Nintendo Co. Ltd., founded as a playing card company in Kyoto, Japan in 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi, has been a prominent figure in the video industry since their first electronic console in 1974. Their initial release, the Magnavox Odyssey ?while not their own invention, Nintendo was able to secure the rights to it?was released in Japan in 1974. Their first in house produced console was the Color TV Games, through a joint venture with Mitsubishi Electric, released in 1977, which was a dedicated console; meaning it played only built-in games. Over the course of four years Nintendo release four Color TV Games consoles: the Color TV Game 6, which contained six variations of the game tennis (or Pong, as it was popular at the time), The Color TV Game 15, which allowed for 15 versions of tennis to be played, The Color TV Racing 112, Nintendo first foray into auto racing games, complete with a steering wheel peripheral, and the Color TV Game Block Kusure, which played a game very similar to Atari?s Breakout style game. In 1979 Nintendo began cranking out arcade titles that were typically clones of popular games from other arcade companies like Space Fever (a Space Invaders clone), and Magic Monkey ( a Breakout clone), but it wasn?t until 1981, with the release of Donkey Kong, that Nintendo found real success in the arcade market. Donkey Kong was initially intended to feature Popeye as the heroic character, but because Nintendo couldn?t secure the licensing, Nintendo was forced to create a new character, Jumpman, who would go on to become one of Nintendo?s most successful, and lucrative characters, Mario. In 1983 Nintendo launched the Family Computer (or Famicom) in Japan, and again in 1986 in the United States as the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES. A two-player, 8-bit GPU (graphics processing unit), cartridge console, with optional peripherals like a light gun, power pad, and R.O.B. (a robot that could substitute for a second player on NES games Stack-Up and Gyromite), the NES is considered by many to be one of the most influential game systems ever made, eventually selling almost 62 million units worldwide in its twenty year run (the longest-lasting production run of any console), and with the release of such games as The Legend of Zelda, Tetris, Excitebike, Metroid, and Super Mario Bros.?the best-selling game in history, selling in excess of 50 million?the NES would eventually turn video gaming into a multi-billion dollar industry, and in only five years. In 1991 Nintendo released the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or SNES, a 16-bit GPU, cartridge console. The successor to the NES, the SNES featured enhanced graphics, a brand new controller (the first controller to feature shoulder buttons), better sound and more features. While not as successful as the NES before it, the SNES still proved to be the leader of the video game industry during the 16-bit generation, surpassing its competition from Sega's Genesis With the release of such games as Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, and Super Mario Kart, the SNES would go on to sell almost 50 million units worldwide. Nintendo?s next console, the Nintendo 64?named after its 64-bit GPU?was released in 1996 and featured 3D graphics, up to four players, and was the first console to introduce the analog stick?an input device for game controllers (and prevalent for 3D games where more than eight directions are needed)?a smaller variation of the arcade joystick. The N64?s GPU was intended to create a graphics processor that would launch video games into the 3D realm. No game exemplified this better than Super Mario 64: a platform, action adventure game that set the standard for many future 3D games. Despite the fact that the N64 would go on to sell almost 40 million units and release such games as Super Mario 64, GoldenEye 007, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Super Smash Bros., the N64 was the first Nintendo console to lose its foothold in the gaming market, perhaps due to Nintendo?s decision to continue its use of cartridges over CDs, which did make quite a few software developers turn away from the system. Not only were cartridges more expensive, but it also meant that Nintendo would be the only supplier, enforcing their grip on licenses, and falling to second place to Sony?s PlayStation. The Nintendo GameCube followed in 2001 and was the first Nintendo console to