What You Didn’t Know About Nintendo

Nintendo has been a staple of many gamers for years, but there are a lot of things that even some die-hard fans don’t know about the company. This infographic helps to not only share some interesting trivia about the video game company, but also puts into perspective just how successful Nintendo has been. Nintendo started as a playing card company, way back in 1889, and only got into the video game industry in the 1970s, releasing their first game in 1978. Shigeru Miyamoto, one of the men most closely associated with Nintendo, was hired as the first staff artist in 1977. After creating Mario, Zelda, and various other iconic characters that are still insanely popular to this day, he’s practically revered as a sort of All-Star in the industry.

It should come as no surprise that Mario and Pokemon are the top Nintendo franchises, followed by Zelda. Combined, the three have sold 534 million copies. Sega’s mascot, Sonic, has only sold 36 million copies of his various video games, and the long-running Mortal Kombat series only 26 million. To put that 534 million number into perspective, the infographic designer notes that a stack of that many NES cartridges would be 6,230 miles tall. Only recently has the Wii surpassed the NES’ selling mark of 67.45 million consoles, making the motion-controlled console the best selling Nintendo system. These numbers are dwarfed by handheld sales, as the Nintendo DS has sold a whopping 125.13 million. The original Gameboy, in comparison, sold 118.69 million in its lifetime. The DS’ primary competitor, Sony’s PSP, has sold just under 56 million, less than half of the DS’ sales number. Nintendo seems like it would be a small company since it tends to mainly focus on just consoles and video games, whereas companies like Sony branch into a wide array of electronics. Despite this, Nintendo is a larger company than Sony, as well as various other major brands such as Nike and Target.


The infographic finishes with some more quirky facts about the games themselves rather than the company’s staggering sales figures. One note is that NES games were notoriously difficult in order to make games last longer. No doubt, if you owned the console, you probably also owned at least one game that was practically impossible to beat (but which you still played anyway). Mario is noted to have an inhuman vertical jump of 27 feet according to measurements taken in the original Super Mario Bros., just one of the 235 games the red-clad plumber has been featured in. The infographic mentions that he’s also been in 7 television shows, with the most popular probably being the Super Mario Bros. Super Show with Lou Albano. Also mentioned is the breakfast cereal, one which actually had two different compartments: one for the Mario cereal and one for a Legend of Zelda cereal. Not mentioned is the live-action Super Mario Bros. film, which is probably for the best. For more nostalgic fun, check out our list of Fan-Made Versions of Video Game Songs or this Portable Nintendo 64.