Hiroshi Yamauchi, ex-Nintendo president and boss of the company as it entered the video game market, has died aged 85, Japanese newspaper Nikkei reports.

Yamauchi, who was president of Nintendo for an incredible 53 years (from 1949 to 2002) and current chief Satoru Iwata's predecessor, joined the company at a time when its primary business was card making. He oversaw Nintendo's entry into electronic entertainment, utilising Shigeru Miyamoto's Donkey Kong to spearhead success in the western coin-op market in the early 80s.

He was boss of Nintendo when it entered the home console market with the Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom in Japan). He stepped down as president in May 2002 following the launch of the GameCube, but remained closely tied to the company, and, as of 31st March 2013, was its largest shareholder.

Nintendo issued Eurogamer the following statement: "Nintendo is in mourning today from the sad loss of the former Nintendo president Mr Hiroshi Yamauchi, who sadly passed away this morning."

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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