From Sega Retro
Nintendo was originally founded in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi to produce handmade hanafuda cards, for use in a Japanese playing card game of the same name. Over the years, it became a video game company, one of the most powerful in the industry.
Nintendo is the longest running company in the history of the video game console market and historically the most influential and best known console manufacturer. They began in the Japanese market in 1983, the U.S. market in 1985, and the European market in 1986. Over time Nintendo has manufactured six TV consoles — the Famicom/NES, the Super Famicom/Super NES, the Nintendo 64, and the present GameCube, Wii, and Wii U — and many different handheld portables, including six versions of their popular Game Boy, the Game & Watch, the Virtual Boy, the Pokémon Mini, the Nintendo DS, and the Nintendo 3DS. They have also published over 250 games, developing at least 180 of them, and have sold over 2 billion games worldwide. Their flagship mascot is Mario, an Italian plumber/carpenter.