|Fast facts on Nintendo|
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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. 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.
Hudson Soft was actually the first third-party publisher to support the Famicom with the release of Nuts & Milks on July 28, 1984, paving the way for the likes of Namco, Jaleco and Taito (among others) to support the platform. This ultimately gave the Famicom an advantage over competing platforms such as Sega's SG-1000 and Epoch's Super Cassette Vision, which had no licensing model and relied solely on their first-party output. Around the same time they started supporting the Famicom, Hudson also developed licensed versions of Nintendo's early Famicom games for Japanese home computers, most notably Super Mario Bros. Special, a port of the first Super Mario Bros released for NEC's PC-8800 series and Sharp's X1.
The PC Engine was actually created by the Hudson Soft with the intent of selling the hardware to Nintendo as a successor to the Famicom, as Hudson felt that the Famicom was starting to become too antiquated. However, Nintendo had no interest in developing a new game console at the time and Hudson ultimately sold off the PC Engine to NEC, who launched the console in 1987. This forced Nintendo to develop the Super Famicom, as the PC Engine began to eat away the Famicom's market share. Despite their hand in the creation of the PC Engine (and later the PC-FX), Hudson Soft still supported Nintendo platforms as a third-party publisher.
In later years, many PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 titles were digitally re-released on the Wii, as well as the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, as part of the Virtual Console lineup. Some titles that were only released in Japan at the time (such as Battle Lode Runner and Bomberman '94) ended up having Virtual Console releases outside Japan.
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