Difference between revisions of "Nintendo Research & Development 1"

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After the [[North American video game crash of 1983]], interest in the video game market was tepid.  Nintendo looked for ways to alleviate retail fears for the new system, which was renamed the [[Nintendo Entertainment System]] outside of Japan. Yokoi developed [[R.O.B.]], the Robotic Operating Buddy (titled the Family Computer Robot in Japan). It was marketed as a novel toy, and was sold in the "Deluxe Set", which included the NES console, R.O.B., and a pack-in game supported by R.O.B. titled ''[[Gyromite]]''. Only one other game was developed for R.O.B., ''[[Stack-Up]]''. Both the Deluxe Set and ''Stack-Up'' were released at the NES console launch in North America on October 18, 1985.
 
After the [[North American video game crash of 1983]], interest in the video game market was tepid.  Nintendo looked for ways to alleviate retail fears for the new system, which was renamed the [[Nintendo Entertainment System]] outside of Japan. Yokoi developed [[R.O.B.]], the Robotic Operating Buddy (titled the Family Computer Robot in Japan). It was marketed as a novel toy, and was sold in the "Deluxe Set", which included the NES console, R.O.B., and a pack-in game supported by R.O.B. titled ''[[Gyromite]]''. Only one other game was developed for R.O.B., ''[[Stack-Up]]''. Both the Deluxe Set and ''Stack-Up'' were released at the NES console launch in North America on October 18, 1985.
  
Other games Nintendo R&D1 developed for this system include ''[[10-Yard Fight]]'', ''[[Baseball]]'', ''Donkey Kong'', ''Donkey Kong Jr.'', and ''Popeye'' in 1983, ''[[Clu Clu Land]]'', ''[[Devil World]]'', ''Duck Hunt'', ''Donkey Kong 3'', ''[[Excitebike]]'', ''[[Hogan's Alley]]'', ''[[Pinball (1983 video game)]]'', ''[[Tennis (1984 video game)|Tennis]]'', and ''[[Wrecking Crew]]'' in 1984, ''[[Ice Climber]]'', ''[[Urban Champion]]'' and ''[[Balloon Fight]]'' in 1985, ''[[Metroid]]'', ''[[Kid Icarus]]'', ''[[Gumshoe]]'', and ''[[Volleyball]]'' in 1986, ''[[Miho Nakayama High School]]'' and ''[[The Earth Fighter Rayieza|Three of the Galaxies]]'' (port of ''[[The Earth Fighter Rayieza]]'' by [[Enix]]) in 1987, ''[[Famicom Detective Club]]'' and ''[[Famicom Wars]]'' in 1988, ''[[Famicom Detective Club 2]]'', ''[[Tetris]]'', and ''[[Dr. Mario]]'' in 1989, ''[[Barker Bill's Trick Shooting]]'', ''[[Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light|Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light]]'', and ''[[Balloon Kid|Hello Kitty World]]'' (port of ''[[Balloon Kid]]'' by [[Pax Softnica]]) in 1990, ''[[Yoshi's Cookie]]'' in 1992, ''[[Tetris 2]]'' in 1993, and ''[[Wario's Woods]]'' in 1994.
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Other games Nintendo R&D1 developed for this system include ''[[10-Yard Fight]]'', ''[[Baseball]]'', ''Donkey Kong'', ''Donkey Kong Jr.'', and ''Popeye'' in 1983, ''[[Clu Clu Land]]'', ''[[Devil World]]'', ''Duck Hunt'', ''Donkey Kong 3'', ''[[Excitebike]]'', ''[[Hogan's Alley]]'', ''[[Pinball (1983 video game)]]'', ''[[Tennis (1984 video game)|Tennis]]'', and ''[[Wrecking Crew]]'' in 1984, ''[[Ice Climber]]'', ''[[Urban Champion]]'' and ''[[Balloon Fight]]'' in 1985, ''[[Metroid]]'', ''[[Kid Icarus]]'', ''[[Gumshoe]]'', and ''[[Volleyball (1986 video game)|Volleyball]]'' in 1986, ''[[Miho Nakayama High School]]'' and ''[[The Earth Fighter Rayieza|Three of the Galaxies]]'' (port of ''[[The Earth Fighter Rayieza]]'' by [[Enix]]) in 1987, ''[[Famicom Detective Club]]'' and ''[[Famicom Wars]]'' in 1988, ''[[Famicom Detective Club 2]]'', ''[[Tetris]]'', and ''[[Dr. Mario]]'' in 1989, ''[[Barker Bill's Trick Shooting]]'', ''[[Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light|Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light]]'', and ''[[Balloon Kid|Hello Kitty World]]'' (port of ''[[Balloon Kid]]'' by [[Pax Softnica]]) in 1990, ''[[Yoshi's Cookie]]'' in 1992, ''[[Tetris 2]]'' in 1993, and ''[[Wario's Woods]]'' in 1994.
  
 
==Development for the Famicom Disk System==
 
==Development for the Famicom Disk System==
 
When the [[Family Computer Disk System]] was released on February 21, 1986, Nintendo R&D1 began developing games for this Famicom disk add-on. The games released for this system include ''Kid Icarus'' and ''Metroid'' in 1986, ''[[Famicom Grand Prix F1 Race|Famicom Grand Prix: F1 Race]]'' in 1987, ''[[Famicom Grand Prix II 3D Hot Rally|Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally]]'' and ''[[Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir]]'' in 1988, and ''[[Famicom Detective Club Part II: The Girl In The Back]]'' in 1989.
 
When the [[Family Computer Disk System]] was released on February 21, 1986, Nintendo R&D1 began developing games for this Famicom disk add-on. The games released for this system include ''Kid Icarus'' and ''Metroid'' in 1986, ''[[Famicom Grand Prix F1 Race|Famicom Grand Prix: F1 Race]]'' in 1987, ''[[Famicom Grand Prix II 3D Hot Rally|Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally]]'' and ''[[Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir]]'' in 1988, and ''[[Famicom Detective Club Part II: The Girl In The Back]]'' in 1989.
  
Nintendo R&D1 also developed an arcade version of ''Ice Climber'' on Nintendo's NES-based [[Nintendo VS. System]], titled ''[[Vs. Ice Climber]]'' in 1985. This game was improved over the original, as it contained more mountains and had effects not present in the NES version, such as blizzards.  Nintendo R&D1 ported Vs. Ice Climber to the Famicom Disk System in 1988.
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Nintendo R&D1 also developed an arcade version of ''Ice Climber'' on Nintendo's NES-based [[VS. System]], titled ''[[Vs. Ice Climber]]'' in 1985. This game was improved over the original, as it contained more mountains and had effects not present in the NES version, such as blizzards.  Nintendo R&D1 ported Vs. Ice Climber to the Famicom Disk System in 1988.
  
 
==Game Boy==
 
==Game Boy==

Revision as of 23:00, 10 November 2019

Nintendo rd1 logo.png
Nintendo Research & Development 1
Type Division of Nintendo
Founded 1970 (staff members reassigned in 2003)
Headquarters Kyoto, Japan
Key people Gunpei Yokoi, manager (1970 - 1996)
Takehiro Izushi, manager (1996 - 2003)
Industry Video games
Products Video game consoles
Video game hardware
Video games
Employees undisclosed
Website http://www.nintendo.com/

Nintendo Research & Development 1 (任天堂開発第一部, R&D1) was the original video game development group within Nintendo. It was originally known simply as Nintendo Research & Development until Nintendo Research & Development 2 was formed in 1972. It was managed by Gunpei Yokoi from its creation in 1970 until 1996, and by Takehiro Izushi from 1996 until Nintendo's internal development groups were restructured by Nintendo president Satoru Iwata in 2003.

Formation of Nintendo Research & Development

In 1970, the Nintendo Research & Development division of Nintendo was formed to develop the Beam Gun series of toys, utilizing a light gun designed by Masayuki Uemura, in which the light gun fired at physical targets. Then, in 1971, Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi wanted to expand their lightgun toys into a shooting range simulation. He asked Gunpei Yokoi, who had created several successful toys for Nintendo, to create a simulation based on clay pigeon shooting.

Hiroshi Yamauchi intended for these shooting range simulations to be installed in vacant bowling alleys. After Americans brought bowling to Japan after they continued to live there after World War II, bowling became a popular Japanese pastime. The Japanese bowling fad was short-lived however, as by the 1970s, many bowling alleys were sitting abandoned. Nintendo purchased several of these bowling alleys with the intention to convert them into electronic shooting ranges. Gunpei Yokoi and Masayuki Uemura, together with Genyo Takeda, created a shooting gallery game to use in Nintendo's converted bowling alleys.

The result was the Laser Clay Shooting System, which consisted of a screen, with a film of clay pigeons broadcast on it over an overhead projector. In front was the lightgun, which when fired, a network of reflective surfaces would register whether the shot was a hit or a miss. The game was unveiled in 1973, however its first demonstration didn't work properly. Yokoi had to stand behind the screen, adding the score to the system manually. After its unveiling, the bug in the program was fixed, and the game worked perfectly for the rest of the time it was in operation.

Simulation System

After the 1973 Oil Crisis, Nintendo had to abandon its grand plans to use Japan's bowling alleys as electronic shooting ranges. They reduced the size of the system so that it could be sold as an arcade game. The Laser Clay Shooting System was adapted for the smaller setup and was sold to arcades as Mini Laser Clay. Sales for Nintendo's Simulation System started off slowly, but they gradually increased in volume, which led to Nintendo adapting the system for use with other 16-mm films. The additional games were Wild Gunman in 1974, Shooting Trainer and Sky Hawk in 1976, Battle Shark and Test Driver in 1977, and New Shooting Trainer in 1978.

There were also two arcade games produced using EVR film on a cathode ray tube display. In these games, up to six players would watch a film of various sports and they would bet on which one would be the winner. The first of the two games was EVR Race, released in 1975, which had a video of either horses or cars racing. The second was EVR Baseball, released in 1976, which had a video of a baseball game.

Early arcade games utilizing computer graphics

In 1978, Nintendo began developing arcade games with graphics that were produced using computer graphics. The earliest arcade games using discrete-circuitry, where the logic was programmed into the system chips, rather than the later games that contained a central processing unit. The first of these games was Computer Othello, released in June 1978. This was followed, in November 1978, by Block Fever. These games would later be released for home use as Computer TV-Game and Color TV-Game Block Breaker, respectively.

Nintendo began developing arcade games using the Intel 8080 CPU in 1979. These games included Space Fever, SF-HiSplitter, Space Launcher, and Sheriff and Sheriff 2 in 1979, and Heli Fire in 1980.

In 1980, Sega/Gremlin published a game developed by Nintendo R&D1, which used a Zilog Z80 CPU. It was titled Space Firebird. Another space shooter was developed using the same hardware in 1981, titled Space Demon.

Game & Watch

Gunpei Yokoi got the idea for simple handheld games using a liquid crystal display after watching a man on a bullet train push buttons on an LCD calculator. The result was the Game & Watch series, which became a hit in Japan and North America, leading to games being released over the course of eleven years. These games were released in a few variations:

Silver: The original five Game & Watch games were released in 1980. They had a silver case and a standard, single, LCD screen. These included Ball, Flagman, Vermin, Fire, and Judge.

Gold: The games that were released with the standard, single, LCD screen in 1981 had a gold case to differentiate them from the original games. These games included Manhole, Helmet, and Lion.

Wide Screen: After the first two iterations, games began being produced with a single, wide screen LCD. These included a wide screen re-release of Fire, as well as Parachute, Octopus, Popeye, Chef, Mickey Mouse, and Egg in 1981, and Turtle Bridge, Fire Attack, and Snoopy Tennis in 1982.

Multi Screen: More complex games were designed using a multi-screen system, consisting of a clamshell design, with gameplay that takes place simultaneously on two LCD screens. These games included Oil Panic, Donkey Kong, Mickey & Donald, and Green House in 1982, Donkey Kong II, Mario Bros., Rain Shower, Lifeboat, and Pinball in 1983, Black Jack in 1985, Squish in 1986, Bomb Sweeper in 1987, Safebuster and Gold Cliff in 1988, and Zelda in 1989.

New Wide Screen: The wide-screen releases that followed were branded as "New Wide Screen", to differentiate them from the original wide screen games. These included Donkey Kong Jr. in 1982, Mario's Cement Factory and a wide screen re-release of Manhole in 1983, Tropical Fish in 1985, Super Mario Bros., Climber, and Balloon Fight in 1988, and Mario the Juggler in 1991.

Table Top: Four table top Game & Watch games were released in 1983 that resembled miniature arcade machines. These used a color LCD that required a bright light, which would shine through a window at the top of the unit in order to illuminate the screen. These games included table top versions of Donkey Kong Jr., Mario's Cement Factory, and Popeye, as well as a new game titled Snoopy.

Panorama: The panorama games were handheld devices that used a color LCD and contained a mirror which allowed the screen to be visible in bright light. The games released in this format included panorama versions of Snoopy, Popeye, Donkey Kong Jr., and a new game titled Mario's Bombs Away in 1983, and Mickey Mouse (unrelated to the earlier wide screen game of the same name) and Donkey Kong Circus in 1984.

Super Color: In 1984, the "Super Color" line was released. These games had different coloured LCD panels to represent the characters on the screen. The two games released under this line were Spitball Sparky and Crab Grab.

Micro Vs.: The Micro Vs. games were released in 1984. These games had two tiny controllers attached to the unit to allow for two player gaming. The three games released in this line were Boxing, Donkey Kong 3, and Donkey Kong Hockey.

Crystal Screen: The "Crystal Screen" series was released in 1986. They had a translucent shell, which allowed viewing through the play area. The three games released in this line were Super Mario Bros., Climber, and Balloon Fight.

Radar Scope, Donkey Kong, and arcade success

In 1980, Nintendo R&D1 developed a game that used a Z80 CPU, titled Radar Scope. As it was popular for a short time in Japan, the president of Nintendo of America, Minoru Arakawa, put in a large order for the game. However, it did not achieve the success in the United States that it had in Japan. Left with thousands of unsold Radar Scope cabinets, Arakawa asked Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi to provide him with a game that could be installed in existing Radar Scope cabinets.

Yamauchi asked Nintendo employees to submit ideas for a new game. Shigeru Miyamoto's idea was chosen, and he worked with other members of Nintendo R&D1 to produce Donkey Kong. Conversion kits were sent to Nintendo of America, and Arakawa, his wife, and a small team performed the conversions. Donkey Kong was released on July 1, 1981. It was a huge success in both Japan and North America, propelling Nintendo to a position as an industry leader.

Following the success of Donkey Kong, more arcade games were released on Z80 hardware, including Sky Skipper in 1981, Popeye and Donkey Kong Junior in 1982, and Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong 3 in 1983.

Development for the Nintendo Entertainment System

In 1983, due to the success of his arcade games, Shigeru Miyamoto was promoted to chief producer at the newly formed Nintendo Research & Development 4. Development at Nintendo R&D1 shifted to the Family Computer, which was released in Japan on July 15, 1983.

After the North American video game crash of 1983, interest in the video game market was tepid. Nintendo looked for ways to alleviate retail fears for the new system, which was renamed the Nintendo Entertainment System outside of Japan. Yokoi developed R.O.B., the Robotic Operating Buddy (titled the Family Computer Robot in Japan). It was marketed as a novel toy, and was sold in the "Deluxe Set", which included the NES console, R.O.B., and a pack-in game supported by R.O.B. titled Gyromite. Only one other game was developed for R.O.B., Stack-Up. Both the Deluxe Set and Stack-Up were released at the NES console launch in North America on October 18, 1985.

Other games Nintendo R&D1 developed for this system include 10-Yard Fight, Baseball, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Popeye in 1983, Clu Clu Land, Devil World, Duck Hunt, Donkey Kong 3, Excitebike, Hogan's Alley, Pinball (1983 video game), Tennis, and Wrecking Crew in 1984, Ice Climber, Urban Champion and Balloon Fight in 1985, Metroid, Kid Icarus, Gumshoe, and Volleyball in 1986, Miho Nakayama High School and Three of the Galaxies (port of The Earth Fighter Rayieza by Enix) in 1987, Famicom Detective Club and Famicom Wars in 1988, Famicom Detective Club 2, Tetris, and Dr. Mario in 1989, Barker Bill's Trick Shooting, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, and Hello Kitty World (port of Balloon Kid by Pax Softnica) in 1990, Yoshi's Cookie in 1992, Tetris 2 in 1993, and Wario's Woods in 1994.

Development for the Famicom Disk System

When the Family Computer Disk System was released on February 21, 1986, Nintendo R&D1 began developing games for this Famicom disk add-on. The games released for this system include Kid Icarus and Metroid in 1986, Famicom Grand Prix: F1 Race in 1987, Famicom Grand Prix II: 3D Hot Rally and Famicom Detective Club: The Missing Heir in 1988, and Famicom Detective Club Part II: The Girl In The Back in 1989.

Nintendo R&D1 also developed an arcade version of Ice Climber on Nintendo's NES-based VS. System, titled Vs. Ice Climber in 1985. This game was improved over the original, as it contained more mountains and had effects not present in the NES version, such as blizzards. Nintendo R&D1 ported Vs. Ice Climber to the Famicom Disk System in 1988.

Game Boy

Gunpei Yokoi developed a portable gaming system in 1989, the Game Boy, which would achieve more success than his previous Game & Watch series. The Game Boy used a Z80 CPU and had a greyscale LCD on a green background, which resulted in a green-tinted image. The system proved immensely popular worldwide, due to its long battery life. Sales were also helped by the fact that Yokoi was able to secure the rights to include Tetris as a pack-in launch title outside of Japan.

Other games Nintendo R&D1 developed for this system include Alleyway, Super Mario Land and Dr. Mario in 1989, Balloon Kid, F-1 Race, Radar Mission, Solar Striker and Qix (port of the Taito arcade game) in 1990, Game Boy Wars and Metroid 2: Return of Samus in 1991, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters, The Frog for Whom the Bell Tolls, Yoshi's Cookie, and Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins in 1992, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 and Kirby's Block Ball in 1994, and Game Boy Gallery in 1995. eum owns the Game Boy Color Game & Watch Gallery 3 for Nintendo 3DS, which includes a remake of Judge. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Lion | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2015 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | December 4, 2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | WEC Museum owns the Game Boy Color Game & Watch Gallery 3 for Nintendo 3DS, which includes a remake of Lion. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Manhole | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2011
2012 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | December 4, 2017
September 18, 2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | WEC Museum owns the Game Boy Game & Watch Gallery for Nintendo 3DS, which includes a remake of Manhole.
WEC Museum owns the Manhole-e remake for the e-Reader for Game Boy Advance. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Mario Bros. | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2016
2016
2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | June 22, 2017
August 10, 2017
July 29, 2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | The WEC Museum owns the Famicom Mini, on which the Famicom version of Mario Bros. is included.
The WEC Museum owns the NES Classic Edition, on which the NES version of Mario Bros. is included.
The WEC Museum owns the Arcade Archives emulated arcade version of 'Mario Bros. on Nintendo Switch. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Metroid | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2017
2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | June 22, 2017
August 10, 2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | The WEC Museum owns the Famicom Mini, on which the Famicom version of Metroid is included.
The WEC Museum owns the NES Classic Edition, on which the NES version of Metroid is included. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Octopus | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2011 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | December 4, 2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | WEC Museum owns the Game Boy Game & Watch Gallery for Nintendo 3DS, which includes a remake of Octopus. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Panel de Pon | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 1995 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | October 31, 2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | The WEC Museum owns the Super Famicom Mini, on which Panel de Pon is included. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Parachute | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2012 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | December 4, 2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | WEC Museum owns the Game Boy Color Game & Watch Gallery 2 for Nintendo 3DS, which includes a remake of Parachute. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Pinball | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2002 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | January 20, 2003 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | The WEC Museum owns Animal Crossing for GameCube, in which the NES version of Pinball is included. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Super Metroid | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | October 31, 2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | The WEC Museum owns the Super Famicom Mini, on which the Super Famicom version of Super Metroid is included. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Tennis | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2002
2002 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | January 20, 2003
January 20, 2018 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | The WEC Museum owns Animal Crossing for GameCube, in which the NES version of Tennis is included.
The WEC Museum owns the NES version on Tennis-e on the e-Reader for the Game Boy Advance. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Vermin | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2011
2012 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | December 4, 2017
December 4, 2017 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | WEC Museum owns the Game Boy Game & Watch Gallery for Nintendo 3DS, which includes a remake of Vermin.
WEC Museum owns the Game Boy Color Game & Watch Gallery 2 for Nintendo 3DS, which includes a remake of Vermin. |- | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | Wario's Woods | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | 2002 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | January 20, 2003 | style="border-style: solid; border-width: 1px; text-align:center" | The WEC Museum owns Animal Crossing for GameCube, in which the NES version of Wario's Woods is included. |}