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“Wii think you suck!!”
Nintendo Co., Ltd. (任天堂株式会社 Nintendō Kabushiki Gaisha) is a Japanese corporation best known for pumping out classic video games, revolutionizing the gaming industry, and whoring Mario and Zelda. Founded in 1889 by Japanese entrepreneur Fusajiro Yamauchi, they originally made trading cards for little Japanese kids called Poketto Monsutā to compete with American baseball cards. By 1963, they had experimented with other business ventures, such as the Nintendo Cab Company and the ill-fated Nintendo Love Hotel.
By the 1970's, Nintendo had developed into a video gaming corporation, becoming Japan's 3rd most influential company, and propelling the video game industry to the top of the Japanese economy, after the anime and hentai industries of course. It is also one of the most valuable, with a net value of 85,000,000,000 yen (approximately $82.46 USD), and some might even say they have become somewhat famous worldwide.
Card Company (1889-1948)
Nintendo's humble origins can be traced all the way back to the year 1889. Fusajiro Yamauchi was the special assistant to the Emperor of Japan in the area of entertainment. With a civil war looming on the horizon, the Emperor in all of his greatness and majesty called upon Yamauchison to create a distraction that would keep the people's minds off of rebelling against the Emperor and on more trivial matters. Thus Yamauchi and the Emperor founded the Nintendo Playing Card Company Limited. Their first product was intended as a double whammy: Pokemon cards would be a "more better" competitor to American baseball cards, as well as something to distract the people of Japan from all of the abuses the Emperor was committing against them. As Japan continued on its meteoric and glorious rise to prominence in the world, Pokemon continued to help Nintendo grow as a company as well. It was said that when the Treaty of Portsmouth was signed, the Japanese gave the Russians a starter deck of Pokemon cards as a symbol of good-will following the Russo-Japanese War of 1905.
For a few years in the 1950s Nintendo created an entire product line of fire-breathing monster films, wind-up toys, memorabilia, clothing, and monster-themed nightclubs. Their signature symbol, a 200-foot tall lizardly looking creature named Godzilla, symbolized the accidental destruction of honorable Japanese property a decade earlier by oh so bad dishonorable unknown forces which came from the sea. Or from over the sea. Something to do with water, which is where Godzilla was supposedly "born" in the Nintendo story break-out. The franchise carried Nintendo for several years, until competitors began to put up their own lines of giant insects, huge birds, and African big cats. The Godzilla monopoly collapsed, but Nintendo had squirreled away enough profit to fund their next venture.
New Ventures (1956-1975)
In 1956, the CEO of Nintendo, Hiroshi Yamauchi, went to America to get inspiration for new business ideas. First, he went to the United States Playing Card Company, the largest card manufacturer in the country, where he realized that simply making only Pokemon cards severely limited Nintendo's business opportunities. With this in mind, he got Disney to give him access to their characters, which he used generously to help boost sales. Unfortunately, Disney and Pokemon were two great tastes that didn't taste great together. Trying to force feed the world's youth pictures of Donald Duck bowing to the Emperor of Japan and Mickey Mouse training Minnie in the ways of the Geisha just frightened the children instead of enchanting them. Always a man to look forward (just ask his creditors, who nicknamed him "On the lam Yam") Yamauchi renamed Nintendo Playing Card Limited to Nintendo Company, UnLimited to symbolize their willingness to try anything at least once. It was also at this time that Nintendo dusted off the playbook and started to create arcade video games.
Electronic Era (1975-)
By 1975, Nintendo started developing what they are best known for now; video games. No one is quite sure what the first arcade game Nintendo developed was, nor how it was played, but what is certain is that it sucked. We know this because no one remembers it. Nintendo also started developing its Color TV Game consoles at this time, along with a line of simple games, like tennis. All of these of course are unimportant and forgettable. Also during this time, they hired Shigeru Miyamoto, who would later take over the company. His rise to prominence was most evident with his creation of the Donkey Kong arcade game, which features such recognizable characters as Mario, Donkey Kong, Princess Peach, and Barrel Two (who would latter be incorporated as part of the sidewall of one of the racetracks in F-Zero).
In 1980, they released the Game & Watch handheld series, the world's first handheld gaming system. The series was very successful worldwide, despite the "shitty graphics" that it boasted.
Aside from early computer games, they made other useful devices like love testers. Love testers were developed to help Japanese teenagers see if they really "like-liked" each other or not. The process was all very technical, but it involved something to do with pairing one up with an attractive anime character, and then seeing if their partner got offended when they got a hard-on for said anime character.
The real successes started to pour in for Nintendo with the development of their Nintendo Entertainment System, affectionately known as the NES to video game nerds. This system is considered the platform that propelled video gaming to the esteemed place it holds in our society today. When the NES first came on the market, kids who refused to play baseball in real life and instead played it on their TV were mercilessly beaten and taunted in school. Nowadays kids who are fit and play baseball outside are the outcasts, all thanks to Nintendo.
Modern Games and Consoles
Since the 1980's, Nintendo has been a leading developer and trendsetter in the video game industry. After kids became tired of the 8 bit graphics of the NES, Nintendo released what was essentially a 16 bit version of the NES, known by the very creative name of Super NES. This console kicked the ass of the Sega Genesis and set the standard for the next few years.
The first Nintendo console with the power to support 3-D graphics, the 64-bit machine boasted many classics such as Super Mario 64 and Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. It sold millions of units, and became instantly successful among the 90's generation of gamers. Unfortunately, also at this time, corporate giant Square-Enix abandoned Nintendo for Sony's Playstation, which boasted better graphics and CD technology, to which Shigeru Miyamoto responded,
|I'm going to fucking bury that guy. I have done it before, and I will do it again. I am going to fucking kill Sony.|
He later apologized for this controversial quote, and for that week Nintendo's sales reached a record low 4.2 million consoles, but the attention was quickly drawn away when Nintendo released a filler Mario game under the slogan, "Hey, look! Another Mario game!" which naturally made up for everything.
My God, the realism! Golf with Tiger Woods, "bowl" with Paris Hilton, interrupt Taylor Swift's acceptance speeches, all with just a movement of your wrist as calorie-burning as if you were giving a passing motorist directions to the "next street over". Nintendo gave its fans the biggest rush of their lives when it pawned off Wii as "the next big thing" and they believed, yes, they believed, praise the Emperor, for a few shining moments. Until they took it out of the box and actually played it. Their enthusiastic shouts of "YAY, plug it in" turned into cries of "Hey, WTF, that's it? That's all it is?" less than a minute after firing-up Wii for the first, and for many only, time. The dishonorable prospect of flicking ones wrist slightly for hours on end did not appeal to the honorable youths of Japan.
The future of Nintendo
Many futuristic games and add-on features are in the works over at the Nintendo building, down the block from the Emperor's palace (Nintendo's workers often see his wife, the honorable hot Empress, walk by, and it is her who whistles at them!). From documents smuggled out in the empty samurai sword-holders of the workers, it is obvious that Nintendo plans to blow the competition away (one game, a full-size tennis court where you can actually run on gravel and flirt with the simulated ballgirls and ballboys as you flick your wrists two-inches, is actually called "Blow the Competition Away").
Another product near completion is a deluxe portable silicon-based dog which pees, attacks strangers, licks your balls, and humps the legs of worthy Japanese citizens. The dog is programmed to chase squirrels all the way up a tree and into their little nests before tearing them apart. Fun for the whole family! Then there is the building which catches on fire for your entertainment. In this one, your character (either the honorable fireman or the dashing hero/heroine) must rush through the falling rafters, melting steel, and arsonists attempting to either stop you or push you into the flames, in order to rescue a baby and a princess. To fill you in on the funny secret: When you get to the end you are given a choice of saving either the baby or the princess, but not both! Results on test-subjects show that the end-choice is strangely determined by the sex of the user.
These and other games, all designed to delight the senses and fill the corporate coffers of the best multinational corporation, will surely drag us into the strange new world of the future in no time at all. Put on your seat belts and prepare to fly along with the rising dreams of Nintendo, your gateway to the stars (stars accessible by flicking your wrists a little bit).