History of Nintendo:
The Nintendo Company was founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi in 1898 in Kyoto, Japan as a Hanafuda playing cards manufacturer. Following the success of these cards and when his grandson, Hiroshi Yamauchi, took over the company, Nintendo was expanded into other products. Seeing the limitations of the playing card market, Hiroshi expanded the company into selling various products such as instant rice and taxi services. However, none made much of a profit.
Following the Tokyo Olympics and the decline in the playing card business, Nintendo entered the toy manufacturing business, creating products such as the Ultra Hand. They bought old bowling alleys to create electronic shooting galleries titled the Laser Clay Shooter System. At the same time, Genyo Takeda developed Nintendo's first ever video game: EVR Race. Additionally, the unsuccessful RadarScope would later be replaced by the extremely successful Donkey Kong. Not only did this prove to be the game that put Nintendo on the video game map but it also introduced Mario, Nintendo's future mascot.
Various Game & Watch games were released between 1980-1982, the first one being "Ball". These games did not have individual cartridges, instead, the LCD console itself held the game. Both the silver and gold series of these games were released worldwide. More importantly, Nintendo's famous "Donkey Kong" was released as an arcade game in 1980. In this game, the player played as "Jumpman" (Mario) and had to jump up various platforms and over barrels in order to save Pauline from the villain, Donkey Kong. Soon, arcades were filled with "Donkey Kong" games.
Despite Nintendo's struggle to find CPUs and PPUs that could produce the chips needed for the developing Famicon console, they came to a risky agreement with the Ricoh company as Nintendo promised to purchase three million units over two years. The Famicon system was released but there was a major problem, a chip caused the whole console to freeze, causing a recall and then re-release to occur.
Nintendo began developing more home consoles and games such as Balloon Fight, Clu Clu Land, and Duck Hunt. In 1985, Nintendo released their Nintendo Entertainment System, their most popular system yet. This caused the company and video games in generally to become widely more popular. Included was the robot toy known as R.O.B. whose purpose was to disguise the system as more of a toy in order for many retailers who were wary of selling video game-related items to buy and sell them. "Super Mario Bros." was released on the NES, featuring Mario and his brother, Luigi, who had to save Princess Peach from King Koopa. In the late 1980s, Nintendo released some of their most popular franchises including "The Legend of Zelda" and "Metroid" and released them on the NES.
In 1989, Nintendo's first handheld gaming system was released, the Game Boy. Battery-powered, kids could now play their games from anywhere. On this new system were various new titles like Tetris, Super Mario Land, and Pokemon. Later in 1990, an updated version of the NES, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was released. This console played many sequels of popular NES games.
Following the failure of the Virtual Boy, a failed attempt at a virtual reality console, Nintendo developed the very popular Nintendo 64. Some of the popular games played on this system include "Mario 64" and "Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time".
In more recent years, Nintendo has done more of the same. They have produced various consoles: the Game Cube, Wii, Wii U, and, earlier this year, the Nintendo Switch. The company has also been making plenty of handheld consoles like the Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advanced, DS, DSi, and the 2DS and 3DS. These systems feature many of Nintendo's most popular franchises and characters like Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Metroid, and Pokemon. However, Nintendo has been working more with third party companies including its rival in the past, Sega.
History of Sega:
Sega started off as Service Games, which produced jukeboxes and slot machines for the American Military in Honolulu. After relocating to Tokyo, Japan, it merged with another company and went under the name, Sega. Their first hit was a submarine simulator called Periscope, because of its use of lights and sound. Sega prospered during the arcade boom of the 70s.
Sega released their first console, the SG-1000, on the same day Nintendo released their Famicon but were greatly overshadowed by Nintendo. Later, in 1985, Sega's Master System again failed to find a market in Japan, once again losing out to Nintendo despite this time being more powerful. They released the console worldwide, finding more success, especially in Brazil where five million consoles were sold. The most popular game sold on this system was "Sonic the Hedgehog 2".
Perhaps Sega's most famous console is the Mega Drive (renamed the Genesis). It found much success in America where Sega marketed it themselves with the slogan "Genesis does what Nintendon't!". The Genesis got very popular but still Nintendo, with the SNES, was more popular and outsold them.
Sega released "Sonic the Hedgehog" in 1991. The game focused on speed and featured the blue hedgehog, Sonic. He became the mascot of Sega and many games including him were produced.
Their next console, the Sega Saturn is widely regarded as a failure despite receiving good sales in Japan. This is mostly due to the fact that there were more games avaliable in Japan than in the rest of the world. The design that was in the works for quite awhile was changed to compete with the Sony Playstation. The dual CPUs made it a struggle for game developers, limiting the games present on the console.
Sega's final home console was the Dreamcast. Despite a shaky start, the console was well-received by critics and players. This is due to Sega's marketing campaign and successful games on the console. However, future consoles caused the Dreamcast's sales to drop and Sega to producing home consoles and instead focus on game development.
Today, Sega's games and characters, including Sonic, appear on other consoles. Sega has developed games for various companies, including Nintendo. Nintendo has produced games featuring Sonic and other Sega characters, thus ending the console wars.