after a few months of the consoles selling well, Nintendo received complaints that some Famicom consoles would freeze when the player attempted to play certain games. The fault was found in a malfunctioning chip and Nintendo decided to recall all Famicon units currently on store shelves, which cost them almost half a million dollars USD.

It was also in 1983 that Nintendo planned to release the Famicom in the USA. In the USA, however, the video game market had almost completely died out due to the large amount of low quality games. Nintendo decided that to avoid this, they would only allow games that received their "Seal of Quality" to be sold for the Famicom, using a 10NES lockout system to prevent unlicensed games.

The Nintendo Famicom, released in 1983, received a warm welcome from the Japanese economy.
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The Nintendo Famicom, released in 1983, received a warm welcome from the Japanese economy.

By 1984 the Famicom had proven to be a huge continued success in Japan. However, Nintendo also encountered a problem with the sudden popularity of the Famicom — they did not have the resources to manufacture games at the same pace they were selling them. To combat this, Yamauchi decided to divide his employees into three groups, the groups being Research & Development 1 (R&D 1), Research & Development 2 (R&D 2) and Research & Development 3 (R&D 3). R&D 1 was headed by Gunpei Yokoi, R&D 2 was headed by Masayuki Uemura, and R&D 3 was headed by Takeda Genyo. Using these groups, Yamauchi hoped Nintendo would produce a low amount of high quality games rather than a high amount of average quality games.

In 1985 Nintendo announced they were going to release the Famicom worldwide – except under a different name – the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) – and with a different design. In order to insure the localization of the highest quality games by third-party developers, Nintendo of America limited the number of game titles third-party developers could release in a single year to five. Konami, the first third-party company that was allowed to make cartridges for the Famicom, later challenged this rule by creating a spinoff company, Ultra Games, to relase additional games in a single year. Although other manufactures followed the same tactic as Konami, Konami's choice of name for their new company would have a major affect on the final name chosen for Nintendo's third home consle system. In this year, Super Mario Bros. was also released for the Famicom in Japan and became a large success.

They soon began shipping the Nintendo Entertainment System to the USA in 1986, along with 15 games, sold separately, and in the USA, it outsold its competitors on a ten to one scale. This was also the year that Metroid (Japan) and Super Mario Bros. 2 (the Japanese version) were released.

In 1988, Nintendo unveiled Nintendo Power, a monthly news and strategy magazine from Nintendo that served to advertise new games. The first issue published was July/August edition, which spotlighted the NES game Super Mario Bros. 2. Nintendo Power is still being published today with over 190 issues.

In 1989 Nintendo released the Game Boy, along with the accompanying game Tetris. Later, Super Mario Land was also released for the Game Boy, which sold 14 million copies worldwide. 1989 was also the year that Nintendo announced a sequel to their popular video game console, the Famicom, to be called the Super Famicom.

By the end of the 1980s the courts found Nintendo guilty of anti-trust activities because it had abused its relationship with third party developers and created a monopoly in the gaming industry by not allowing developers to make games for any other platforms.

1990 – 1995

The Super Famicom was released in Japan on November 21st, 1990. The system's launch was largely successful, and the Super Famicom was sold out across Japan within three days. In August 1991, the Super Famicom was launched in the U.S. under the name "the Super Nintendo Entertainment System" (SNES). The SNES was released in Europe in 1992.

1992 was the year in which Gunpei Yokoi and the rest of R&D 1 began planning on a new virtual reality console to be called the Virtual Boy. Hiroshi Yamauchi also bought shares of the Seattle Mariners in 1992.

In 1993 Nintendo announced plans to develop a new 64-bit console codenamed Project Reality, that would have be capable rendering fully 3D environments and characters. In 1994, Nintendo also claimed that Project Reality would be renamed Ultra 64 in the US. The Ultra 64 moniker was unvieled in arcades on the Nintendo branded fighting game "Killer Instinct" and the racing game "Cruisin' USA". "Killer Instinct" was later released on the SNES. Soon after, Nintendo realised the mistake they had made in choosing a name for their new console that the Konami corporation owned the rights to. Specifically, only Konami would have the rights to release games for the new system called Ultra Football, Ultra Tennis, etc. So, in 1995 Nintendo changed the final name of the system to the Nintendo 64, and announced that it would be released in 1996. They later showed previews of the system and several games, including Super Mario 64, to the media and public.

1995 is also the year that Nintendo purchased part of Rareware, a choice that would prove to be a wise investment.

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Nintendo released the Virtual Boy to much hype and fanfare in 1995. It was, however, a flop.

In the mid-90s Nintendo of America eased up on its stringent policies on blood and violence. After Sega created the Mega CD (Sega CD in North America) add on for its 16-bit machine, Nintendo initially contracted with Sony to develop an addon CD-ROM drive for the SNES, but after Sony announced a standalone version of the drive, Nintendo terminated the contract and went with Philips. Nintendo announced their alliance with Philips at the same conference that Sony announced their CD-ROM drive. Nothing happened about the addon drive in regard to the SNES, but Sony took the time and research and began to spin it off into a new product, the PlayStation.

In 1995 Nintendo released the Virtual Boy in Japan. The console sold poorly, but Nintendo still said they had hope for it and continued to release several other games and attempted a release in the U.S., which was another disaster.

Also in 1995, Nintendo found themselves in a competitive situation. Competitor Sega introduced their 32-bit Saturn, while newcomer Sony introduced the 32-bit PlayStation. Sony's fierce marketing campaigns ensued, and it started to cut into Nintendo and Sega's market share.

1996 – present

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Satoru Iwata is the current president of Nintendo

On June 23rd, 1996, the Nintendo 64 (N64) was released in Japan and was instantly a huge hit, selling over 500,000 units on the first day of its release. On October 1st, 1996, Nintendo released the Nintendo 64 in the USA, and it too was a success.

Nintendo also released the Game Boy Pocket in 1996, which was a smaller version of the original Game Boy. On August 15th, about a week after the release of the Game Boy Pocket, Gunpei Yokoi resigned from his position in Nintendo, at the age of 56.

On August 1st, 1997, the Nintendo 64 was finally released in Europe. Pocket Monsters (known as "Pokmon" in the US and Europe) was also released in Japan in 1997, which was a success. Gunpei Yokoi, former employee of Nintendo, died in a car accident at the age of 57.

Nintendo released their GameCube home video game console on September 14th, 2001, in Japan. It was released in North America on November 18th of 2001.

In 2002, Hiroshi Yamauchi stepped down as the president of Nintendo and named Satoru Iwata his successor.

In late 2004, Nintendo announced plans to release a new brand of handheld, unrelated to the Game Boy — featuring two screens, one of which was touch-sensitive. The Nintendo DS, released on November 21st, received over three million pre-orders. In addition to the touch screen, the DS can also create three-dimensional graphics, capable of somewhat surpassing those of the Nintendo 64, although it does not include hardware support for texture smoothing which results in more pixellated graphics than on the Nintendo 64.

On May 14th, 2005, Nintendo opened up its first retail store in Rockefeller Center in New York City, called Nintendo World. It is two stories tall, and contains many kiosks of Gamecube, Gameboy Advance, and Nintendo DS games. There are also display cases filled with things from Nintendo's past, including Hanafuda playing cards, Nintendo's first product. They celebrated the grand opening with a block party in Rockefeller Plaza.

Consoles

NES

Main articles:

Related article: 8-bit era

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Nintendo introduced the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the United States in the July of 1985 after a successful launch of the Family Computer (Famicom) in Japan on July 15, 1983.

The NES success was probably due to its relatively low price ($150 USD), Regardless of sales, the NES wasn't as technologically advanced as some other consoles on the market, and had blocky and uncomfortable controllers.

Under Minoru Arakawa and Howard Lincoln, the NES is often considered to be the "savior" of the video game industry in North America. Nintendo debuted Super Mario Bros., and later hits such as Metroid and The Legend of Zelda for the NES, helping to boost a market which seriously diminished in the early 1980s (often called "Video game crash of 1983" or "The Great Video Game Crash of the '80s").

Super NES

Main articles:

Nintendo released the Super Famicom in Japan on November 21, 1990. In August 1991, Nintendo released the Super Famicom, under a new name, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), in North America. The North American release of the SNES featured a greatly different outer appearance than that of the Super Famicom, including redesigned controllers and various other cosmetic changes. In 1992, the SNES was released in Europe with the same design as the Super Famicom.

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System followed in the steps of its predecessor, sporting a relatively low price and somewhat high technical specifications for its era. The controller of the SNES had also improved over that of the NES, as it now had rounded edges and several new buttons.

In Japan, the Super Famicom easily took control of the gaming market. Despite a slow start, the SNES in North America eventually overtook its competition, the Sega Genesis, thanks to franchise titles such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Street Fighter 2, and the Final Fantasy series. In the U.S., the Genesis barely outsold the SNES, however total worldwide sales of the SNES were higher than the Genesis.

Nintendo 64

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Main article: Nintendo 64

In September 1996, Nintendo introduced their third console, the Nintendo 64 (N64), which featured vastly improved three dimensional graphics and a new analog stick. Nintendo chose to remain with the cartridge medium, a surprising move, especially considering their competition's choice of emerging CD-ROM storage mediums. This may have affected the amount of games published on the Nintendo 64; CD-ROMs are cheaper to produce than cartridges, meaning cheaper costs for the third party publishers — since Nintendo did not choose to use CD-ROMs, publishers would be more swayed to publish for Sony's PlayStation, which did use CD-ROMs. This was also rumored to be the subject of Squaresoft (now Square Enix) not developing anymore games for Nintendo and starting to release their games for the Sony PlayStation, and then the PlayStation 2.

Nintendo used the code names Project Reality and Ultra 64 prior to the systems actual release, and these names are still used by some people. Nintendo also touted new "innovative" and "groundbreaking" elements of the Nintendo 64 — such as its four controller ports, an analog stick, and a 64-bit processor — although these might not be considered "groundbreaking" as most had been done before.

The first 3D Mario game was introduced on the N64 as Super Mario 64, which has been the archetype for almost all 3D console games to this day. The N64 managed to come out on top over the Saturn and secure a solid #1 spot above the #2 Sony PlayStation.

Other popular games were GoldenEye 007, which ushered in a new era for 1st-person shooting games for home consoles, and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

Nintendo GameCube

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Main article: Nintendo GameCube

The Nintendo GameCube is Nintendo's fourth generation console and their first CD-based console; it was released in Japan on September 14, 2001, the U.S. on November 18, 2001, and in Europe on May 3, 2002. The European launch "boasted" 20 titles at launch, which included Star Wars: Rogue Squadron 2: Rogue Leader, Wave Race: Blue Storm, Luigi's Mansion, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 and International Superstars Soccer 2.

Nintendo continued many of their popular franchises on the system, including Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, Metroid, and Super Smash Bros.. The Nintendo GameCube is also responsible for several new franchises, including Pikmin, Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, the Viewtiful Joe series, and P.N.03. The GameCube also revived the Metroid series with the release of Metroid Prime and its direct sequel, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes; although the games are no longer in the same style as the older Metroid games with the introduction of three dimensional graphics and a first-person shooter style. Nintendo has also bought exclusivity rights for the Resident Evil series and Capcom has released several GameCube-only Resident Evil titles. And the Gamecube saw an old family friend return when in 2004, Square Enix, the home of the flagship Final Fantasy series, released another Final Fantasy spinoff called Crystal Chronicles for the now CD-ROM functional Gamecube.

Despite this, in the console wars, the GameCube is currently in last place in America, the largest video game market, falling behind both Sony's PlayStation 2 and Microsoft's Xbox [1] (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/products/games/2004-11-07-halo_x.htm). However, it is in firm second place in Japan and Europe; and also in the worldwide market.

Nintendo "Revolution"

As with many other console makers in the world, Nintendo is currently developing a new game console codenamed "Revolution". It is not known if this name will be used when the console hits the general market. The console is perhaps Nintendo's sleekest yet, about the size of three DVD cases stacked on top of each other. Thus far, it has been confirmed that NES, SNES, and N64 games will all be downloadable off the internet, but it is unknown whether these games will be free or not. It has been more openly said that there will be a fee, but free games may be offered as a bonus for buying games, winning contests, etc. Nothing is known about what the "Revolutionary" aspect will be, but it is confirmed that the as-of-yet unrevealed controller is what makes this console so different.

Handheld consoles

Game Boy

Main articles/the Nintendo handheld console lineage:

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Introduced in 1989, and continuing strong today, were Nintendo's portable Game Boy systems. With several evolutions, including Pocket, Light, Color, Advance, Advance SP, and Micro versions, the Game Boy is the single most successful, and oldest portable video game platform still in production. The Game Boy has been known for putting over a dozen other portable systems out of business (Including Nintendo's other attempts such as the Virtual Boy). Due to low battery consumption, durability, and a library of over a thousand games, the Game Boy has been on the top of the portable console food chain since its inception and made Nintendo the domineer of the handheld console market.

Slowing sales of the Game Boy were assisted by the introduction of the Pokmon game, which started a phenomenon of top selling video games, movies, merchandise, and TV shows. The Pokmon phenomena helped and continue to help rocket Game Boy sales all around the world.

Nintendo DS

Main article: Nintendo DS

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Nintendo released their Nintendo DS (Dual Screen or Developer's System) handheld game console first in the United States on November 21, 2004, and then in Japan on December 2, 2004. In the U.S., shipments of the DS reached 500,000 within the first week, and in Japan, the figures were even more impressive, reaching the same figure within four days of its launch.

The Nintendo DS features two frontlit LCD screens, the bottom of which is touch sensitive, which can create a unique style of gameplay (see Yoshi Touch and Go). It also features a built in microphone and the ability to connect up to 16 Nintendo DS systems together wirelessly via Wi-Fi for multiplayer gaming. It can also play software designed originally for the Gameboy Advance, but without multiplayer abilities as the Nintendo DS lacks a wired extension port.

Nintendo has officially stated that the DS in the name can stand for two different things; Developer's System to their developers, or Dual Screen to their consumers. The most popular usage is Dual Screen.

At the Game Developers Conference, Nintendo announced that they would be launching an online service fo the Nintendo DS, allowing multiplayer gaming over the Internet. The first online compatible games will be newer renditions of Animal Crossing and Mario Kart.

Hardware

  • Game & Watch
  • Nintendo Family Computer (Famicom for short) – 8-bit Japanese console.
    • Famicom Disk System (Japan only) – A large number of stores in Japan had "Disk Writers" with games stored in them that could be downloaded to a non-standard floppy disk for 500. Very popular in Japan, killed due to advancing technology that rendered the disks obsolete, and later, rampant piracy of said disks.
  • Nintendo Entertainment System (NES for short) – North American and European console version of the Famicom. It was responsible for reviving the North American video game industry.
  • Game Boy – Portable black and white handheld system. The best-selling videogame system of all time.
  • Super Famicom – 16-bit Japanese console.
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES or Super NES for short) – North American and European console version of the Super Famicom.
  • Super Game Boy – Adapter for playing Game Boy games on the Super NES.
  • Virtual Boy – The Virtual Boy used a red monochrome 3D virtual reality like system. Fewer than two dozen games were released for it in the United States.
  • Game Boy Color – A version of the Game Boy with a simple colored screen.
  • Nintendo 64 – Originally the Ultra 64, this system saw Nintendo fully embrace 3D game worlds. It was also the last home console that was cartridge-based.
    • 64DD – Only released in Japan, this add-on system's games are on re-writeable magnetic disks. Games released include a paint and 3D construction package, F-Zero X Expansion Kit, for creating new F-Zero X tracks and a few others. A complete commercial failure, many speculated that Nintendo released it only to save face after promoting it pre-emptively for years.
  • Game Boy Advance – The new, more advanced version of the Game Boy, vaguely comparable to the SNES in processing power.
  • Nintendo GameCube – Nintendo's current mini disk system; uses a proprietary 1.5 GB DVD-based medium.
  • Triforce – An arcade system based on Nintendo GameCube hardware, developed in partnership with Sega and Namco.
  • Game Boy Advance SP – a fold-up version of the Game Boy Advance with a frontlit screen.
  • Game Boy Player – An adapter for playing Game Boy games on the GameCube.
  • Nintendo DS – Dual-screen (the bottom screen is touch-sensitive) portable game console.
  • iQue – a version of the Nintendo 64, with double the clock speed and downloadable games, released only in the Chinese market.
  • Project Revolution (code name) – Nintendo plans to release its next video game console in early 2006.
  • Game Boy Micro – announced at E3 2005, 4" by 2" by 0.7" version of the Game Boy Advance, coming fall 2005.

Policies

Emulation

Nintendo is known for a "no tolerance" stance against emulation of its video games and consoles. It claims that mask work copyright protects its games from the exceptions that United States copyright law otherwise provides for backing up software legally. Until mid-2002, the company also claimed that emulators running on personal computers have no use other than to play pirated video games, contested by some who say these emulators have been used to develop and test independently produced "homebrew" software on Nintendo's platforms.

The revival of the NES and SNES through emulation has gradually settled down, and NES and SNES ROMs are actually getting easier to find. A common justification pirates try to make is that they believe [the pirated games] will never see the light of day again and because the titles are no longer on sale, no damage is done to the company. However, Nintendo's opposition remains, due largely to its tendency to re-release old games within new ones, as with Animal Crossing, Metroid Prime, and The Legend of Zelda Collector's Edition, as well as with the re-release of many older games for the Game Boy Advance Classic NES Series. The enhanced remake idea sometimes curbs the need for emulation of NES quality games on the Nintendo GameCube. Recently Nintendo has announced that their upcoming Nintendo Revolution console will be backwards compatible, allowing users to play Gamecube games by inserting the game discs. The system will also allow for the downloading of NES, SNES and N64 games onto the console over the Internet, with them being playable on the console which may actualy be achieved through emulation. With this new feature, coined the "virtual console" by the company's president, Nintendo may be able to reduce the rampant illegal ROM downloading and open up a new revenue stream.

Censorship

For many years, Nintendo of America had a policy of strict censorship for video games published on its systems. In 1994, when the ESRB video game ratings system was introduced, Nintendo chose to abolish most of these policies in favor of gamers making their own choices about the content of the games they played. When this policy was still in effect, religious symbols, appearance of excessive blood or gore, nudity, sexuality, or smoking was all removed from licensed games. This zero tolerance policy was praised and championed by U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, but some others criticized the policy, stating that gamers should be allowed to choose the content they wanted to see. In 1994, Nintendo lessened its censorship practices due to the introduction of the ESRB game ratings system. Today, changes to the content of games is done primarily by the developer of the game. Nintendo has since allowed several mature-content games to be published on its systems, such as Perfect Dark, Conker's Bad Fur Day, BMX XXX, Resident Evil 4 and Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem, which are all prime examples of Nintendo lessening their practices. These types of games still need to contain an "M" (for mature) rating to be acceptable, but that is no different from Sony's and Microsoft's policy.

One known side effect of this policy was when the Sega Genesis version of Mortal Kombat sold over double the number of the Nintendo's Super NES version, mainly due to the fact that Nintendo had forced Acclaim to recolor the blood to look like sweat and replace some of the more gory attacks in their release of the game, unlike Sega which allowed the selling points of blood and gore to remain in the Genesis version.

Public Relations

For years and to today, Nintendo has been regarded as a secretive company by the press. Rarely does Nintendo confirm, or deny rumors. Nintendo is known as one of the top companies for customer service, however.

In this vein, Nintendo is known as the rulers of unveiling things at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E) in Los Angeles every year. The Nintendo DS was first revealed here, and many online sources rely on E3 to come around for Nintendo to launch news about new systems. At the moment, it is of particular anticipation due to the Nintendo Revolution.

Nintendo of America uses an outside firm, Golin Harris, to handle much of its public relations. Beth Llewelyn is the in-house senior director of public relations at Nintendo of America. Tom Harlin is Nintendo of America's manager of public relations. Nintendo of Europe also uses an outside firm, Cake Media, to handle much of its public relations.

People

Notable software and franchises

Related article: Franchises established on Nintendo systems

First-party and second-party divisions

Arcade games released by Nintendo

See also

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References

  • Nintendo (http://www.nintendo.com/corp/history.jsp). Retrieved Feb. 9, 2005.
  • N-Sider (http://n-sider.com/articleview.php?articleid=45). Retrieved Feb.10, 2005.
  • Anthony, JC. N-Sider 2 (http://n-sider.com/articleview.php?articleid=273&page=2). Retrieved Feb.10, 2005.
  • Liedhold, Marcus & Liedholm, Mattias. Nintendo Land (http://nintendoland.com/home2.htm?history/index.htm). Retrieved Feb. 9, 2005.
  • Forbes (http://www.forbes.com/finance/mktguideapps/compinfo/ForeignCompanyTearsheet.jhtml?cusip=6639550). Retrieved Feb. 9, 2005.
  • Yahoo! Finance details for Nintendo Co, Ltd. (http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/41/41877.html) Retrieved Feb. 9, 2005.
  • Yahoo! Finance details for Nintendo of America (http://biz.yahoo.com/ic/43/43619.html). Retrieved Feb. 9, 2005.
  • Casamassina, Matt. N-Sider (http://www.n-sider.com/articleview.php?articleid=344&page=3). Retrieved Mar. 18, 2005.
  • McCullough, J.J.. Filibuster Cartoons (http://www.filibustercartoons.com/Nintendo.php). Retrieved Feb. 9, 2005.
  • Nintendo copyrights (http://www.nintendo.com/corp/legal.jsp). Retrieved Feb. 9, 2005.

External links

Official sites

Unofficial sites

Articles

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