Nintendo is one of the oldest companies in Japan. The mid 1960's Nintendo started looking for opportunities in the growing toy market in Japan, and entered the business with some popular toys of its time such as the "Ultra Hand", the "Ultra Machine" and "Love Tester".
In the early 1970s, Nintendo began focusing on opportunities where the entire family could be involved in the entertainment process. It came out with a fairly successful "Laser Clay Shooting System" that defined the future course of action for the company in the "family games" business.
In 1974, Nintendo formally entered the era of Electronics games, with exclusive distribution rights of "Magnavox Odyssey" home video game for the Japanese market.
By 1977, Nintendo was already manufacturing its own "Color TV Games" systems that were catching on hugely in popularity among the users.
In 1978, Nintendo entered the Video "Arcade Games" business, with the launch of "Computer Othello". Several new titles followed the success of "Computer Othello".
In 1980, Nintendo introduced a hand-held video game series by the name of "Game and Watch", and this met with an amazing global success for the company.
1981 became another landmark year in the history of Nintendo, as it saw the launch of the immensely popular game "Donkey Kong" that went on to change the fortunes and the vision of Nintendo towards the gaming industry forever.
1983 saw the entry of Nintendo's "Family Computer" video game console in the Japanese market (popularly called the "Famicom"), and met with great success.
By 1985, Nintendo was ready with the improvised version of "Famicom" and launched it before the world by the name of "Nintendo Entertainment System" (NES). The launch was accompanied by an amazing game called "Super Mario Brothers", which went on to become one of the largest-selling games in the history of the gaming industry.
The NES evolved into "Super NES" and then further advanced into a new model called the "Nintendo 64" that revolutionized the gaming market further with its stunning 3D graphic capabilities.
It was followed by the "Nintendo GameCube" that used optical discs as a storage medium for the first time.
Towards the end of 2006, Nintendo introduced the GameCube's successor with the name of "Nintendo Wii" that offers great multi-player usage with its seamless online capabilities.
On the other side, Nintendo continued to evolve its hand-held gaming products as well, with the immensely popular Game Boy, the Super Game Boy, the Game Boy Advance SP, and finally evolving as "Nintendo DS" in 2004 that uses two LCD screens.
2005 also saw the launch of "Game Boy Micro", but it was the Nintendo DS that continued to control the main market share for Nintendo in the hand-held games business.
In 2006, a slimmer version of DS, known as "DS Lite" was launched with sharper screen images and an improved design.
And as recently as 2008, Nintendo has announced the launch of Nintendo DSi, that is an advanced version of the DS with sharper screen image, larger screen size, improved sound, and superior browsing capabilities. Currently it is available only in Japan, and will be introduced to the world market around the first quarter of 2009.
SUMMARY: From very humble beginnings in the toy industry, in the last four decades Nintendo has evolved into a gaming industry leader with some of the largest-selling home and portable video game consoles in the history of video gaming.