Hiroshi Yamauchi became president of Nintendo 1949. Yamauchi’s first success was with playing cards; Nintendo was the first company to make Western style playing cards in Japan. Yamauchi then pushed the company further into toy making with a plastic toy hand claw.
Nintendo was one of the first companies to create electronic toys, way back in the 1960′s when most toys were simple. This quickly set Nintendo apart and started the company on a trajectory to become a video game pioneer.
Nintendo launched the Famicom, which would be called the NES in the United States, in 1983 and it soon became a hit. The NES took what Atari and Magnavox were doing to the next level and is the forefather of all console gaming systems today.
It was Hiroshi Yamauchi who saw that the American version needed a new hero and pushed Shigeru Miyamoto to create another game with the hero from his “Donkey Kong.” The new game that was created for the USA was called “Super Mario Bros.”
Hiroshi Yamauchi died yesterday in a hospital in Japan. He is survived by a wife and three children.
Without Hiroshi Yamauchi part of my childhood would have been missing. I hope Hiroshi is out there conquering the next level too.
This one is for you Hiroshi.