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    Sep 24, 2018

    Nintendo Is A Lot Older Than You Think — 129 To Be Exact

    Nintendo turned 129 — yes, *one hundred twenty nine* — this past weekend.

    Unless you've been living under a rock for the last 40 years, chances are you've heard of Nintendo. Hell, if you only loosely follow American politics, you probably heard it referenced just last week.

    Nintendo

    Well guess what? The company that brought us Mario and Luigi celebrated its birthday on September 23rd and, uh, IT'S PRETTY DARN OLD!

    Wikimedia Creative Commons / Via commons.wikimedia.org

    But let's back up a little.

    Nintendo *as we know it today* burst onto the scene in 1983 with the console that would change the video game industry forever: the Nintendo Entertainment System, or the NES (the best-selling console of its era).

    Creative Commons / Via en.wikipedia.org

    Then, in 1985 — the very same year the NES made its debut in the United States — Super Mario Bros. was released.

    Nintendo

    The rest, as they say, is history. Nintendo went on to become, and continues to be, one of the most recognizable and beloved brands in the video game industry.

    Nintendo

    So it's only natural that when you think of Nintendo, you think of video games.

    But would you believe me if I told you Nintendo was founded almost four decades before the invention of the television?

    Nintendo

    According to David Sheff's Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World, a young entrepreneur named Fusajiro Yamauchi opened up a card shop in Kyoto, Japan, in 1889, where he hand-made and sold hanafuda cards — a popular Japanese card game. The name of that shop? You guessed it: Nintendo Koppai.

    Creative Commons

    The book also claims that the name of the company, broken down into "nin-ten-do," roughly translates to “Leave luck to heaven,” though this claim has been disputed.

    So to make a very long story short:

    Nintendo began as a card shop and went on to become a successful card company...

    Public Domain / Via en.wikipedia.org

    ...tried its hand at "love hotels," which rented rooms by the hour, and a taxi service...

    Nintendo

    ...they briefly manufactured toys...

    gsxrsquirrel / Via ebay.com

    ...then revolutionized the video game industry...

    John T. Barr / AFP / Getty Images

    ...and ultimately gifted us Waluigi.

    Nintendo

    So happy (belated) 129th birthday, Nintendo!

    Thank you for your time and enjoy the rest of your day.

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