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Nintendo Company Ltd. (任天堂株式会社, Nintendō Kabushiki gaisha, lit. Nintendo Stock Company) is a global company located in Kyoto, Japan. Founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, Nintendo's original business was producing handmade Hanafuda cards. By 1963, the company had tried several small niche businesses, such as a cab company and a love hotel. Eventually, Nintendo developed into a video game company, becoming one of the most influential in the industry and Japan's third most valuable listed company, with a market value of over US$85 billion. In 2007, Nintendo ranked eighth on the list of largest software companies in the world. The Mario Franchise is their top grossing, selling 262 million copies worldwide as of March 2011, and Mario is the company's mascot.
Besides video games, Nintendo is also the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners, a Major League Baseball team in Seattle, Washington. According to Nintendo's Touch! Generations website, the name "Nintendo" translated from Japanese to English means "Leave luck to Heaven". As of October 2, 2008, Nintendo has sold over 470 million hardware units and 2.7 billion software units. In that same month, the company's Canadian division, Nintendo of Canada Ltd., was named one of BC's Top Employers by Mediacorp Canada Inc., which was announced by The Vancouver Sun, The Province and the Victoria Times-Colonist.
Video game consoles
This section requires expansion or a link to another article.
Nintendo has produced several home and portable Video game consoles since 1977. Home consoles include the Color TV Game (1977), Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom (NES, 1983), Super Nintendo Entertainment System/Super Famicom (SNES, 1990), Nintendo 64 (N64, 1996), Nintendo GameCube (GCN, 2001), Wii (2006), and WiiU (2012). Portable consoles include the Game & Watch line (1980), Game Boy line (1989), Virtual Boy (1995), Nintendo DS (2004), Nintendo DSi (2009), and Nintendo 3DS (2011).
As a card company (1889–1956)
Nintendo was founded as a Japanese business by Fusajiro Yamauchi in late 1889, originally named "Nintendo Koppai". Based in Kyoto, Japan, the business produced and marketed a playing card game called Hanafuda. The handmade cards soon became popular, and Yamauchi hired assistants to mass produce cards to satisfy demand.