Ex-Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi Passes Away At Age 85

Nintendo - Hiroshi Yamauchi

We lost a great man today.

Some sad new for the videogame industry today. Hiroshi Yamauchi, who was the head honcho of Nintendo for an astonishing 53 years, has passed on; succumbing to pneumonia. He was 85 years old.

Yamauchi came into Nintendo back in 1949, when the company was still making playing cards. He was essential for pushing Nintendo into the videogame market, and lead the company into the home videogame console market when they brought out the pretty white and red machine called the Family Computer (Famicom).

Yamauchi stepped down from his Presidental duties May 31, 2002, shortly after the launch of GameCube. He became the chairman of Nintendo’s board of directors, but then stepped down from that position in 2005 and left the company entirely. Before passing, he was the largest shareholder of Nintendo stock.

I can’t even begin to imagine what the industry would be without him. He played a huge role in transforming the imaginations of millions of youngsters; leading the charge into homes with the NES, the Super NES, the N64, and the GameCube. That’s quite the legacy! And a lot of the folks are making games today because of the games they played on those systems. Can you imagine if they never existed? Where would we be?

Sure he’s said some… er… interesting things over the years, but there’s no denying what he’s done to revitalized the videogame industry, particularly with the NES and Super NES.

Thank you, Yamauchi-san, for helping shape my childhood by pushing out game-changing consoles.

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Sources: Eurogamer; Nikkei; BBC News