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Nintendo icon Hiroshi Yamauchi dies at 85

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Sep 2013 19:50 User comments (2)

Nintendo icon Hiroshi Yamauchi dies at 85 Hiroshi Yamauchi, who led Nintendo into a position as the most recognizable video games brand in the world, has died at the age of 85.
Nintendo announced the passing of Hiroshi Yamauchi on Thursday, who succumbed to pneumonia. He was the third president of Nintendo, joining the company in 1949, and was succeeded by Nintendo president and CEO Satoru Iwata. He died as the largest Nintendo shareholder, with an estimated net worth of around $2.1 billion as of April, 2013.

In his early years at Nintendo, the company produced Hanafuda cards - a form of Japanese playing cards - and also introduced the plastic Western playing cards to Japan for the first time. In 1959, Yamauchi signed a licensing agreement with Walt Disney for playing cards.

Under Yamauchi, Nintendo listed on the stock exchange and became a huge name in Japan for card games intended for family use.

He realized very quickly the potential that the emerging markets for electronics had, taking note of the likes of Atari. It was with the entrance of Nintendo into the American arcade market that saw the eventual rise of Shigeru Miyamoto's Donkey Kong, in 1981.

In 1992, Yamauchi became the majority shareholder of the Seattle Mariners.

Throughout the 90s, Nintendo systems became commonplace around the world, including the Game Boy, Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Nintendo 64 etc. As competition heated up with domestic rival Sony, and later Microsoft with the release of Xbox, Nintendo marketed the GameCube as exclusively for video game experience, snubbing the DVD playback and other features of rival consoles.

In 2002, he stepped down but became chairman of the board of directors until June 2005, refusing to avail of his retirement pension of around $9-14 million.

He had quite an impact in his 85 years.

Tags: Nintendo
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2 user comments

119.9.2013 19:56

R.I.P.

220.9.2013 2:46

R.I.P - Hiroshi Yamauchi, You will be remembered!

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