Saturday, October 21, 2017

Nintendo Company Report 1993

In the days before the World Wide Web allowed companies to easily disseminate information, the main way to share company details was through print.  The document shown here is an example of this. It was aimed at the financial market in Japan: business journalists, shareholders and people interested to acquire stock in the publicly listed company.

Nintendo Company Report 1993 (front cover)

Unlike Nintendo's more recent artfully designed colorful Company Guides aimed at prospected employees, the design is business-like, with a glossy grey cover with "NINTENDO COMPANY REPORT 1993" and the Nintendo logo printed on the front in shiny silver.

The report starts with a foreword by company president Hiroshi Yamauchi (山内溥), in which he lists a number of sales highlights as well as the company's commitment to provide the best digital entertainment through a combination of hardware and software.

The next section provides an overview of the company's 104 year history. The color bars at the top use the iconic color scheme from the Super Famicom, Nintendo's most recent release.

This color scheme returns on the next spread that shows the company achievements, highlighting the hardware and software sales for Nintendo's three video game platforms at the time: Famicom (NES), Gameboy and Super Famicom (SNES).

The information listed is for units sold up to December 1992.

Units sold (since)Hardware (Japan)Hardware (abroad)Software (Japan)Software (abroad)
Famicom (1983)
NES (1985)
Gameboy (1989)8,430,00020,520,00053,510,00089,060,000
Super Famicom (1990)
SNES (1991)

Truly mind-boggling numbers. Famicom and NES total nearly half a billion games together (487 million to be exact)!

The Famicom (and NES) sales had plateaued at this stage at almost 60 million units sold. The sales numbers for the newer Super Famicom (and SNES) would still increase significantly from the 32 million at this point in time, to close to 50 million at end the console's life cycle.

The Gameboy also had plenty of life ahead, its sales invigorated by the launch of the Gameboy Pocket and Gameboy Color in 1996 and 1998, respectively.

The report then goes on to explain the ingredients of this tremendous commercial success: a marriage of Nintendo's hardware and software, described here as "Super Synergy" and illustrated by the happy couple Mario and Yoshi.

The next pages give an overview of the features of Nintendo's hardware as well as their most well known game characters.

This is followed by a display of the the most popular games for Famicom (and Famicom Disk System), Gameboy and Super Famicom.

Next are some details regarding the activities by Nintendo of America. The US was (and still is) Nintendo's most importnat market outside of Japan.

The featured activities in the United States include the World of Nintendo shop-in-shop concept, the customer helpline (with staff of 400!) and Nintendo Power magazine.

A random picture of Nintendo's prime customer group is included next.

Nintendo's target audience

The report concludes with company details.

This includes the location and contact details for the offices and production locations in Japan, Europe, the US and Canada.

An interesting part of this section is the list of activities ('objectives') that the company is involved in. Although video games are obviously the prime business at this stage, the list shows the wide range of businesses Nintendo became involved in over time, under the direction of Hiroshi Yamauchi.

The list of 16 business objectives includes:
  1. Production and sale of cards
  2. Manufacture of recreational equipment, work equipment and acoustic equipment
  3. Manufacture and sale of office equipment and office supplies
  4. Manufacture and sale of teaching materials, child care products, household goods and electrical goods
  5. Printing, publishing and sales and sales of paper products
  6. Sales of synthetic resins, metals and wood products
  7. Manufacture and sale of communication machinery and appliances, electronic appliances and equipment
  8. Information processing and providing information by information network using computer system
  9. Real estate buying and selling, rental, management and intermediary
  10. Sales and purchase of financial services and securities
  11. Life insurance agency business
  12. Management and investment in restaurants, cafeterias, coffee shops, shops, entertainment venues
  13. Planning, manufacturing and sale of character goods
  14. Granting permission to use copyrighted work
  15. Licensing of trademarks
  16. Incidental businesses related to the preceding items
[For examples of the broad mix of products created by Nintendo over the decades, check out the list of List of Nintendo toys and games on this blog.]

Nintendo Company Report 1993 (back)

In case you are interested to see more corporate publications by Nintendo, check out these previous blog posts about their company guides from 1970, 201120122013, and 2014.


  1. Fantastic stuff! I'm especially happy for those console and software sales numbers. I hope you can find more of these!

  2. It's somehow heartwarming that Nintendo was bragging about Nintendo Power and the tipline back at home.

    I have a memory of calling the tipline once as a young kid, needing help getting past some part in Wario Land II. The guy was very, very patient haha.