In memoriam: former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi

News Ryan Lambie
19 Sep 2013 - 15:24

We're sad to learn that former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi has passed away at the age of 85.

Nintendo was still a trading card company when Hiroshi Yamauchi took over in 1949, and it was under his guidance that the business became a true gaming icon of the 1980s. In what is surely remembered as Nintendo's golden age, Yamauchi-san oversaw the development of the Family Computer (later the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US and Europe) and the creation of arguably the most beloved and recognised games and characters in the industry: Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong to name but a few.

He continued to serve as president until 2002, overseeing the launch of successive generations of consoles and handhelds, including the hugely popular Game Boy and Super Nintendo. It was announced today that Yamauchi-san passed away in a Japanese hospital, and that his funeral will be held on Sunday.

It's a sombre moment for the games industry, for sure, but what a legacy to leave behind: he transformed the company into the most successful console maker in the world, and was personally responsible for hiring Shigeru Miyamoto, a key figure in game design. Without Yamauchi-san, the gaming landscape would now look entirely different.

Nintendo Life

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