History of Nintendo
Nintendo have as they planed shipped away six miljon Nintendo 64. 3,4 miljon in USA , 2 miljon in Japan and around 700 000 in Europe. Nintendo allso sold 1 miljon copies of Mario Kart 64 only in six weeks.
1889... Fusajiro founds Nintendo Koppai to sell his Hanafunda cards. This year Fusajiro Yamauchi who lived in Kyoto Japan founded Nintendo Koppai to begin producing and selling the special playing cards called "Hanafunda" (a.k.a. "Daitoryo" and "President") in Kyoto (Fusajiro was the great grandfather of the present Nintendo president). All the cards that Fusajiro produced was tenderly hand made using the bark from the mulberry or mitsu-mata trees. The Hanafunda deck consisted of 48 cards divided in 12 different suits, one for each month of the year. Instead of numbers the cards had different symbols like the wind, a deer, the moon or the chrysanthemum. Different combinations of symbols and suits was worth different many points. The most popular Hanafunda game you could play was a simple matching cards game that could become very complex and was taken very seriously by the players. The cards was sold in Nintendo's own shops in both Kyoto and Osaka but they became most popular in the Kyoto region. In other regions Fusajiro sold other cards with different symbols like swords and mountains. At first the Hanafunda cards was only used as a domestic amusement and Fusajiro didn´t sold any big amounts of the handmade cards but after a while the cards began to be used in gambling and after a while the Yakuza (The Japanese Mafia) began using the Hanafunda cards in their high stake games and since all the professional players wanted to start a new game with a new fresh deck Fusajiro suddenly had problems keeping up with the demands! He had to start training apprentices to massproduce the cards.
1907 Nintendo expands! Fusajiro expands his business and Nintendo becomes the first company to succeed in manufacturing western style playing cards and managing to successfully sell them in Japan. Now Fusajiro needed a better distribution system for his cards so Fusajiro struck a deal with Japan Tobacco & Salt Public Corporation to sell the cards in their stores.
1929 Fusajiro retires and Sekiryo Yamauchi takes over the company. Fusajiro retires and Sekiryo Kaneda which after his marriage with Fusajiro's daughter Tei Yamauchi got the Yamauchi surname took over as the second Nintendo president. By now Nintendo was the largest playing cards company in Japan!
1933 Establishes a joint-venture partnership called Yamauchi Nintendo &Co. Sekiryo Yamauchi established an joint-venture partnership named Yamauchi Nintendo & Co and moved the company's HQ to a new building constructed next door.
1947 A distribution company was established. An distribution company named Marufuku Co. Ltd. was established to distribute Nintendo's new western style cards like the pinochle and poker decks.
1949 Hiroshi Yamauchi takes office as president at Nintendo after his grandfather Sekiryo. Hiroshi Yamauchi (the current president at Nintendo) took office as president instead of his father Shikanojo who ran away when Hiroshi was only 5 years old leaving him and his mother Kimi alone. He knew that he was not welcome by the Nintendo's employees so he started firing all the old managers and many of the old workers to make sure that there were no one to question his authority!
1951 Name change to Nintendo Playing Cards Co. Ltd. Hiroshi changed the distribution company's name to Nintendo Playing Cards Co. Ltd. (or Nintendo Karuta Co. Ltd in Japan)
1952 Hiroshi modernized Nintendo and moved the HQ! Hiroshi moved the Nintendo HQ to a newer building on the Takamatsu-cho street and consolidated the production plants in Kyoto to make the card producing process more efficient.
1953 Modernizing the card making process. Nintendo began using plastic-coated cards.
1959 Hiroshi strikes deal with Disney! Hiroshi strikes an a deal with Disney to let Nintendo produce playing cards featuring Disney's characters. With the aid of successful TV ads and a good distribution system through many big toy and department stores around Japan these cards sold in no less than 600.000 packs that same year.
1962 Nintendo lists stock at the Osaka and the Kyoto Stock Exchange In January, Nintendo listed stock on the second section of the Osaka Stock Exchange and on the Kyoto Stock Exchange.
1963(-68) Name change to Nintendo Co. Ltd and starts to produce various products. This year they changed the company name to what it is today, Nintendo Co. Ltd. and started to manufacturing games and toys instead of playing cards. New products were produced. For example a portioned instant rice which sadly became a failure. After that Hiroshi opened a "love hotel" with room rented by the hour. Fact is that Hiroshi himself was a big costumer at this love hotel although that he was a married man (His wife knew about his visits but she ignored it)! Another of Hiroshi's projects was "Daiya" a taxi company which was going well but after having to negotiate with far to powerful taxi driver unions wanting higher salaries etc he closed this business and later he also closed the love hotel also.
1965 Gunpei Yokoi joined Nintendo.
Gunpei Yokoi's Light Gun toy. Nintendo begins producing toys and later arcade machines. Later they strikes deal with Mitsubishi Electrics to sell their Color TV Game 6 and later Color TV Game 15 in Japan. Shigeru Miyamoto is employed and comes up with Nintendo's first real smash hit Donkey Kong. Nintendo begins developing their new Famicom...
1969 Nintendo expands and a new Games department is founded Nintendo's first game department was established named simply "Games" and was Nintendo's first research and development department and the office was set in a newly built a production plant in Uji City (a suburb of Kyoto).
1970 Gunpei makes the "Ultrahand" Nintendo´s stocks were changed to the first section of the Osaka Stock Exchange and Nintendo started selling a series of toys named Beam Guns. New employee Gunpei Yokoi was told to "do something good" for the Christmas shoping and the next day he introduced and expansion arm toy named The Ultrahand that sold in 1.2 million copies. This year Nintendo also introduced electric technology into the japanese toy industry.
1971-72 Gunpei and Masayuki makes more great toys! After the success of the Ultrahand Gunpei created more great toys such as the baseball-throwing machine for the homes called The Ultra Machine, and the little periscope called the Ultra Scope. The next invention from Gunpei was a "lovetester" that actually became a big hit in Japan. It involved a girl and a boy holding each others hands and with their free hands holding the two handles inside the machine. The machine then tested how much "love" that was flowing between them (actually the machine only read the current passing through the two, it had nothing to do with any love or emotions)!
After the success of the love tester Gunpei Yokoi hired Masayuki Uemura from Sharp and they began developing the Nintendo Beam Gun games using the solar cells from Sharp. They began experimenting with small solar cells to be used as sensors to detect light coming from, for example a light gun. They began planning on a cheap light gun that could be sold on the consumer market. At last the Nintendo Beam Gun games consisting of a light gun and some targets (with solar cells mounted on them) were out on the market and sold in over 1 million copies. (It was sold for between 4,000 and 5,000 yen)
Now Nintendo needed to expand to keep up with the demands so Hiroshi bought up some of the buildings next to their present HQ. When the new HQ had been built the old HQ was retained as the Hanafunda factory (The Hanafunda production was kept alive mostly for the nostalgia's sake, Nintendo hardly sold any Hanafunda cards at all). The new building was a bigger more modern building with higher security.
1973 The Laser Clay Shooting System rocks Japan! Yokoi suggested to Hiroshi Yamauchi that the technique used in the Beam Gun Games could be used in other ways. Then Yokoi who had bought a rifle walked to a skeet shooting range (skeet shooting was a very popular sport in Japan at the time). He returned and told yamauchi that the light gun system used in the Beam Gun Games could be used to simulate shooting clay pigeons. Yamauchi heard what Yokoi had to say and after thinking a little he came up with a brilliant commercial application for Yokoi's idea. In the 1960s Bowling had been a popular sport in Japan but nowadays many bowling alleys just stood unused and empty. Yamauchi thought that instead they could use these bowling alleys as electronical shooting ranges with simulated clay pigeons. Solar cells could detect when it was a hit or not. Viola! The Laser Clay Shooting System! Yokoi and Masayuki Uemura who was working on the project had some technical problems though but got help from Genyo Takeda, a new employee who had answered one of Nintendo's newspaper ads for new toy designers. One funny thing was that when Nintendo was opening the first of their many Laser Clay shooting ranges, with the press and TV crews on the scene the whole system malfunctioned! An smart manouver from new employee Takeda saved Nintendo this time: Before anyone suspected anything Takeda hided behind the box controling the pigeons and the score. From there he could trigger of the pigeons and change the score manually! To the audience it seamed as the system was running smoothly without the slightest problem! The Laser Clay Shooting System became the new major evening entertainment in the most cities of Japan!
1974 The "Wild Gunman" becomes Nintendo's big export product! A new variations on the Laser Clay shooting concept was introduced. The Wild Gunman consisted of an image projection system using 16 mm film, showing gunmen appearing in an alley and the player had to shoot them before they shot back! These system was exported to Europe and USA.The effects of Japan's oil shortage that accured in 73 began showing: Japan's economy went into a tailspin and people couldn't afford using their money on Nintendo's Shooting Ranges anymore. Yamauchi now became more and more desperate to find a new breakthrough product.
1975 Yamuchi has a dinner that would change Nintendo's whole future! One day Yamauchi had a dinner with an old boyhood friend who was an executive at one of Japan's largest electronics congolomerates. They discussed the technological breakthrough that had been made with microprocessors and how these could be used in computers and entertainment products etc. After that dinner Yamauchi started to do some research about the progress that had been made in America in that area. Over there companies like Atari & Magnavox sold devices that you connected to your TV and allowed you to play simpler games.
Yamauchi negotiated a license to manufacture and sell Magnavox's video game system called Oddysey (I'm not completely sure about the name though) in Japan. This machine that Nintendo started selling played different types of the hugely popular (In America) game "Pong" and by butting different plastic overlays over the screen the ball in the game could become e.g.. a football or a tennis ball. At this time Nintendo didn't have the machines or knowledge to develop the microprocessors used in Magnavox's video game system themselves so Masayuki Uemura suggested to Hiroshi that Nintendo would alliance with a electronics company. This lead to that Nintendo teamed up with Mitsubishi Electrics. Nintendo and Mitsubishi also started to develop a new videogame system using a video recording player (The Color TV Game 6, released in 1977).
1977 Nintendo enters the video game industry and Shigeru Miyamoto starts working at Nintendo! Nintendo enters the videogame industry when they together with Mitsubishi Electrics releases their first videogame machine, the Color TV Game 6 in Japan. The system was designed to play 6 different versions of light tennis. The system sold in million copies. Shigeru Miyamoto started working at Nintendo as a games designer creating artwork for arcade games.
1978-79 The Color TV Game 15 is released. The Color Tv Game 6 system was followed by the more advanced Color TV Game 15 which also sold in 1 million. Later Nintendo's engineers came up with two more systems. One that played a rather complex game called Blockbuster and one that played some sort of a racing game. Together these two machines sold in about 1 million copies.
The electronic calculator market boomed due to the many brands and types available. The calculators just became cheaper and cheaper and also smaller and smaller. The progress in the calculator industry gave Gunpei Yokoi an new idea. He sought a way to make something small, thin and light but at the same time FUN! Nintendo used components produced by the company Sharp to create these new small games that would be referred to as Game & Watch (released in 1980).
1980 Nintendo starts selling Gunpei´s Game & Watch games, produces their first arcade games and Donkey Kong is finished! Nintendo announced a wholly owned subsidiary: Nintendo of America Inc. in New York. This year they also started selling Gunpei Yokoi´s latest creation the Game&Watch series (a series of hand held LCD games with both a games and a clock with alarm) in the "whole" world. In many Asian cities other companies developed Game & Watch without Nintendo's permission and that way Nintendo lost many millions, but in other parts of the world (like Europe and USA) Nintendo made lots of millions on their Game & Watch -games. In between 82 and 83 the Game &Watch games sold in 1,6 million copies in Scandinavia alone!
Yamauchi wanted to be a part of the growing arcade market so he told some of his engineers to start develop new arcade games. These new arcade machines had names like "Hellfire", "Sky Skipper" and "Sheriff" and was mostly "macho type shoot em ups" where your mission was to kill, shot and destroy everything and everybody. It all changed when Shigeru Miyamoto was told to continue on a sad shoot em up, arcade game named Radarscope. Shigeru trashed the project and Shigeru (with the help of Gunpei Yokoi) started working on Donkey Kong instead. Many people at Nintendo didn't believe in Donkey Kong at all. Firstly, the game had an antihero as a hero: a fat carpenter! The story wasn't so "cool" either: The plumber was to save his girlfriend from his big monkey pet that wanted revenge on him for mistreating him. The same year Nintendo released Donkey Kong that became the hottest, best selling coin-operated game of the year! It sold in 65.000 units in America only, which is more than all the Street Fighter 2 arcade machines ever did! Iv'e heard that one Nintendo employee was so annoyed by Donkey Kong and it's success that he/she actually quit his job!
At the same time Hiroshi Yamauchi, Masayuki Uemura and his engineers began planning on a new console much more advanced than the Color TV Game systems Nintendo had sold before. The new system should be able to play many different games that was stored on different cartridges but Nintendo wasn't the first company with that idea. Both Atari, Commodore, Bandai, Takara and Sharp had released or was developing similar systems. Yamauchi told Uemura that they had to make a system that would be much better than all the competitor's machines but also cheap so that anyone could afford it. He set a goal for the price of the machine: 9.800 yen (about 75$).
Facts and Stats. According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are $330,000,000.
Games of importance released this year: Donkey Kong ARCADE , Nintendo
1981 The Famicom is under development! Facts and Stats. According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are $464,000,000.
1982 Donkey Kong jr. is released. Donkey Kong jr, The sequel to Donkey Kong is released and sold in around 20 -30.000 units. Universal Studios threatened to sue Coleco and Nintendo claiming that Donkey Kong was an infringement on their King Kong name. Coleco settled by agreeing to pay 3% of all related sales. Later, Coleco recouped some of those royalties after discovering that Nintendo won their court battle against Universal.
Facts and Stats. According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are $1 billion.
Games of importance released this year: Donkey Kong jr. ARCADE , Nintendo
The N.E.S. ! Nintendo's era of greatness when they had nearly complete control over the videogame industry of the world with their Famicom (NES)! This is if you ask me the most interesting part of Nintendo's history.
1983 The Famicom is out in Japan! They built a new production plant in Uji city. Nintendo also established Entertainment Centres Ltd. in Vancouver, B.C and Canada. Now Nintendo of America´s authorized capital was raised to 10 million dollars. In July Nintendo listed stock on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. However, the one thing that players all over the globe will associate with this year is the launch of the Family Computer (a.k.a. Famicom, or the NES as it was named when launched abroad) in Japan and sold in 500.000 copies in the first 2 months mainly because of the low price but also because it didn't had any real competitors on the market. The console was sold for around $100 ($25 more than it was intended to in the first place, still it was less than half the price of the competitors' machines). The stores didn't get any high profit by selling the machines but Yamauchi convinced them that the real profit would come with the games. After selling good for a couple of months disaster struck just before the toy industries busiest season (the Japanese New Year). Some customers complained that some games freezed when they were played on some Famicoms. Nintendo's engineers searched like maniacs to find the fault. It was one of the chips that was malfunctioning. After having an meeting with Masayuki Uemura, Gunpei Yokoi and Hiroshi Imanishi, Yamauchi decided to recall all the systems still on the shelves sending them to their plant in Uji to have them corrected, allthough that it would cost Nintendo millions of dollars.
The coin-operated game 2 player game Mario Bros is also released.
Facts and Stats. According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are $3.2 billion.
Games of importance released this year: Pinball NES , Nintendo / Mario Bros ARCADE , Nintendo
1984 The Famicom and it's games brings Nintendo more money that they had ever dreamt of!
Famicom Mania! Nintendo earns more money this year than they had ever done before: The Famicom sells very good in Japan and Nintendo's games for the system is very coveted by the customers. The kids even camps outside stores to get their hands on the new games before they gets sold out! Now Nintendo got another problem: They didn't have the time to develop and manufacture all the games that the players wanted. (around 1984 -85) This is when Yamauchi splits his employees into the R&D1, 2, and 3 groups and started to recruit new hand-picked designers to created games for Nintendo. He put Gunpei Yokoi in charge of the first R&D team, Masayuki Uemura for the R&D2 and Takeda Genyo in charge for the R&D3 team. Instead of making loads of pretty good games Yamauchi wanted Nintendo instead to release 2 or 3 extreemly good games that would sell in millions. This way Nintendo spent several millions per game in advertisment etc, which was very dangerous for the company because if the game didn't sell it was just wasted money...
The big "N" Developed and started selling a unique 2 screen coin-operated games called "VS. System". and released the third game in the Donkey Kong series, Donkey Kong 3 that didn´t sold good at all and after that Nintendo stoped making Donkey Kong games. Nintendo tried desperately to get a retailer to release their NES in the US but it was hard because of the big "video game crash" earlier that year.
Facts and Stats. According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are only $2 billion, $1,2 billions less than 83!
Games of importance released this year: Punch Out Arcade , Nintendo / Excite Bike NES , Nintendo / Donkey Kong 3 ARCADE , Nintendo / Mike Tyson´s Punch Out ARCADE , Nintendo
1985 The NES is announced for a US release On the Consumer Electronics Show in January that year the Famicom was announced to be released in the US together with 25 games. At the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in July Nintendo renames the console: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and drops the games released with the console to 20. The NES was now set to a release in the late summer (which didn´t happen!). In december that year they test released the NES in the New York area only and the console sold in around 90,000 units. Super Mario Bros is released in Japan and takes the land´s gamers by storm selling huge amounts of copies (world wide it has sold in 40 million copies, much thanks to that it was often sold together with the machine)!
Facts and Stats. According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are $800,000,000 (compared to $3,2 billions in 1983!).
Games of importance released this year:Gauntlet NES , Tengen / Golf NES , Nintendo / Tennis NES , Nintendo / Wrecking Crew NES , Nintendo / Super Mario Bros NES , Nintendo
1986 The NES is released worldwide! Nintendo begins shipping the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and 15 compatible cartridges to the US (The NES is launched nation-wide in the USA!). They hired Worlds of Wonder (the maker of Teddy Ruxpin and Laser Tag), to help market the NES nationwide. The system outsells it's competitors ten-to-one in the states. The NES is also released in Europe this year. Nintendo also started selling the Famicom Disk System in Japan which stored the games on disks instead of cartridges. They also began installing special Nintendo Disk System vendoring machines called Disk Writers in the shops enabling them to reuse the disks. The Disk Drive was later abandoned, mainly because of the fact that it made it much easier for pirates to make illegal copies of Famicom games when they were on disks but also because no companies were making games for the format due to the horrifying licensing agrement Nintendo had for the machine!
The first of the Metroid games is released in Japan for the Disk Drive format. It wasn´t popular at all but Nintendo decides to release it in the US and Europe anyway which was lucky for them because abroad it became a real blockbuster! The japanese SMB2 (a.k.a. Lost Levels) was released.
Facts and Stats. According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are $100,000,000.
Games of importance released this year:Kid Icarus NES , Nintendo / Super Mario Bros 2 (japanese) NES , Nintendo / Donkey Kong NES , Nintendo / Donkey Kong jr. NES , Nintendo / Mario Bros NES , Nintendo / Donkey Kong 3 NES , Nintendo / Metroid NES , Nintendo / The Legend of Zelda 1 NES , Nintendo / Solomons Key NES , Tecmo / Ghost 'n Goblins NES , Capcom / Goonies NES , Konami /
1987 The NES is going strong! Nintendo sponsored a "electronical golf tournament" that were arranged using Famicoms and Disk Faxes communicating over the telephone network to test the possibilities to make a network of Famicoms in japan. The NES became the number 1 most sold toy in USA and Zelda1 became the first stand alone game to sell in over 1 million copies (SMB1 had exceeded that limit earlier but as it often came with the NES/Famicom it isn´t counted!).The sequel to Zelda 1, Zelda 2 - The Adventure of Link is released for the Famicom. Gunpei Yokoi presented a prototype of the Game Boy for Hiroshi Yamauchi who predicted that it would sell in 25 million copies it´s first 3 years on the market. This year NEC releases their PC-Engine and markets it as more powerful than the NES.
Nintendo vs. Blockbuster Nintendo sues the Blockbuster video rental chain for photocopying NES manuals for use with rented NES games. Nintendo won and Blockbuster was forced to include the original manuals with their games.
Facts and Stats. This year 4.1 million American homes buys some sort of Video game system. Three million of these are Nintendo systems and the remaining are Atari and Sega systems. According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are $430,000,000.
Games of importance released this year:/ Final Fantasy 1 NES , Square / Castlevania 1 NES , Konami / Zelda 2 -The adventure of Link NES , Nintendo / Wizards and Warriors NES , Acclaim / Mega Man 1 NES , Capcom / Mike Tyson´s Punch Out NES , Nintendo / Rygar NES , Tecmo / Section Z NES , Capcom / RC Pro Am NES , Rare / Salamander/Lifeforce (88) NES , Konami / Goonies NES 2 , Konami / Dream Factory: Doki Doki Panic NES , Fuji / Nintendo
1988 Super Mario Bros 2 (European version) is released and Tetris is released worldwide! The first number of the big Nintendo mag, Nintendo Power were published by Nintendo of America in July. Nintendo also developed the Hands Free Controller. The NES now had around 60 - 70 titles released. The US and European SMB 2 is released (which wasn´t even a real Mario game at all from the beginning but a weird game called Dream Factory: Doki Doki Panic, read more about that here) and ended up selling in 10 million copies world wide. Minoru Arakawa (the NOA president at the time) saw the Russian game Tetris on an arcade exhibition in July and realized that this was the game to sell their Game Boy. Over seven million Nintendo Entertainment Systems (NES) are sold this year in the US. When Apple´s president Michael Spindel got the question which is the biggest threat to Apple he answered "Nintendo!" This year Tetris is released worldwide!
Legal problems starring Atari Games Place: U.S. District Court in San Fransisco On December the 12:th this year Atari takes Nintendo to court accusing Nintendo for having an illegal monopoly on the video game industry which they should have achieved through illegal practices such as price fixing, monpolistic business practices and the use of computer chip lockout technology to disallow unlicensed developers to sell NES games. Atari wants $100 Million from Nintendo. Meanwhile Atari finds a way to bypass the lockout chip in the NES (by emulating the chip.). Later Rakawa meets with Atari employee and friend of Arakawa, Hideyuki Nakajima who blames others at the company for the actions taken and suggest a compromise, that Atari remains a Nintendo licensee whilst they still can manufacture their own games (including the bypass chip). Arakawa didn't except.
After hearing about all this from Arakawa Lincoln shook his head and says "I thought to myself, you have no idea what you have taken on: a tiger who will skin you piece by piece".
In Februari 1993 the Federal Trade Comission clears Nintendo of all the antitrust charges (Including Atari's).
Nintendo sues Camerica Nintendo claims that Camerica violates Nintendo's patents by making the wireless NES Advantage clone the Freedom Stick. Nintendo won and Cemrica had to stop selling their joypad.
Facts and Stats. According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are $1.1 billion. The third of the japanese and US homes had a NES! That´s only half as many as the ones that had a VCR! 20% of the gamers are women. This year Nintendo has 85 -90% of the video games market in both the USA and Japan!
Games of importance released this year:/ Blaster Master NES , Sunsoft / Track 'n' Field NES , Konami / Super Mario Bros 2 (western) NES , Nintendo / Faxandu NES , Hudson / Gunsmoke NES , Capcom / Bubble Bobble NES , Taito / Metal Gear NES , Konami / Wizards and Warriors 2 NES , Acclaim
1989 The Game Boy is out and Mario is more popular than Mickey Mouse and Nintendo gets massive "trial trouble"! The Genesis is also released in the USA.
The Game Boy is released in Japan with the game Tetris and later Super Mario Land 1 (SML1 sold in 14 million copies world wide). Studies in the US showed that Mario now was as widely known than Mickey Mouse and Buggs Bunny! Nintendo Power becomes the largest paid-subscription magazine in it´s age category.
The Super Famicom is announced The sequel to the Famicom (The Super Famicom a.k.a. Super SNES) was announced and was at first meant to be backwards compatible with the Famicom/NES.
The Wizard Universal Studios began showing a movie named "The Wizard" in USA which was a movie starring Fred Savage, Bean bridges and Christian Slater. The whole plot of the movie was that Fred Savage´s character´s little brother competed in a Nintendo World Championship competition and his brother won it all! The audience followed him through the tournament and in the final a new game was introduced for the competitors to play: Super Mario Bros 3!
This way the kids got to see a preview of the new Mario game even though the game itself wasn't going to be released until the next year. This resulted in an enormous "hype" around the game and soon all the kids was talking about this new amazing Mario game they had seen in the movies. When the eagerly awaited game at last was released it sold in incredibly 18 million copies world wide (and grossed $500 million!) which makes it the most sold stand alone video game ever! Nintendo did not only benefit from the free exposure they got with the The Wizard, Universal Studios also paid Nintendo big licensing fees for the rights to use Nintendo's characters/games in the movie. Outcome: Nintendo actually made some money at the same time as they got free promortion for their SMB3 without doing a thing...
World of Nintendo shops Nintendo opened World of Nintendo boutiques all around in USA. Here kids could try out new games and buy all sorts of Nintendo products.
The PC-Engine and the Lynx is released NEC releases the PC-Engine in America under the name the TurboGrafx-16 (for $189.95). The machine didn't have so many companies backing it up with games though and it's CD periphial (sold for $400.00) didn't change it either. This year Atari releases the handheld video game system (with a color screen!) Lynx for $179.95. Atari released a handful of great games for the Lynx but as the system was far more expensive than the Game Boy most of the players bought a Game Boy instead.
Tengen releases unlicensed NES games Through Atari's newly invented bypass chip that let them bypass Nintendo's lockout chip, Atari begins releasing games that have not been licensed or approved by Nintendo under the label, Tengen. "Tengen" releases games like: Shinobi, Alien Syndrome, and Afterburner for the NES. Other games released by Tengen later on are: Fantasy Zone, Gauntlet, Klax, Ms. Pacman Pac Man, Pac Mania, RBI baseball and Hard drivin'. Despite Nintendo's efforts and the fact that the games didn't have the "Nintendo Seal of Quality" the sold good (about $40 million a year). The fact that Tengen still was a Nintendo licensee made it much easer for them to distribute their software.
This has the consequences that Nintendo almost immediately sues Atari for patent violations. They claimed that Atari violated the "Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organisation Act "(R.I.C.O.), by creating Tengen as a front company in order to defraud Nintendo. but "The big N" was unable to stop them and dropped the suit.
Apart from the lawsuit Nintendo tried many more ways of trying to defeat Atari/Tengen. On shows like the CES held that same year, Tengen wasn't allowed to market their products in the big "Nintendo booth" where all the Nintendo licensee had their booths which took up the larger part of the area but was forced to have their booth outside where all the "non Nintendo" companies had theirs. Nintendo also started to threaten to sue the crap out of the reatailers which held Tengens products.
Soon Atari sought and won a preliminary injunction that stopped Nintendo from threatening their retailers. However that injunction didn't last to long becuase when Nintendo appealed the decision was reversed! Consequenlty Nintendo could continue to intimidate their retailers. Some retailers were taken care of in court and but many times it wasn't necessary. Some minor threates we sufficient. At the end of an meeting with the retailer the Nintendo represant could say something like this: "We really like to support you as long as you support us, and we aren't to happy with the fact that you are carrying Tengens products..... Now let's talk about tha software allocations. How many Super Mario Bros 3:s did you say you wanted...". The retailers couldn't do at thing! If Nintendo would cut the supply of all the new hot NES games for that retailer they would loose huge amounts of customers. Nintendo's products just was too important for the retailers!
Tengen also releases Tetris for the NES and another trial takes place where Nintendo sues Tengen for not having the legal right to sell Tetris. Nintendo managed to prove that they had got the license from the games original creator, the Russian mathematician Alexei Pajitnov, and that Tengen licensed it from a European company named Mirrorsoft who didn't have the right to issue licenses, because they didn't own the game; they just licensed it themselves. Nintendo won and Tengen had to recall all their Tetris games from the shops! Mirrorsoft also had to pay for damages.
The Genesis is released in the US Sega Enterprises Japan releases the Genesis (know as the Mega Drive in Europe) in USA for $249.95. It came bundled with the arcade game Altered Beast. They marketed the Genesis as a true arcade experience that's much better other home game machines (like the NES!).
Facts and Stats. Nintendo had placed a video game system in 21% of American homes. This year Nintendo sold: 9.1 million Nintendo Entertainment Systems (NES) and 50 million NES games. According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are $2.3 billion.
Games of importance released this year:/ Ghost and Goblins NES , Capcom / Super Mario Land GB , Nintendo / Battle of Olympus NES , Nintendo / Tennis GB , Nintendo / Tetris GB , Nintendo / Alleyway GB , Nintendo / Mega Man 2 NES , Capcom / Final Fantasy Legend GB , Square / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NES , Konami / Snake Rattle and Roll NES , Rare ? / Lolo NES , HAL / Shadowgate NES , Kemco
The SNES and the Nintendo 64!
One year after that Sega has released their Genesis (a.k.a. Mega Drive) in USA Nintendo releases their Super Famicom (SNES). 1993 Nintendo starts planning on their new "Ultra 64" (Later renamed Nintendo 64). Later (around christmas 1995) Sony releases their Playstation and Sega their Saturn and in 1996 Nintendo enters the 64 bit market with their Nintendo 64.
1990 The Super Famicom is out in Japan and Super Mario Bros 3 is released.
The SNES/Super Famicom is released On the 21:th of November The Super Famicom is finally released in Japan but it would take 2 whole years for the console to be released "world-wide"! The machine was so popular that it sold out in 3 days. Many shops actually had to run a lottery to see who that was the lucky ones to get a copy!
Super Mario Bros 3 is released The great Super Mario Bros 3 is also released and revenued 500 dollars in USA only which is beaten in the field of entertainment only by ET (at least until 1993)! Much thanks to movie "The Wizard" showed at cinemas last year every kid wanted a copy of the new game and it sold in 18 million copies world wide which makes it the most sold stand alone video game ever!
The Nintendo World Championship This year Nintendo arranged a similar competition like the competition in the "The Wizard" movie. The show was called the Nintendo World Championship just like in the movie and was arranged in 30 major cities across USA. The players competited in a special Thriatlon gamepak consisting of point collecting event in SMB1, Rad Racer and Tetris. Insufficient rules on how to play allowed smart players to get incredibly big scores (around 850.000p when others got around 350.000!).
After a period of chip shortages where the publishers only were allowed to manufacture specified number of cartridges and titles, Nintendo informs third party publishers that it will end its policy of chip allocation at the end of the year.
Color Dreams "pulls a Tengen" Nintendo sues Color Dreams for producing unlicensed NES games. Nintendo lost the suit so Color Dreams could continue to produce games that was not licensed by Nintendo.
The Game Genie At the SCES Lewis Galoob Toys announces the Game Genie. Nintendo claims that the Game Genie lessens the life of a game by allowing players to use codes making the games too easy and tries to prevent them from releasing it which they fail to do. A company called Camerica helps Galoob to distribute the Game Genie. Later on Nintendo manages to prevent Galoob from releasing their Game Genie in the US.
Facts and Stats. Nintendo has at least 85% of the video game market. 7.5 million Nintendo Entertainment Systems (NES) and 70 million NES games are sold this year. 3.2 million Game Boys are sold. According to an article written by Ms. Lorianne Denne in the December 17 issue of The Puget Sound Business Journal, 70% of all American homes with children between ages 8 and 15 have Nintendo products and that last year (1989), on every dollar spent on toys 16 cents went to Nintendo! According to figures provided by Nintendo of America, video game sales this year are $3.4 billion.
Games of importance released this year:/ Super Mario World SNES , Nintendo / Mega Man 3 NES , Capcom / Super C NES , Konami / Super Mario Bros 3 NES , Nintendo / Bubble Bobble GB , Taito / Bionic Command NES , Capcom / Rad Gravity NES , Interplay / Shadow of the Ninja/Blue Shadow NES Taito/(developer)Natsume / Duck Tales NES , Capcom / Dr. Mario NES/GB , Nintendo / Contra NES , Konami ? / Little Nemo The Dream Master NES , Capcom / Gremlins 2 NES , Sunsoft / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 NES , Konami / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles GB , Konami / Gargoyles Quest GB , Capcom / Gremlins GB , Sunsoft / North and South NES , Kemco/(developer)Sieka
1991 The SNES hits the shores of USA In September the Super Famicom hits the shores of the USA were it´s renamed Super NES and was redesigned in an awkward purple box. Thanks to Super Mario World (sold in 17 million copies world wide!) which came bundled with the console and an big 25 million dollars advertising campaign the SNES became a real blockbuster! Yoshi appears for the first time in the SNES flagship Super Mario World! The Game Boy is released in the US. Nintendo establishes World Class Service Center locations across the U.S. Metroid 2 -Return of Samus were released for the Game Boy. At the end of this year Nintendo lets 53 U.S. liscensees manufacture their own cartridges (before Nintendo produced all the cartridges themselves!). Nintendo maintained the control over the game production by its patented "lock-out" chip which Nintendo was the sole distributer off.
The State of New York sues Nintendo! An New York State Attorney General sues Nintendo, claiming they have an illegal monopoly on the video game market which leads to that Nintendo has to give each customer a 5 dollars certificate good on any licensed NES game.
America Video Entertainment sues Nintendo for violating antitrust laws! A.V.E. sues Nintendo for violateing antitrust laws with its lockout chip. A.V.E. wants $105 million dollars in damages from Nintendo.
More Game Genie... In the Federal Court of Canada, Galoob/Camerica wins over Nintendo which claimed that the Game Genie reduced game profits and the GG is released in Canada. To really piss Nintendo off Galoob/Camerica puts up a series of adds in magazines with messages like: "Thank you Canada". In October the same year after that the U.S. District Court judge Fern Smith had removed all previous restrictions from the GG the cheating device is finally released in the US.
The SNES CD -Read more about Nintendo's CD plans here! At first Philips and Nintendo developed a SNES CD-Rom that was going to be compatible with Philips's CD-I machine. they were planning to introduce the machine on the C.E.S. in June, but unfortunately the deal that they had struck with Philips recently, inflicted with a previous deal with Sony, Philips's worst competitor...
Nintendo switched sides and teh Playstation was instead introduced at the CES exhibit in June. Unfortunately a deal which Nintendo had struck with Sony in 1988 granted Sony the right to control all the CD based games for the Playstation which was unexceptable for Nintendo. So Nintendo switched sides again but they promised Sony that Nintendo's co-operation with Philips wouldn't interfere with their CD plans... At the next CES press conference about the Playstation however, Nintendo betrayed Sony! Instead of promoting for the Playstation as Sony thought that they would, Nintendo announced that they would work exclusively with Philips. Sony commented the incident by claiming that they had an exclusive deal with Nintendo that Nintendo had violated! Due to the special circumstances (japanese companies handel this stuff differently) Sony didn't sue Nintendo for violating their contract with Nintendo. This was also due to several other reasons which you can read about here. Nintendo managed to extricate itself from the bad parts of their contract and Nintendo continued to work with Philips...
Facts and Stats. Nintendo passes Toyota and becomes the most profitable company in Japan and earned 400 million dollars MORE than the big Sony corporation! Nintendo´s profit was sizzling 1,5 million dollars per employee (!) and since they had around 850 employee´s Nintendo earned around 1,2 billion dollars! Nintendo has now "only" 79% of the video game market! Nintendo sells this year: 2.7 million NES, 28 NES games, about 4 million Game Boys, about 25 million Game Boy games and about 4 million Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems (SNES). In October this year every 5 seconds 1 SNES unit was sold! A survey done this year shows that Nintendo spends about $1 billion on semiconductors a year!
Games of importance released this year:/ Metroid 2 - The return of Samus GB , Nintendo / Simpsons vs the Spacemutants NES , Acclaim / Sim City SNES , Nintendo / Final Fantasy 4 SNES , Square / Rainbow Island -the story of Bubble Bobble 2 NES , Taito / Actraiser SNES , Enix/Quintet / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 GB , Konami / Mega Man 4 NES , Capcom / Adams Family SNES , Ocean / R-Type GB , Irem / Eliminator Boat duel NES , Electro Brain / Super Castlevania SNES , Konami / NES Open Tournament Golf NES , Nintendo / Duck Tales GB , Capcom / Joe and Mac SNES , Data East / BattleToads NES , Rare / Roller Games NES , Konami(Palcom) / Willow NES , ? / Super R-Type , Irem / Final Fantasy Legend GB , Square / Final Fantasy - Mystic Quest GB , Square / F-Zero SNES , Nintendo / Castlevania GB , Konami / Castlevania 2 GB , Konami / Contra GB , 91 / Micro Machines NES , Code Masters / Area 66/UN Squadron SNES , Capcom / Gradius GB , Konami / Lemmings GB , Psygnosis / Super Ghouls and Ghosts SNES , Capcom
1992 The SNES is out in Europe and Zelda 3 is here!
In June 1992 the SNES is released in Europe and the Super Scope and the Super NES Mouse launched with Mario Paint is released. The long awaited Zelda 3 - A Link to the Past is finally released. Nintendo of America developed special Portable Fun Centers to assist Starlight Foundation in their work to make life easier for hospitalized kids. That way the kids could still play their favorite Nintendo games even though they was in a hospital (Isn´t Nintendo just plain great!)! Super Mario Land 2 is released (and sold in 7 million copies world wide) and the new Mario villain Wario is introduced. Super Mario Kart the most sold SNES game ever is released! Gunpei Yokoi and his R&D1 team with the aid of the people at Reflection Technology Inc. began planning on a new VR console (the Virtual Boy). Big companies like Electronic Arts, Disney and Lucas Arts signed up to do Nintendo games. Nintendo was now bigger than both IBM, Apple and Disney!
Hiroshi buys share of the Seattle Mariners! Nintendo President, Mr. Hiroshi Yamauchi, offers to buy 60% share of the Seattle Mariners baseball team and says that he some day would like to move Nintendo’s headquarters from Japan to Seattle! In June that year Yamauchi and some other investors purchases $125 for the Seattle Mariners baseball club and for the first time in history a U.S. major league team is allowed majority ownership outside of North America!
The SNES CD -Read more about Nintendo's CD plans here! Philips together with Nintendo and announced that the release date would be by Christmas that same year which was later they changed to 1993. Sega releases their Mega CD for $300 and Sony takes their revenge on Nintendo by making games for Sega's CD system! After a lot of pressure from other companies Nintendo began negotiating with Sony again and in October the two companies had come to an agreement (an agreement that would put Nintendo in control of the games released for the Playstation): Sony commented it by saying: "We concluded that we had to ally ourselves with Nintendo when we saw that it was going to be the 16-bit winner.
Super-FX chip In August this year Nintendo announces the advent of the Super FX Chip that raised the SNES´s speed from 3.58 to sizzling 10.5! This leads to another delay for Nintendo's CD addon because it had to be upgraded to be better than the S-FX chip!
Galoob/Camerica are still not happy! Galoob/Camerica takes Nintendo to trial demanding compensation for the losses that Nintendo had caused them trying to stop the release of the Game Genie etc. A U.S. 9th Circuit Court judge in San Francisco awards Galoob Toys a $15 million judgement against Nintendo of America.
Camerica releases their Aladdin System At the WCES Camerica (that before had helped Galoob with the lauch of the Game Genie) announced a new "mystic" NES device called the Alladin System. The Alladin System was an addon that you plug in to NES's cartridgeslot. You could then plug in the NES game on top of the addon. So what, you might think but the smart thing about this was that the Alladinsystem contained all the 5 different MMC chips, so that the game themselves didn´t had to. The system also included a 64K upgrade for better graphics and bigger games and came bundled with an game called "Dizzy the Adventurer" that was based on an old C64, Amiga game. After a while Camerica went out of business and allthough that Codemasters were planning on releasing it in whole North America it was only released in small quantities in some stores and not many games were actually released for the system (Camerica assured that 30 games were in production for the Alladinsystem but only 6 of them were ever completed).
Facts and Stats. Nintendo had 90 - 95% of the Japanese video game market and had around the end of this year they had about 75-80% of the whole video game market. This year Nintendo was more profitable than any American filmstudio and it´s pretax profits was at least 1 billion dollars. Around this year Nintendo netted as much as All the American movie industries combined!!!! However since manufacturing games is so expensive, Nintendo "only" profited more than any american movie studio or as much as 3 TV networks combined. This year 170 million Nintendo games were released worldwide. These games were worth all together 7 billion dollars and Nintendo got there share of the money for all the games released (the companies had to pay Nintendo for each game they released for Nintendo´s consoles)! Studies by Nielsen Media Research showed that in a particular age group the kids spent more time playing Nintendo games than they did watching cartoons on TV!
Games of importance released this year:/ Final Fantasy 5 SNES , Square / Zelda 3 - A link to the past SNES , Nintendo / Kirby´s Dreamland GB , HAL/Nintendo / Mega Man 2 GB , Capcom / Bubsy SNES , Accolade / R-Type 2 GB , Irem / Darkwing Duck , Disney / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 NES , Konami / Dej'a Vu NES , Kemco/(developer)Seika / RC Pro Am 2 NES , Rare/Nintendo / Mega Man 3 NES , Capcom / Gargoyles Quest 2 NES , Capcom / Maniac Mansion NES , Jaleco / Mega Man 1 GB , Capcom / Street Fighter 2 NES , Capcom / Super Mario Kart SNES , Nintendo / Flintstones NES , Taito / Mega Man 5 NES , Capcom / Bucky O'Hare NES, Konami / Chip n Dale RR NES , Capcom / Final Fantasy Mystic Quest SNES , Square / Contra 3 - Alien Wars (Super Probotector) SNES , Konami / Axelay SNES , Konami / Super Adventure Island SNES , Hudson soft / Star Wars NES , Lucas Arts
1993 The Super FX chip´s announced and Zelda 4 and Super Mario Allstars is released!
Nintendo continues to promote for their new Super FX Chip. The first game using this chip is released in April and the name was, Star Fox (renamed Star Wing in Europe). This year Nintendo celebrates their 100 millionth Mario game sold and releases the Mario game collection named Super Mario Allstars featuring SMB1, SMB2 (both US/European and Japanese game) and SMB3, all with improved graphics and sound!
Nintendo announces their 64-bit plans! In August this year Nintendo announces that they and Silicon Graphics will develop a new console under the name Project Reality. The machine will have a 100Mhz 64 bit MIPS RISC-processor and be able to create great 3dimensional worlds never seen before in the history of video gaming. The release is planned to the end of 1995.
The NES is re-released! In a last attempt to regain life to the NES, Nintendo released a new redesigned NES in Japan and USA. It came bundled with a gamepak including both Final Fantasy 1 & 2 (The NES games). With the aid of this FF collection the NES sold 1 million copies that year, outselling the SNES in some cities!
The fourth Zelda game: Zelda 4 - Links Awakening is released for the Game Boy. Another title released for the Game Boy was Super Wario Land (SML3) with Wario as the hero instead of Mario, which was liked by some and disliked by some. Personally i think he´s just so cool!
On Friday the 28:th May the Super Mario Bros- The Movie was released. This year the Mortal Kombat game was released for the SNES and the Genesis, but Nintendo´s policies removing the blood and gore from the SNES version lead to that the Genesis version out -old the SNES version at a factor of 8 to 1 in many places!
The SNES CD -Read more about Nintendo's CD plans here! In early 93 Nintendo together with Philips announced some new tech specs for the machine and there were rumours about a new Zelda game and a Street Fighter 2 sequel for the SNES CD. The release date was set to Autumn 1993 but the price was still $200. Nintendo promises to show the CD addon on the S.C.E.S show later the same year...
They later changes the release date to be early 94. When the S.C.E.S. at last came Nintendo didn't showed any CD system at all instead they introduced new S-FX games like FX-Trax (a.k.a. Stunt Race FX) and Super Mario Allstars but not a word about any CD... Later that year Nintendo announced that they wouldn't release any SNES CD at all!
Facts and Stats. In the beginning of this year Nintendo had about 75-80% of the market.
Games of importance released this year:/ Secret of Mana SNES , Square / Super Mario Allstars SNES , Nintendo / Final Fantasy Legend 3 GB , Square / Super Wario Land SNES , Nintendo / Jurrasic Park NES , Ocean / Kirby´s Adventure NES , HAL / Zelda 4 - Link´s Awakening GB , Nintendo / Breath of Fire (Japan) SNES , Capcom / Alfred Chicken NES , Mindscape/(developer)Twilight / Top Rank Tennis GB , Nintendo / Kirby´s Pinball Land GB , HAL / Joe and Mac 2 SNES , Data East / Gods SNES , Mindscape / Mega Man 4 GB , Capcom / Alien 3 SNES , Acclaim / Bubble Bobble jr. (2) GB , Taito / Mortal Kombat 3 GB , Midway / Prince of Persia SNES , Konami / Star Wars SNES , JVC / Tetris 2 GB , Nintendo / Tetris FLASH/BLAST GB , Nintendo / Zombies ate my Neighbours SNES , Konami / Solomons Key 2 NES , Tecmo / Mega Man 3 GB , Capcom / Mega Man 6 NES , Capcom / Duck Tales 2 NES , Capcom / Lost Vikings SNES , Interplay/(developer)Blizzard / Street Fighter 2 Turbo SNES , Capcom / Mortal Kombat SNES , Acclaim / Mega Man 5 NES , Capcom / Stunt Race FX SNES , Nintendo / Lufia SNES , Taito / Cybernator SNES , Konami / Star fox/Star Wing SNES , Nintendo/(developer)Argonaut and Nintendo / Shadow Run SNES , Data East / Wizards and Warriors NES 3 , Acclaim / Flashback SNES , Sony / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 GB , Konami / Mega Man X SNES , Capcom / Mc Donaldland NES , ? / Yoshi´s Cookie SNES, NES, GB , Nintendo / Prince of Persia NES , Konami ?
1994 This "The year of the Cartridge" brought to us Super Game Boy, Donkey Kong Country and yet more Super FX games!
1994 was a big year for Nintendo in many ways. The Super Game Boy was released that made it possible for players to play Game Boy games on their SNES consoles in color! The Nintendo Gateway System that was a system with SNES:s mounted in traffic airplanes that made it possible for the passengers to play games as the traveled, reached out to 40 million travelers.
Nintendo celebrates their 1 Billionth gamepak sold!!!!
Project Reality will not use CDs! Nintendo announces that their new Project Reality project will use normal cartridges instead of CDs which causes big attention in media. On CES Nintendo announces that their Project reality would be renamed Ultra 64 in the US.
The ACM technology! Super Metroid is released and Rare releases it´s newest game Donkey Kong Country which was the first game featuring rendered graphics only. This was done by the Advanced Computer Modeling (ACM) technique. The magazines and press raises this game to the skies for it´s great graphics and Nintendo had got a weapon against Sony´s and Sega´s upcoming 32-bits consoles! The slogan was "You don´t need a 32 bit console to play awesome games like this!! (or something like that)!
Super FX is still going strong The future looked bright for the Super FX chip too, with games like Stunt Race FX (a.k.a. Wild Trax) and Vortex (a.k.a. Citadel) released and many more announced like for example William´s DOOM and Argonauts Transformers (Which was sadly never released)! Many of these FX games were using Nintendo´s new Super FX 2 chip which was twice as fast as the original FX chip and brought the SNES:s speed up to sizzling 21.0 Mhz!
The Virtual Boy Rumours about Nintendo and Gunpei Yokoi´s new VR console circulated in the media. The machine was going to be previewed at the Shoshinkai exhibition later on. When the Shoshinkai finally came, the press was deeply disappointed on this "hyper hyped" product and at first they only considered it a pathetic attempt from Nintendo to draw attention from Sony and Sega´s 32 consoles. Then big confusion broke out, after all the Virtual Boy was produced by Nintendo, one of the most respected video game companies, it simply couldn´t be that bad if it came from Nintendo! Or could it!? The VB games previewed later on at the S.C.E.S. exhibit was quite good and the press began to think that maybe they had judged the Virtual Boy to hard.
The last NES game ever released was released this year: Wario´s Woods released by Nintendo. Also Nintendo of America gets a new chairman: Mr. Howard Lincoln. The Exertainment system is showed at the SCES Chicago, for under $1,000 you could get an exercycle that integrates with a SNES!
Games of importance released this year:/ Super Metroid SNES , Nintendo / Super Adventure Island 2 SNES , Hudson soft / Stunt Race FX SNES , Nintendo / Mega Man 5 GB , Capcom / Super Punch Out SNES , Nintendo / Fifa International Soccer SNES , EA / Game Boy Gallery GB , Nintendo / Super Street Fighter 2 SNES , Capcom / Mortal Kombat 2 SNES , Acclaim / Final Fantasy 6 Japan 94 SNES , Square / Final Fantasy Mystic Quest GB , Square / Donkey Kong GB , Nintendo / Uniracers/Unirally SNES , Nintendo / Breath of Fire (USA) SNES , Square / Breath of Fire 2 SNES , Capcom / Super Bomberman 2 SNES , Hudson / Contra 2 GB , Taito / Super Punch Out SNES , Nintendo / Vortex SNES , Electro Brain/(developer)argonaut / Robocop 3 SNES , Ocean ? / Donkey Kong Country SNES , Rare / Wario Blast GB , Nintendo/Hudson / Super R-Type 3 SNES , Irem / Syndicate SNES , Bullfrog / Black Thorne/Blackhawk SNES , Interplay/(developer)Blizzard
1995 The Virtual Boy is out and the Nintendo 64 showed and RARE more made more ACM games!
Nintendo and Silicon Graphics are completely finished with the Nintendo 64 and announces that they will release it in Japan the US and Europe in april 1996. In October Nintendo officially renames the machine Nintendo 64 and shows pictures of the both the machine and it´s revolutionizing analog "3d-stick" and soon info about the new 3dimensional Mario games starts to leak out. Later that year at the Shoshinkai exhibition in Tokyo it was world premier for the N64 and 13 games including Super Mario 64, Star Fox 64, Mario Kart 64 and a new Zelda adventure were previewed . In Yamauchi´s annual speech he mentions the 64 Disk Drive, Nintendo´s answer to the CD-ROM that would be previewed at the Next Shoshinkai (96).
Nintendo buys in to a quarter ownership of Rare (the dudes behind e.g.. Donkey Kong Country) which makes Rare the first on Japanese videogame company that Nintendo buys ownership in! Rare´s new ACM games Donkey Kong Country 2 -Diddy´s Kong Quest and Killer Instinct are released and the ACM graphics was introduced on the Game Boy with release of Donkey Kong Land and the hugely awaited sequel to SMW released 4 years earlier, Super Mario World 2 - Yoshi´s Island using the FX-2 chip, is finally released! At the Winter Consumer Electronics Show some new FX 2 games were previewed like: Nintendo´s 3 games: Star Fox 2, FX Fighter (an conversion of the PC game) and Comanche. None of Star Fox2 or FX Fighter was ever released. Electro Brain´s previewed their new FX 2 game Dirt Trax FX. On funny thing was that a man named Mr. Shawn J. Freeman that was from Arizona was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal a pre-release copy of Star Fox 2!
On the 21:th July the Virtual Boy was finally released in Japan but it didn´t sell good at all and at Shoshinkai the same year Hiroshi Yamauchi (The Nintendo president) said in his speech that the Virtual Boy had sold poorly but that they hadn´t lost faith in the console yet! After that some better games were released but the gamers was simply not interested! So the Virtual Boy became Nintendo´s biggest mistake ever! On Saturday, September 9, Sony releases their CD-based 32-bit console the PlayStation the worst enemy of the N64!
Nintendo Vs. Samsung Electronics Nintendo accuses Samsung for spreading Nintendo games to pirate companies. I don't know who won the trial but I don't think that Nintendo continued to do business with Samsung any longer...
Games of importance released this year:/ Final Fantasy 6 SNES , Square / Chrono Trigger SNES , Square / Donkey Kong Country 2 SNES , Rare / Donkey Kong Land GB , Rare / Earth Worm Jim GB , Playmates / Tetris Attack SNES , Nintendo / Goemon SNES , Konami / Worms GB,SNES , East Point Software/originaly by_Team 17 / Super Return of the Jedi SNES , JVC / Dirt Racer FX SNES , Electro Brain / Puzzle Bobble SNES , Taito / Street Fighter 2 GB , Capcom / Rock n Roll Racing SNES , Interplay ? / NHL95 GB , Electronic Arts / Doom SNES , Williams / Yoshi´s Cookie GB , Nintendo/Bullet Proof / Mega Man 7 SNES , Capcom / Super Mario World 2 - Yoshi´s Island SNES , Nintendo / Killer Instinct GB , Nintendo/Rare / Kirby´s Dreamland 2 GB , HAL/Nintendo / Mario´s Picross GB , Nintendo / International Superstar Soccer SNES , Konami / Earth Worm Jim SNES , Playmates / Castlevania X SNES , Konami / Lost Vikings 2 SNES , Interplay/(developer)Blizzard
1996 The Nintendo 64 and the Game Boy Pocket hits Japan and Square shocks the worlds Nintendo-RPG-gamers!
More N64 and Squares leaves Nintendo for the Playstation.
The 1:st of February Nintendo announces that their 64 bit project would be named Nintendo 64 in the whole world and that the US release date will be the 30:th september and that the N64 not will be out in Europe before sometime later that autumn. The 10:th the same month Square shocks the worlds RPG players when they quits their long cooperation with Nintendo after many years of developing great RPGs for the NES and SNES. They cancels their new Final Fantasy game that they had planned to develop for the N64 and decides to develop it for the Playstation instead. They said that it´s due to the fact that the Playstation with it´s CD system is more suitable for large RPG games than Nintendo´s cartridges (which is true...). On the 8:th mars Nintendo announces that the japanese release date will now be the 23:rd June although that the US and Europe release dates won't be affected. At last, the 23:th June the Nintendo 64 is released in Japan! (Nintendo sold 500.000 units the first day in Japan! that´s almost 6 unit/second!). The 1:st October the N64 is released in the USA and sold in one week in as many copies as the Playstation sold in 13 weeks! Super Mario 64 is released and was quickly announced as the best game ever by many video game magazines!
For the SNES, two big game were released: Super Mario RPG and Donkey Kong Country 3! On Friday, June 27, the Game Boy version of the Tamagotchi game is released in Japan and in October in the USA.
The Game Boy Pocket The Game Boy Pocket, a improved version of the Game Boy that was smaller, lighter and with a better screen were released this year and the companies started making GB games again.
Gunpei Yokoi leaves Nintendo The 15:th August only week after the release of the Game Boy Pocket, Gunpei handed in his resignation after around 30 years at Nintendo.
Games of importance released this year:/ Mega Man X 3 SNES , Capcom / Sim City 2000 SNES , Nintendo / Donkey Kong Country 3 - Dixie's double trouble SNES , Rare / Super Mario RPG SNES , Square/Nintendo / Tamagotchi GB , Nintendo
1997 Pocket Monsters Mania! Gunpei Yokoi is killed in a tragical car accident....
On the 1:st March the Nintendo 64 is finally released in Europe (I bought my copy that same day!). The Pocket Monsters was released for the Game Boy and sold twice as much as Final Fantasy VII (the newest Final Fantasy game for the Playstation)! Pocket Monsters helped the Game Boy to outsell the Nintendo 64 in Japan. The 4:th October the video game industry lost one of it´s greatest people when Gunpei Yokoi died in a tragical car accident, 57 years old.
Nintendo Vs. Games City Nintendo sues Games City for selling various back-up devices (such as the Game Doctor (a SNES back-up machine) and the Doctor V64 (a N64 back-up machine)) and CD's containing pirated Nintendo games. Nintendo wins the trial and recieves $100.000 and Games City is forced to stop selling all of these kinds of softwares.
Games of importance released this year:/ Pocket Monsters GB , Nintendo / Harvest Moon SNES , Natsume
Beginning with the fifth episode of 90210,Jamie will appear as 'Ray Pruit,'a working class guy with a dark past and a song in his heart."He comes on the show as a blue collar kid who's working on the(college)campus,"explains Jamie."Tori Spelling's character'Donna'sees him as just this cute construction worker guy but as time goes on she realizes there's more to him than just that."
Donna and Ray start a relationship,but turn ugly fast as Ray becomes mean-though he'll stop short of physical violence."I think it will be more verbally abusive,making her feel bad about herself,"says Jamie."Little things that I'm sure happen in all of our lives-people giving you stabs in the back every once in a while"
The product of an abusive mom,Ray lashes out at the people clsest to him-particulary Donna.However,he finds some release from the demons that haunt him in his music."I think that in the end,Donna realizes it's not really him,"explains Jamie."It's the result of his upbringing and his relationship with his mother.His music is really the window to his real soul.She sees that."
As Ray,Jamie will be playing some music on the show.He also expects to premiere his music video after an episode of 90210,as was done last season for Jeremy Jordan's single"Right Kind Of Love"from The Beverly Hills,90210 Soundtrack.
However,fans of "How Do You Talk An Angel,"should be aware that Jamie's new music will have little in common with the songs he recorded on his former television show."It's a lot more rock n roll,"he explains."It's got a lot more of an edge to it than the stuff from the The Heights.It's more my my taste.I took most of this last year to make the album."
With so much going on in his life,Jamie Walters is looking foward to having a stellar year."This should be much bigger than anything else I've ever done,"he says."I'm very exited."
Jamie Walters first caught the public's eye while he was playing the introspective lead singer in the Fox television series The Heights.
In 1992, Walters scored a #1 pop hit with the song, "How Do You Talk To An Angel" -- a featured song from the show. He also played a recurring character in the MTV series Catwalk before landing his current and most widely-known role -- that of Ray Pruit, a blue-collar worker/musician, on Beverly Hills 90210.
For some reason, most people think actors can't be musicians. Meet the exception to the rule: Jamie Walters.
The 25-year old, Boston-born artist got his first break with his #1 single "How Do You Talk To An Angel" back in 1992 from the short-lived Fox TV series "The Heights," in which Walters also starred. Shortly after, he was offered a role on "Beverly Hills 90210" where he currently plays Ray Pruit, the guitar-slinging, crooning love interest of Tori Spelling's character.
His debut album on Atlantic Records, Jamie Walters, is a collection of powerful and heartfelt songs that truly reveals every side of Walters' musical personality. Running the gamut from emotional ballads similar to "Angel" to straight ahead rock & roll like "Why," this album is not just the hobby of some actor. The first single, "Hold On," with its soulful edge, has been in the top 20 on the singles charts for over five months.
Although the songs certainly stand by themselves, the impressive line-up of talent backing Walters makes his musicianship even more credible. Some of the key players include Dr. John lending his background vocals on a remake of Graham Parker's "Release Me," drummer Russ Kunkel, bassist Leland Sklar, and producer Steve Tyrell.
Walters's success is a far cry from his teenage years playing in garage bands around Boston or waiting on tables in New York City. After a two year try at New York University's film school, Jamie decided to drop out when he was "discovered" while working at a restaurant by a casting agent for a Levi's 501 TV commercial. "I like combining acting and music," says Walters. "I also like playing characters that are similar to myself 'cause they're playing my music. It's sort of the best of both worlds."
Jamie Walters figured playing blue-collar hunk Ray Pruit on Fox's Beverly Hills, 90210 would be a pretty cushy gig: Stroll in, cavort with the beautiful kids, and promote his career as a pop musician. After all, "How Do You Talk to an Angel"--the tune he crooned for a previous Aaron Spelling series, The Heights--hit No. 1. What he hadn't counted on was the 90210 writers deciding to have Ray abuse his girlfriend, played by America's virgin princess, Tori Spelling.
"The actor in me thought, 'Hey, this'll be cool, it'll be something different," he says. "But the side that knows that a lot of people out there get confused between TV and reality said, 'This could have a bad backlash.'"
And that side proved all too right, he says. "I went on tour and there were people in the audience with signs that said stuff like, 'Pick on someone your own size!'"
As a result, Walters and the writers agreed that Ray should disappear awhile for some rehab. Thus, the character who returns to the country's hottest zip code this week is a "Kinder, gentler Ray Pruit," Walters explains. "He's a nice guy. It was important to me that they let me finish up the season with a more positive outlook." (Not to mention let him debut a song from his next album, due this fall.)
"I think of myself as a musician first, but most people know me as an actor," Walters admits. But he hopes the tide is turning: "I get excited when I see articles that say 'musician-slash-actor' rather than 'actor-slash-musician.'" --David Kronke
Talk about a ride. From a #1 Billboard smash with 1992's 'How Do You Talk To An Angel,' on The Heights soundtrack, to a worldwide million-seller with his 1994 self-titled debut Atlantic album, Jamie Walters is in high gear. After 18 months of touring from late '94 to early '96, the singer/guitarist is set to make his mark on '97 with his second solo album, 'RIDE.'
With a fresh, live-sounding set of acoustic-driven songs, Walters applies his songwriting talent to explorations of an entangled web of long-distance relationships and romantic frustration. To record 'RIDE,' Walters again joined with producer Steve Tyrell and a studio cast that includes such 'JAMIE WALTERS' players as bassist Leland Sklar, guitarist Michael Landau, and drummers Gary Mallaber (also a touring band member) and Russ Kunkel. Reflecting Jamie's arrival as an accomplished performer, much of the album was recorded live in the studio.
'This album sounds much more like a group of guys who got together to play,' says Walters. 'I remember when Mike, Lee, Gary, and I first started getting into the new stuff how we just gave each other that look, like 'Okay, we've got something happening here.' What I learned on the road with the first album is how cool a band can sound when it's really together. That's what I wanted to try to capture.'
Another familiar face in the studio was keyboardist Kevin Savigar (Rod Stewart), who co-wrote such tracks on the first album as 'Hold On' and again teamed with Jamie during the writing process. New to the fold are such participants as drummer Abe Laborial, Jr. (Seal) and renowned strings arranger Paul Buckmaster.
Written primarily on the tour bus and in a thousand anonymous hotel rooms, each track took shape with Walters alone on his acoustic guitar. 'I wasn't willing to put a song on the record unless it sounded great as just guitar and vocal,' he says. 'A song needs to succeed in that way or else it's not a great song. A lot of the touring I did was with just me and a guitar and it really made an impression on me that way.'
With songs such as 'I'd Do Anything,' 'The Other Side,' and 'Reckless' ' the album's first single ' Jamie brings a tasteful and stirring rock core together with a rural, rootsy American twang, providing the perfect platform for smooth melodies and Walter's distinctly expressive vocals. With lyrics that read like late-night confessionals, he honestly and directly sheds light on the hope, disappointment, joy, and collapse that accompany the world of '90s-era relationships.
'I tend to write about things that are real personal,' says Jamie. 'I'll focus on an experience in my life and open it up. 'In Between' is like that. It's about a girl that I was really crazy about and who I thought about all the time but couldn't ever make it work. By just telling your own story, it's amazing how a song will connect with people on different levels.'
As was the case on 'JAMIE WALTERS,' 'RIDE' finds Walters writing a number of tracks with Steve Tyrell and his partner Stephanie. 'We've been working with each other for the last five years,' says Jamie. 'Not only are they my creative partners but they're close friends; we live right around the corner from one another. I think they know me as well as my mother knows me... better in some ways.'
Walter's decision to add Matthew Sweet's 'Winona' to the album is a carry-over from the song's inclusion on numerous set lists while on the road. 'There's a lot of magic in that song,' says Jamie, who cites Sweet's 'GIRLFRIEND' album as an all-time favorite.
Touring in support of the first album, Jamie's itinerary included dates across the whole of Europe and North America. Live settings ranged from solo acoustic sets in radio station control rooms to the festival concert in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he played before a crowd of over 100,000. 'I couldn't believe that the sound of what I was singing and playing was reaching all those people,' says Jamie. 'Frankly, my favorite part of the whole process is getting out there and playing for an audience. Nothing compares to that. Hearing a few thousand people sing along to a song that you wrote sitting on your couch at home is such an incredible feeling.' * * * * * *
A native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, Jamie Walters was playing guitar under the eager instruction of his father by the time he was 12-years-old. In the process, dad also saw fit to introduce his young son to the sounds of artists such as Neil Young and Van Morrison.
By the time he was in high school in Northfield, Mass., Jamie was playing constantly with classmates as part of a rock band that frequently managed to talk the powers-that-be into letting them perform at various school events. Along with his passion for the guitar, he was frequently drawn towards Boston's thriving late-80s music scene, with its all-ages hardcore matinees and the endless rows of record bins found throughout Kenmore Square.
As a seventeen-year-old freshman at New York University's Tisch film school, Jamie quickly fell in with a fluid cast of like-minded players and performed with a variety of punk and hardcore bands at numerous downtown venues, including CBGB. Meanwhile, Jamie's interests in acting increasingly brought him out to Los Angeles. In the wake of a number of interruptions in his academic schedule and the raised ire of skeptical NYU profs, he decided in 1991 to leave school and move to the West Coast full-time. 'The choice, to me, was pretty clear,' says Jamie. 'I was learning as much about the technical side of filmmaking by actually working as I was in the classroom.'
After initial commercial forays, he landed a lead part as a '50s rock 'n' roller in '91's Shout, opposite John Travolta, followed by his starring role in the short-lived FOX-TV series, The Heights. The audition consisted simply of Jamie sitting down with a guitar and singing a few of his songs.
In addition to acting, Jamie's arrival in Los Angeles ushered in a whole new invigorated approach to music. In the solitude that came with moving to a new town, Jamie turned to his acoustic guitar and the kinds of songs he'd grown up hearing. His dad's old record collection crept into his subconscious as he attached emerging musical ideas to expressive lyrics of male/female dramas ' past, present, and sometimes imagined.
The chart success of 'How Do You Talk To An Angel' (which, notably, ended the record-breaking #1 reign of Boyz II Men's 'End Of The Road') pushed life into fast-forward. He recorded 'JAMIE
WALTERS' and, in 1994, began his role as Ray Pruit on Beverly Hills 90210. 'I was originally supposed to do something like seven episodes and play a couple of songs off the album,' says Jamie, 'but it somehow turned into a two year-plus stay.' But as happy as Jamie was to become one of the show's most-popular characters, the association did come with its own baggage.
'Some people seem to have this taboo about being a musician and an actor,' says Jamie. 'But, you know, if the music can't stand up on its own, whether you're on TV or not isn't going to make a difference. That's been proven by a lot of other actors who've put out records.'
The static proved especially obtrusive when Ray Pruit was transformed from a grounded, working class musician into an abusive boyfriend. 'My character was a real dick for a while,' says Jamie. 'I must admit, it did take a toll on the music. People started to see me as if I was the mean guy who was hurting Donna. I remember looking into the crowd at some shows and seeing signs saying 'Don't Push Donna Around,'' he laughs. 'It got to be pretty funny.' When the studio called to invite Jamie to do a third season on the show, he made his feelings about Ray's destructive behavior well known. 'I really didn't want to play that character anymore,' says Jamie. 'I made sure that if I was going to return to the show, my character was going to straighten himself out and I was going to get to play some more of my music.' Accordingly, Walters ends his run on the series this season, with a limited number of appearances ' all of which revolve around musical segments.
'Music is definitely my first love and I want to put my all into it this time without any distractions,' says Jamie. 'I've done enough television acting for now. If the right thing comes along, I'll definitely consider it because I enjoy acting... but I express myself through music better than I do anything else.' For Jamie, the release of 'RIDE' marks the end of a cycle that was set into motion when he walked into to audition for The Heights with his guitar.
'As I've gotten older, I've gained more focus on what I want to do in life,' he says. 'That's what anybody hopes for ' getting your priorities straight and realizing what it is you want to pursue. When I started acting, I was eighteen-years-old. When you're that age, you're so eager that you want to try everything. And for the last seven years, that approach has brought me to a lot of terrific places. But now, I'm focusing all my energy on my music. That's what I'm about.'
Date of birth: 13 June 1969
Height: 5' 10"
Trivia: Sang lead on The Heights' single "How Do You Talk to an Angel?" (1992)
Other works: TV commercial for Levi's 501 Jeans (1988)
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