The history of Nintendo is pretty surprising. The company made some of the best games of all time, but they also made a few huge mistakes. Nintendo has covered up a lot of those transgressions, though. How many modern gamers are even familiar with the company's Virtual Boy or how bad it was? The list of things you don't know about Nintendo is probably staggering.
In 2002, the European Commission fined Nintendo $147 million for price fixing – collaborating with distributors to artificially raise prices. From 1991 to 1998, the gaming company had strangleholds on every game store carrying their products. Those stores were forced to either follow Nintendo's rules or stop selling some of the most popular games on the market.
Over time, the price differences for the same items between countries became astronomical; a Nintendo game in Spain could cost up to 300% more in the UK. Nintendo appealed the Commission fine, though, and the fines were reduced.
The Super NES CD-ROM has always been somewhat mythical in the video game industry. People knew Nintendo and Sony teamed up to create a console in 1988. However, royalty disputes prevented the console from ever hitting the markets. In 1994, Sony released an independent disk-based system – the PlayStation. Nintendo continued to release cartridge-based systems until creating the Nintendo GameCube in 2001.
A Pennsylvanian man named Terry Diebold actually came across the Nintendo/Sony game system, though. He won it an auction and only paid $75 for the sought-after collaboration.
As part of the announcement for Super Mario Bros. 3, the 1989 film The Wizard was released. It wasn't well-regarded by critics – Roger Ebert called it "a thinly disguised commercial for Nintendo video games" – but it still managed to amass a cult following. The film follows three kids traveling to California to compete in a national video game championship. Somehow, though, the competition only involves Nintendo titles.
Filled with product placement, the film constantly mentions the NES, Nintendo's Power Glove peripheral, and of course Super Mario Bros.
Foxconn, a company Nintendo contracted to assemble the Wii U, was accused of using child labor in certain factories in 2012. Young teens between the ages of 14 and 16 were supposedly recruited and made to work long hours on the game console. Reports say the children were allowed to leave at any time, but they were allegedly threatened with having their school diplomas withheld. Nintendo claimed to investigate the matter.