Happy 130th Birthday Nintendo. We Might Need More Candles!

nintendo 130th birthday

On 23 September 1889 Nintendo, Japan’s video game behemoth, started doing business. Today that means the company that’s been busy reviving Link is 130 years old.

While we start baking a bigger cake, you might have guessed that Nintendo hasn’t always been in the business of video games. The Japanese platform giant didn’t launch the Nintendo Entertainment System until relatively recently. In 1983, the NES hit store shelves with a sleek design, great graphics, and a roster of high-quality games. For the era, it was an incredible piece of design, appealing to a burnt-out gaming market. However, it was far from the first thing that the company produced.

Playing Cards, Love Hotels, and Game Characters

Founder Fusajiro Yamauchi began the company, which just released its latest console, to print flower cards. These Hanafuda are a far step away from the collectible Amiibo of the last few years but you’ll still find the company making these simple paper playing cards today. Just check out the Nintendo Japan website if you’re interested.

Over the proceeding years, Nintendo tried out a number of ventures from Love hotels and taxi services, to an instant rice endeavor. Of course, the rise of electronic toys and the eventual invention of Donkey Kong and Mario saw the company hit global stardom and become the Nintendo we know today. With so much gaming history, it’s hard to pick just one highlight, but we know gaming wouldn’t be the same without Nintendo. If you want to find out more about the humble beginnings of this video game giant then check out the Meji 150 project, a website looking back at the era around Nintendo’s birth. We’re really hoping to see some special celebratory events for the big 130, but it seems like Nintendo might still be a bit busy with Link’s Awakening this weekend.


Written by
For those of you who I’ve not met yet, my name is Ed. After an early indoctrination into PC gaming, years adrift on the unwashed internet, running a successful guild, and testing video games, I turned my hand to writing about them. Now, you will find me squawking across a multitude of sites and even getting to play games now and then

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