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Finally Nintendo acknowledges that Mario is no longer a plumber External Link

Nintendo's Japanese website clarifies Mario worked as a plumber "a long time ago."

"With Donkey Kong, we have this gorilla who grabs this gal and runs away with her and you have to go chase the gorilla down to save the lady. And the game's stage was a construction site, so we made him into basically a carpenter. …. With (1983's) Mario Bros., we brought in Luigi and a lot of the game was played underground so we made him to fit that setting and, we decided he could be a plumber. The scenario dictates his role."
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Nintendo cheerleaders

Nintendo to develop games for smartphones

Nintendo has released a statement that they will be entering an alliance with Japanese mobile game company DeNA Co. to develop games for mobile devices.  This means that Nintendo's trademark characters like Super Mario and Pokemon could be playable on your smartphone or tablet.  "With our powers combined!", Nintendo will be combining their intellectual property and game development skills with DeNA's expertise with mobile gaming.

Both companies have agreed to build a global membership service for various devices including personal computers, smartphones, and Nintendo consoles.  This is a smart move for Nintendo as people increasingly turn to mobile phones and social networks to play games.

In technical terms, Nintendo will acquire about 15 million DeNA shares or a 10 percent stake.  In return. DeNA will acquire about 1.759 million Nintendo shares, or 1.24 percent of the company.  Both acquisitions are worth 22 billion yen, or $182 million, due by April 2nd of 2015.

The service is set to launch in the fall of 2015.
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8-bit harmonica

8-bit Harmonica - Blow into the cartridge for music

This harmonica not only has a Famicon cartridge case, it also produces 8-bit sound when you blow into the cartridge!  The 8-bit sound in this harmonica is achieved using a set of pipes that you blow into that are programmed to reproduce the chiptune sounds as heard in the original Super Mario Bros.  Multiple modes allow you to switch between playing music or the coin sound effect from the game.  Whether you're a video game fan or not, this is definitely a cool idea!

Source:  Basami Sentaku via YouTube
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Nintendo Monopoly board game

Nintendo Collector's Edition Monopoly Board Game

If you're a Nintendo fan or a Monopoly fan (or both!), you should move your attention for a minute to the latest Monopoly release:  Nintendo Monopoly.  This board game features all the classic characters in lieu of the original Monopoly landmarks, including Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Samus, Star Fox, Kirby, and Wario.  Players can play as the Mushroom, Star, Master Sword, Samus' Helment, Pikmin's Rocket, and Gyroid.

The Nintendo Monopoly board game is available at Amazon.
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Hiroshi Yamauchi

Nintendo visionary Hiroshi Yamauchi dies at 85

Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo visionary credited for transforming Nintendo into a world-leading video game company, has died at age 85.  Mr. Yamauchi ran the firm for 53 years, from 1949 to 2002, and was its second largest shareholder at the time of his death.

Mr. Yamauchi took over at Nintendo after his grandfather passed away from a stroke.  After several years developing the firm's existing trading card business, Mr. Yamauchi turned to electronic entertainment, spearheading Nintendo as they moved into the arcade business, with hits such as Donkey Kong, and was president during the NES, the SNES, the N64, and the Gamecube.  Mr. Yamauchi stepped down as president of the company in 2002, taking a seat on the firm's board of directors.  In 2005, he left the company entirely.

Mr. Yamauchi passed away from complications with pneumonia at a hospital in central Japan.  A funeral will take place on Sunday.
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