The company was established on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi as Nintendo Playing Card Co., Ltd. (任天堂骨牌株式会社 Nintendō Karuta Kabushiki-gaisha). Hiroshi Yamauchi took over the company after Fusajiro's death.
In 1956, Hiroshi visited the U.S. to talk with the United States Playing Card Company, the dominant playing card manufacturer there. He found that they were using only a small office. Yamauchi's realization that the playing card business had limited potential was a turning point.
The company changed it's name to Nintendo Co., Ltd. in 1963.
- Association with Disney
Later on, many Disney-themed video games would be created for Nintendo's gaming systems by third party developers and publishers. Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck hold the distinction of being some of the few licensed characters (the others being Popeye and Snoopy) to feature in Nintendo's Game & Watch line through the Mickey Mouse and Mickey & Donald titles.