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The Nintendo Museum: What We Know So Far

(Image from The Verge).


On September 14 2023, Nintendo revealed, in their triannual Nintendo Direct presentation, further details on the Nintendo Museum set to open in Kyoto. 


The Nintendo Direct Video


As seen in the video below (timestamp: 50:20), in a brief minute explanation, Shinya Takahashi states that the museum’s construction will not suffer from any delays and will likely be completed after March 2024. Takashi, the General Manager of the Entertainment Planning & Development Division and Supervisor of the Business Development Division, further reveals that the museum will host many important items and keepsakes from Nintendo’s history and has no set opening date yet. 



Where Will the Museum Be Constructed?


The museum will be constructed as part of the Nintendo Uji Ogura Plant in Kyoto, which was originally built in 1969 and renovated in 1988 as a console repair facility before it closed its doors in 2016 and has not been used since (Gamespot, 2023). This location is where the company began producing hanafuda playing cards, and it is only fitting for the museum to reside in that location (Hyperallergic, 2021). When the Nintendo Museum was first announced back in 2021, little was revealed beyond the fact that the new gallery would be used to “showcase the many products Nintendo has launched over its history” alongside highlighting the company’s “product development, history, and philosophy with the public” since its origins (Gamespot, 2023).


A building plan was shared with the public of what the museum would look like, as demonstrated in the video above. The building will feature the iconic Question Block from the Super Mario Bros. franchise on its roof, as shown by the aerial shot in the Nintendo Direct. Here’s hoping that as construction is steadily completed, more images of the building will be revealed, with references to iconic Nintendo productions as well. 


Hang On: Who Even Is Nintendo?


In case you’ve gotten this far and are confused by what Nintendo even is, let’s break it down here. 


Officially known as Nintendo Co., Ltd., Nintendo is a Japanese multinational video game company headquartered in Kyoto. It develops, publishes, and releases video games and video-game consoles, with some of its biggest names including Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Kirby, Pokémon (alongside Game Developers, Game Freak), and Animal Crossing. Since its foundation, the company has sold more than 5.592 billion video games and over 836 million hardware units globally, as of March 2023.


 Founded in 1889 as Nintendo Karuta by craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi, the company produced (as mentioned previously) handmade hanafuda playing cards before it began to venture into various lines of business during the 1960s (Nintendo, 2022). Releasing its first console, the Color TV-Game, in 1977, the company began developing further consoles and games, including in the arcade industry. Entering the arcade video game market with Sheriff (1979) and Radar Scope (1980), their most famous arcade game was and continues to be, Donkey Kong (1981), one of the first platform games that allowed the player character to jump (Polygon, 2023). Mario, Nintendo’s official mascot and one of the most recognizable fictional characters in the world, came from this game, although he was originally called “Jumpman” (Technologizer, 2010). 


From the 1980s to 1990s, Nintendo focused more attention on developing their consoles and video games, such as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which was released in North America in 1985,  introduced the world to Super Mario Bros. in 1985 and The Legend of Zelda in 1987 (Nintendo, 2022). Nintendo would continue to make various successful consoles in the years that followed, including the Game Boy (1989), the Nintendo 64 (1996), the GameCube (2001), the Nintendo DS (2004), the Nintendo Wii (2006), the Nintendo 3DS (2011), the Nintendo Wii U (2012), and the Nintendo Switch (2017). Their domination of Nintendo’s video game market is immense and continues to grow every year, with their popularity even spanning beyond the confines of the video game world, as shown with their recent cinematic release, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which was a great commercial success. 


Nintendo’s Growing Domination 


The creation of a Nintendo Museum comes off the back of Nintendo’s various projects, such as the first-ever Nintendo theme park at Universal Studios Japan in 2021, then a second theme park of a similar nature being built at Universal Studios Hollywood, which opened in 2023 (Forbes, 2022). These theme parks boast an omni-mover ride called “Yoshi’s Adventure”, a Mario Kart-theme augmented reality attraction, and an adorable café that boasts a variety of “Power Mushroom” dishes. Although the museum is unlikely to possess these same attractions, the museum looks promising to all Nintendo fans who wish to know more about the company and to witness the items that shaped the games that made their childhood.


When is the Nintendo Museum Set to Open?


As mentioned, although it has been announced that the Nintendo Museum will finish construction in March 2024, there has yet to be a set date announced for when visitors can enter the premises. It is likely to be April 2024, if everything is proceeding as planned., but we will have to wait and see when the company decides when best to open the establishment. Rest assured it is with certainty that fans will be more than happy to wait and that the day it opens its doors will be a busy day indeed.


Edited by: Shahnawaz Chodhry

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