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Hiroshi Yamauchi has died at age 85

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Sad day in the gaming world!

Hiroshi Yamauchi, the man who transformed Nintendo into a videogame giant, has died at 85. A Nintendo spokesman tells BBC News that the company is today mourning the "loss of the former Nintendo president Mr Hiroshi Yamauchi, who sadly passed away this morning."

When Yamauchi became president of Nintendo in 1949, the company was a small playing cards manufacturer. In 1963 Yamauchi renamed Nintendo Playing Card to Nintendo and massively diversified the company's efforts. In the following years Nintendo set up a taxi company, a TV network, and even a chain of love hotels before getting into toys in 1966.

Nintendo's first toy was the Ultra Hand. It was designed by Gunpei Yokoi, who would later go on to create Nintendo's wildly popular handheld electronic game series Game & Watch and the Game Boy. The story goes that Yokoi created the Ultra Hand, which was an extendable arm that could grab items, for his own amusement, but when Yamauchi saw the product he ordered that it be developed as a toy in time for Christmas.


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