A Japanese company that pulled videogaming out of the gutter in the mid 80's, with quality, innovative, original games. Had a virtual monopoly in the late 80s and early 90s. Has lost marketshare more recently to Sony and Microsoft due to a series of mistakes and a "kiddy" image, which is hard to shake. One mistake was deciding to use carts intstead of CDs with the n64, which made sense at the time (faster load times), but in hindsight, seems idiotic. Still popular with retro gamers, non-gamers, females, and younger gamers, although there really isn't much coming out on the GC at this point in time. Most of the developers have jumped ship, and Nintendo is focusing more on its handhelds. Nintendo still manages to turn a profit however due to cost effective hardware, unlike its competitors who see huge losses before any return.
-Consoles include the NES, SNES, N64, GC; handhelds: GB, VB, GBC, GBA, DS
-franchises: Metroid, Mario, Donkey Kong, Starfox; many franchises that are now on other consoles were originally Nintendo games- Perfect Dark, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Metal Gear, etc