Nikkei is reporting that the longest running president of Nintendo Co. Ltd. (1949-2002) has died today of pneumonia. He was 85 years old.

Hiroshi Yamauchi is the man behind Nintendo’s diversification away from being just a traditional card maker. Businesses such as a taxi company, love hotels and even fast food didn’t fare well almost bankrupting the company until Yamauchi spotted the talented Gunpei Yokoi and his toy inventions.These were a great success for the company and following the emergence of electronics in home entertainment products, which Yamauchi was keeping a keen eye on, the eventual development of the successful Color TV Game 6, arcade games such as Radar Scope and Donkey Kong as well as the Game & Watch series put Nintendo on the road to where we find it today.

Yamauchi stepped down as president in 2002 following the launch of Nintendo Gamecube. He became chairman of the board of directors until 2005. He refused to accept his pension, valued at approximately 9-14 million US dollars, when he left saying that Nintendo could put the money to better use. He was the largest shareholder of Nintendo and was crowned the 12th richest man in Japan and donated 7.5 billion yen to build a cancer treatment centre in Kyoto in 2010.

Yamauchi leaves behind a wife and three children.


Monday Morning Box Art: Tare Panda Gunpey

Monday mornings suck. Here’s some box art to make it better.

The flagship game for Bandai’s Wonderswan was Gunpey, a puzzle game named after Gunpei Yokoi, who led the development of the Game Boy, Virtual Boy, and Wonderswan. The player has to swap tiles containing lines and connect them to make one big line.

Tare Panda Gunpey is basically the same, except there are pandas. In other words, it’s way better.

The Ultra-Hand of Fate

'Hoy, small fry. This is Wander; and today, we're going to have a little history lesson.



It may appear to be a simple toy; you probably had something similar when you were younger. But this little apparatus had a greater effect on history than you may realize: By pure chance, the Ultra Hand changed the life of a young engineer, the course of a struggling entertainment company, and perhaps even the culture of an entire planet. Dear readers, allow me to introduce you to the very first toy Nintendo ever produced.

Ultra Hand

Creator: Gunpei Yokoi

Year: 1966

Read More