|Fast facts on Nintendo|
|Headquarters: Kyoto, Japan|
Nintendo (kanji: 任天堂; kana: ニンテンドー) 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. 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. They were notably Sega's primary rival when they were still in the hardware business.
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 launched their first game console, the Family Computer (or Famicom for short), in Japan on July 15, 1983 -- the same day that Sega launched the SG-1000 -- setting forth a rivalry between the two companies. When Nintendo redesigned the Famicom into the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) for the North American market in 1985, Sega followed suit by launching the Master System (a redesigned version of the Sega Mark III) the following year. Nintendo's subsequent systems (the Super Famicom/Super NES and Nintendo 64) also competed with Sega's own home consoles for market share. After Sega left the hardware business following the discontinuation of the Dreamcast, Sega started supporting Nintendo platforms as a third-party publisher, starting with the Nintendo GameCube and Game Boy Advance.
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