An Italian plumber created by a Japanese artist somehow became one of the most recognizable characters on earth. Featured in over 100 games, it’s hard to imagine Nintendo or even video games without this mustachioed man in red.
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Although now known for video games, Nintendo has actually been in the gaming business for more than a century.
"Nintendo was founded as a card company in late 1889...
In 1963, Yamauchi renamed Nintendo Playing Card Co. Ltd. to Nintendo Co., Ltd. The company then began to experiment in other areas of business using newly injected capital. During this period of time between 1963 and 1968, Nintendo set up a taxi company, a love hotel chain, a TV network, a food company (selling instant rice, similar to instant noodles) and several other things. All of these ventures eventually failed, and after the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, playing card sales dropped, and Nintendo's stock price plummeted to ¥60....
In 1966, Nintendo moved into the Japanese toy industry with the Ultra Hand...n 1973, its focus shifted to family entertainment venues with the Laser Clay Shooting System,..Nintendo's first venture into the video-gaming industry was securing rights to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey video game console in Japan in 1974."