• One of many business ideas explored by early Nintendo was a "love hotel." These establishments are popular in Japan and offer couples rooms by the hour. Nintendo invested in a love hotel in the swinging '60s, although "the location and name of Nintendo’s hotel seems lost to the pages of time..." Lost -- or buried.
• Another of its many business schemes: Nintendo built a brick system called "N&B Blocks." It seems LEGO wasn't too pleased, but Nintendo wangled its way out of legal difficulty due to the fact that some of its blocks were rounded. The N&B Blocks were eventually nixed, but back in the 1990s a GameBoy game made reference to them. Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins boasted an entire stage made out of N&B Blocks.
• Skip forward a few decades and Nintendo is facing more legal action. This time it's Universal Studios, which thinks Donkey Kong infringes on the King Kong trademark.
Because Nintendo's first bit had just hit in the States, it was a crucial legal battle to win. Nintendo pulled out the big guns with attorney John Kirby, who successfully argued that the King Kong plot and characters were in the public domain.
To thank Kirby, Nintendo bought him a sailboat and granted him "exclusive worldwide rights to use the name for sailboats."
• Redmond, Washington is most famous as the headquarters of Microsoft, but Nintendo settled in the Seattle suburb before the software giant.
With the profits from Donkey Kong Nintendo bought land in Redmond in 1982. Microsoft didn't relocate from Bellevue, Washington until 1986.
• The cross-shaped D-pad was invented by GameBoy creator and long-time Nintendo employee Gunpei Yokoi. It was initially designed for the handheld version of Donkey Kong, but Nintendo soon realized it could be used with console controllers, too. The D-pad featured on the NES "+Control Pad", and the rest is history.
• In the '80s and through to the early Nineties, Nintendo of America had some seriously strict game guidelines laid out in an official policy. While much of the policy worked to block truly offensive content, the level of censorship was taken to the extreme.
Examples of over-zealous changes made to games include a classic nude statue being clothed, a red cross being removed from a hospital frontage, bars being changed to cafes and, in one bizarre example, a criminal gang smuggling a shipment of bananas, rather than drugs.
• Back in 1992 Nintendo became the majority owner of major league baseball team the Seattle Mariners. After