The video game crash of 1983, also known as Atari shock in Japan, was a massive recession of the video game industry that occurred from 1983 to 1985. Revenues had peaked at around $3.2 billion in 1983, then fell to around $100 million by 1985 (a drop of almost 97 percent). The crash was a serious event that brought an abrupt end to what is considered the second generation of console video gaming in North America.
The crash almost destroyed the then-fledgling industry and led to the bankruptcy of several companies producing home computers and video game consoles in the region, including the fastest-growing U.S. company in history at that point, Atari. It lasted about two years, and many business analysts of the time expressed doubts about the long-term viability of video game consoles. The North American video game Console industry recovered a few years later, mostly due to the widespread success of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which was soft launched in New York City in late 1985 and had become extremely popular in North America by 1987.
There were several reasons for the crash, but the main cause was saturation of the market. The full effects of the industry crash would not be felt until 1985.
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Hiroshi Yamauchi (山内 溥 Yamauchi Hiroshi, November 7, 1927 – September 19, 2013) was a Japanese businessman. He was the third president of Nintendo, joining the company in 1949 until stepping down on May 31, 2002, to be succeeded by Satoru Iwata. Yamauchi is credited with transforming Nintendo from a small hanafuda card-making company in Japan to a multi-billion dollar video game company. He also became the majority owner of the Seattle Mariners baseball team in 1992; the current CEO of the Mariners is former Nintendo of America chairman Howard Lincoln.
As of April 2013, Forbes estimated Yamauchi’s net worth at $2.1 billion; he was the 13th richest person in Japan and the 491st richest in the world. In 2008, Yamauchi was Japan’s wealthiest person with a fortune at that time estimated at $7.8 billion. At the time of his death, Yamauchi was the largest shareholder at Nintendo.
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Game & Watch (Japanese: ゲーム&ウオッチ Gēmu & Uotchi; called Tricotronic in West Germany and Austria) is a line of handheld electronic games produced by Nintendo from 1980 to 1991. Created by game designer Gunpei Yokoi, each Game & Watch features a single game to be played on an LCD screen in addition to a clock, an alarm, or both. It was the earliest Nintendo product to garner major success.
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Super Mario Bros. (Japanese: スーパーマリオブラザーズ Hepburn: Sūpā Mario Burazāzu) is a 1985 platform video game internally developed by Nintendo EAD and published by Nintendo as a pseudo-sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros. It was originally released in Japan for the Family Computer on 13 September 1985, and later that year for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America, Europe on 15 May 1987 and Australia in 1987. It is the first of the Super Mario series of games. In Super Mario Bros., the player controls Mario and in a two-player game, a second player controls Mario’s brother Luigi as he travels through the Mushroom Kingdom in order to rescue Princess Toadstool from the antagonist Bowser.
In 2005, IGN’s poll named the “pioneering” and “highly influential” title as The Greatest Game Of All Time, considering it to have aided in resurrecting the crashed American video game market of the 1980s. The game’s mid-1980s release served to further popularize the side-scrolling subgenre of the already popular platform video game genre of the early 1980s. In addition to its definitive features, the game has also sold enormously well, and was the best-selling game of all time for a single platform for approximately three decades at over 40 million units, until Nintendo’s Wii Sports took that title. The commercial success of Super Mario Bros. has caused it to be ported to almost every one of Nintendo’s major gaming consoles. Nintendo released special red variants of the Wii and Nintendo DSi XL consoles in re-packaged, Mario-themed, limited edition bundles in late 2010 as part of the 25th anniversary of the game’s release.
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