Five Things You Might Not Know is a series where, in case you hadn't guessed, we tell you a number of interesting factoids about a particular gaming subject. We’ll be covering games, characters, companies and all kinds, with bite-sized information morsels to snack on. With a full reveal of the Switch just days away, there’s a lot of eyes on Nintendo, so this time round, we will be exploring some little-known facts about the Japanese veterans of gaming.
1) They own the rights to two adult films starring Krysti Lynn, Ron Jeremy and T.T. Boy. The films, entitled Super Hornio Brothers and Super Hornio Brothers II are parodies of the Super Mario Bros. games and have never been released. Rather than suing, Nintendo decided it was better to simply buy the rights and then make sure that the films never saw the light of day.
2) The NES was officially supported until 31st October 2007, over 20 years after the console’s release in 1983 (or 1986 for those of us in Europe). Up until that point, Nintendo still offered a parts and repair service, as well as technical support for the console and games.
3) Nintendo weren’t always a videogame manufacturer. In fact, videogaming is a relatively short period of their history. The company has been going since 1889 and in that time has sold many things, including photocopiers, Hanafuda playing cards, fake LEGO and even instant noodles.
4) The big N have more money in the bank than they took in revenue in 2016. The company are known for keeping a large reserve of money in case a risky business move doesn’t pay off, and doing so means that they can afford costly mistakes like the Wii U is considered by many to be. According to the company’s most recent published accounts, 2015/2016 revenue was ¥504.5 billion but they have ¥558.4 billion in cash and deposits recorded. That equates to £65.37 billion or $80.35 billion.
5) The arcade title Mario Kart Arcade GP contains three jpeg pictures in the cabinet’s ROM entitled camtest00, camtest01 and camtest02. The first picture is of some coloured bars, the second is of some mascot suits at what appears to be a videogame convention, but it is the third which is most unusual. It depicts an image from the Beslan School Siege of 2004; a particularly horrifying historical event which took the lives of over 330 people.
It’s unknown how this image got there, although given the game’s release date, it’s assumed by many that it was simply an image plucked from the headlines of a newspaper used for testing. None of the images are accessible in the game itself, which is probably just as well.