Hiroshi Yamauchi dies at 85

By Melissa Platero, CCNN Writer

See this dinosaur?! That’s the system that started Nintendo!

On September 19, Nintendo’s former president Hiroshi Yamauchi died at the age of 85 after being hospitalized for pneumonia. He took over the corporation from his grandfather as president in 1949 when it was still a small business that made playing cards. Say what? Yep, instead of designing Mario map packs and pocket monsters, they manufactured the decks needed to play Go Fish!

Now, despite several business attempts, Yamauchi’s major success did not come until the late 1970s and early 1980s, when he took advantage of the growing gaming industry and launched the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in the United States. He spent 50 years as the head honcho of the corporation, and is credited with making the major decisions about which games to release! Pretty much, the higher-ups at Nintendo agree that the billion-dollar success is all thanks to Yamauchi and his keen eye for making unique games that were unlike anything seen before. Which, if you think about it, is completely true. Who else but Nintendo releases successful games that involve lovable monsters that you can capture to train and battle?!

Anyways, Yamauchi stepped down from president in 2002 and handed over the keys to Satoru Iwata. Following his retirement, Nintendo’s leading position in the gaming industry dropped under Sony and Microsoft. Even with the success of the Wii in the early 2000s, Nintendo is still struggling to regain its previous dominance. That, however, doesn’t stop the gaming manufacturers from using Yamauchi’s wisdom! “We will continue to treasure the values Yamauchi taught us – that what makes you unique lies at the core of entertainment. And we at Nintendo will continue to change the company flexibly to adapt to the times, as Yamauchi did, to carry on his spirit,” Iwata said in a statement.

Losing such an inspiring figure is always sad, but we’re sure that Nintendo’s legacy will always live on. It’s hard to forget the memorable man that helped develop perfect the Game Boy!

Featured image courtesy of Official Nintendo Magazine. Image of NES courtesy of Evan-Amos on Wikipedia.