This article is about the Japanese company. For the console sometimes colloquially referred to as a Nintendo, see Nintendo Entertainment System. For the development team, see Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development.
Nintendo logo (2016-present): On May 11, 2016, several months after when Tatsumi Kimishima took the company helm, Nintendo's logo was changed to white-on-red. The gray logo, however, continues to be officially used as its corporate image.
Founded September 23, 1889
First Super Mario game Donkey Kong (1981)
Latest Super Mario game Super Mario RPG (Nintendo Switch) (2023)
Current president Shuntaro Furukawa

Nintendo is a video game company with its origins in Japan. Nintendo is the creator of many popular franchises, including the Super Mario franchise, and the company's mascot is Mario himself.


The company's signature red logo from 1975 to 2006 (top) and gray logo from 2006 to 2015 (bottom). The gray logo is still used in corporate pages.
Regions where Nintendo's products are available

Nintendo was originally founded in Kyoto, Japan on September 23, 1889, to produce handmade hanafuda cards for use in Japanese card games. Hiroshi Yamauchi, the company's third president, began diversifying Nintendo's ventures. Nintendo entered the arcade industry in 1973 and the home console industry in 1977, simultaneously hiring Shigeru Miyamoto as a product designer. In 1978, Nintendo began making arcade video games, licensing titles to other companies for distribution outside Japan. In 1980, Nintendo established a North American division headed by Minoru Arakawa, and the first game that would be distributed by the American division would be Radar Scope. The game did not sell well in the United States, and a number of unsold cabinets remained in warehouses.

Arakawa asked Yamauchi if a new game could be developed and inserted into the unsold Radar Scope cabinets.[1] Yamauchi went through Nintendo's entire talent pool to see who could head the designing of a potential Radar Scope replacement, and the result was Miyamoto designing Donkey Kong. When Donkey Kong was released in 1981, it became a bestseller and marked the introduction of Mario. In 1983, Nintendo introduced the Family Computer, distributing it abroad as the Nintendo Entertainment System two years later. Its success in Japan and North America resulted in Nintendo becoming a dominant player in the video game industry and the revival of the industry in North America, which had been negatively affected by a crash in 1983. The most successful game for the NES, Super Mario Bros., further cemented Nintendo's dominance in the industry. The Super Mario franchise has since become Nintendo's flagship franchise and one of the most well-known brands to originate from video games.

Appearances in the Super Mario universe

The Nintendo logo appearing on Diddy Kong's cap and on the walls at Nintendo GameCube in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!

Home consoles

A variety of Nintendo consoles and handhelds

Attachments and remodels

These consoles may have different names in different markets. The NES is known as Famicom in Japan; the SNES, subsequently as Super Famicom. In China, the Nintendo 64 was released under the name iQue Player.

1 - Although the Nintendo Switch can also function as a handheld console, it is primarily marketed as a home console by Nintendo.

Handheld consoles


Releases of these consoles in China usually replace "Nintendo" in the name with "iQue." Examples are the iQue DS and the iQue 3DS XL.


See also

Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 任天堂
任天堂 is the formal name of the company; in hiragana it is written as にんてんどう, two kanas or moras per kanji. Each of the kanji that make up its formal name mean the following:
  • 任 (nin) means "responsibility", "work", or "obligation".
  • 天 (ten) means "sky".
  • 堂 () meaning "stately", "bless", or "sanctuary".
    • 天堂 (tendō) means "heaven".

ニンテンドー is a rough katakana form is used for the Japanese names of some consoles.
ニンテンドウ is another rough katakana form, written with the kana "u" (ウ) instead of the chōonpu character (ー). This name is only seen in Super Smash Bros.'s Japanese name.

This name comes from the Japanese saying 「運を天に任せる」(un o ten ni makaseru), meaning "To leave one's luck to heaven."

Chinese 任天堂
Finnish Nintendon (Captain N: The Game Master)
Greek Νιντέντο
Hebrew נינטנדו
Korean 닌텐도
Russian Нинтендо

External links