50 bits of trivia about Nintendo

From Games Radar:

Over its decades of operation, Nintendo has collected millions of diehard fans. But for as dedicated as they may be, they don’t know everything about the company. Don’t believe us? Take a look at these facts we were able to dig up on the publisher. We’ll bet at least a few will surprise even the most informed Nintendo fan.

The first d-pad was created for a Nintendo game

Enjoy using that simple, plus sign-shaped directional pad to get around? Then be thankful that back in 1982 the Game & Watch developers at Nintendo came up with it. Headed by Gunpei Yokoi (who later went on to design the Game Boy), the team decided on the cross shape and concave middle as the best way to control 2D movement in their G&W port of Donkey Kong. Nintendo patented the d-pad and has used it ever since, which explains why its console competitors like Sony and Microsoft use variations on that design for their d-pads, since they legally can’t directly copy Nintendo’s.

Duck Hunt got its start as a toy in the 1970s

For millions of gamers, Duck Hunt is known as the other game that came with the NES on the same cartridge as Super Mario Bros. But it was actually a remake of one of Nintendo’s more popular toys of the 1970s. That earlier Duck Hunt worked pretty much the same as on the NES, using a projector to place ducks on a wall that you would then shoot with a light gun. The ducks still fall straight down if you hit them, but no dog laughs at you when you miss, so maybe the more primitive original is the superior version.

Nintendo tried to sell Twister to Japan

Once Nintendo moved fully into toys and away from card games in the late 1960s, the company imported the classic western game Twister to try and sell to its home country. Unfortunately, the game didn’t catch on, and some feel that the social standards in Japan at the time are to blame. Unlike in the US, it was seen as improper for people–particularly girls–to get as close as they do in the admittedly suggestive game.

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