Let’s a-go! Nintendo has announced the construction of a museum tracing the history of the company’s products over the years in Kyoto. A news release outlines plans to transform their current Nintendo Uji Ogura Plant into the facility tentatively named Nintendo Gallery. The idea is to not only showcase its product development history, but share its “philosophy with the public.”
The site of Nintendo Gallery was built in 1969. Nintendo moved to the Kyoto suburb due to a need to expand and reinforce its existing game department. The Uji Ogura Plant was used to manufacture both playing cards and Hanafuda cards, and later housed a customer service center. However, the building has sat unused since this work was transferred to the current Uji Plant in 2016.
Nintendo, known for creating Super Mario Bros. and gaming systems such as the Game Boy and Wii, got its start in the playing card trade. In 1889, Fusajiro Yamauchi founded Nintendo to manufacture Hanafuda, or “flower cards,” in Kyoto. These playing cards were the name of the game until Nintendo began to expand into other forms of fun, introducing the Beam Gun series in 1970. Eventually, Nintendo began to produce arcade games with its classic characters for worldwide distribution, reaching new heights with 1981’s Donkey Kong. The Famicom—the company’s first cartridge-based console, rebranded as the Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan—launched in 1983. Six years later came the Game Boy, and Nintendo’s future as a groundbreaking console creator took form.
While the mock design for Nintendo Gallery looks less cartoonish and more simple than the recently opened Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Japan, Nintendo maintains a level of creativity and attention to detail that is sure to be present in the new museum. The Nintendo Gallery is expected to open in March 2024.