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From cards to cartridges: The history of Nintendo
20 September 2013
Last updated at 16:01
The man behind Nintendo's global success, Hiroshi Yamauchi, has died aged 85. Newsround looks at Nintendo's history and the huge influence it's had on gaming.
We know Nintendo best for its colourful video games, but when Hiroshi Yamauchi took over Nintendo from his grandfather in 1949 the small company was best known for manufacturing playing cards in Japan.
In 1963 the company began manufacturing toys as well. The Ultra Hand let children reach up and grab things they weren't tall enough to reach. The packaging also suggests you can use it to pinch dad's wallet!
Under Mr Yamauchi's leadership the company also started making electronic gadgets. The Nintendo Love Tester from 1969 was a novelty gadget that claimed to reveal whether a couple was truly in love.
In 1977 Nintendo created their first games console for the home. The TV-Game 6 only had one game on it - six versions of a basic tennis game.
In 1980, Nintendo artist Shigeru Miyamoto created the game Donkey Kong to be played in arcades. You may recognise the hero at the bottom left. Back then he was called Jumpman but he was later given a new name: Mario.
Today we take it for granted that we can play games on our smartphones. In 1983 handheld games looked a little more like this! Nintendo's Game&Watch units were revolutionary, but could only play one built-in game.
One of the biggest decisions Mr Yamauchi made was to launch a console - the Nintendo Entertainment System - in the US, despite critics suggesting video games were a fad that had died out. The device went on sale in 1986 and by 1989 a quarter of all toys sold in the US were a Nintendo product.
Super Mario Bros was released for the NES in 1985 and for many years was the best-selling game of all time, until its crown was stolen by another Nintendo game: Wii Sports.
Nintendo's Game Boy was the first portable, handheld game system with interchangeable game cartridges. It was released in 1989 and popularised gaming-on-the-go long before the days of smartphones. By 2000 it had sold over 100 million units.
1996 brought the N64 console and colourful 3D graphics. Mr Yamauchi delayed the launch so that game designer Shigeru Miyamoto could perfect the Mario 64 game. The N64 outsold its rival the Sega Dreamcast by three to one.
Under Mr Yamauchi's leadership Nintendo introduced the world to a cast of unforgettable characters - Pikachu, Link, Mario, Donkey Kong and many more.
The passing of Mr Yamauchi is a sad moment, but an opportunity to reflect on his many achievements and Nintendo's lasting impact on global popular culture.