Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, licenses and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, related services, its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers; as of 2016, it is the world's largest software maker by revenue, one of the world's most valuable companies. The word "Microsoft" is a portmanteau of "microcomputer" and "software". Microsoft is ranked No. 30 in the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975, to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, it rose to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by Microsoft Windows.
The company's 1986 initial public offering, subsequent rise in its share price, created three billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires among Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has diversified from the operating system market and has made a number of corporate acquisitions, their largest being the acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in December 2016, followed by their acquisition of Skype Technologies for $8.5 billion in May 2011. As of 2015, Microsoft is market-dominant in the IBM PC-compatible operating system market and the office software suite market, although it has lost the majority of the overall operating system market to Android; the company produces a wide range of other consumer and enterprise software for desktops and servers, including Internet search, the digital services market, mixed reality, cloud computing and software development. Steve Ballmer replaced Gates as CEO in 2000, envisioned a "devices and services" strategy; this began with the acquisition of Danger Inc. in 2008, entering the personal computer production market for the first time in June 2012 with the launch of the Microsoft Surface line of tablet computers.
Since Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, the company has scaled back on hardware and has instead focused on cloud computing, a move that helped the company's shares reach its highest value since December 1999. In 2018, Microsoft surpassed Apple as the most valuable publicly traded company in the world after being dethroned by the tech giant in 2010. Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen sought to make a business utilizing their shared skills in computer programming. In 1972 they founded their first company, named Traf-O-Data, which sold a rudimentary computer to track and analyze automobile traffic data. While Gates enrolled at Harvard, Allen pursued a degree in computer science at Washington State University, though he dropped out of school to work at Honeywell; the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics featured Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems's Altair 8800 microcomputer, which inspired Allen to suggest that they could program a BASIC interpreter for the device. After a call from Gates claiming to have a working interpreter, MITS requested a demonstration.
Since they didn't yet have one, Allen worked on a simulator for the Altair while Gates developed the interpreter. Although they developed the interpreter on a simulator and not the actual device, it worked flawlessly when they demonstrated the interpreter to MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. MITS agreed to distribute it, marketing it as Altair BASIC. Gates and Allen established Microsoft on April 4, 1975, with Gates as the CEO; the original name of "Micro-Soft" was suggested by Allen. In August 1977 the company formed an agreement with ASCII Magazine in Japan, resulting in its first international office, "ASCII Microsoft". Microsoft moved to a new home in Bellevue, Washington in January 1979. Microsoft entered the operating system business in 1980 with its own version of Unix, called Xenix. However, it was MS-DOS. After negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract to Microsoft in November 1980 to provide a version of the CP/M OS, set to be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer.
For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products, which it branded as MS-DOS, though IBM rebranded it to PC DOS. Following the release of the IBM PC in August 1981, Microsoft retained ownership of MS-DOS. Since IBM had copyrighted the IBM PC BIOS, other companies had to reverse engineer it in order for non-IBM hardware to run as IBM PC compatibles, but no such restriction applied to the operating systems. Due to various factors, such as MS-DOS's available software selection, Microsoft became the leading PC operating systems vendor; the company expanded into new markets with the release of the Microsoft Mouse in 1983, as well as with a publishing division named Microsoft Press. Paul Allen resigned from Microsoft in 1983 after developing Hodgkin's disease. Allen claimed that Gates wanted to dilute his share in the company when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease because he didn't think he was working hard enough. After leaving Microsoft, Allen lost billions of dollars on ill-conceived or mistimed technology investments.
He invested in low-tech sectors, sports teams, commercial real estate. Despite having begun jointly developing a new operating system, OS/2, with IBM in
Xbox Live Arcade
Xbox Live Arcade is a digital video game download service available through the Xbox Games Store, Microsoft's digital distribution network for the Xbox 360. It focuses on smaller downloadable games from independent game developers. Titles range from classic console and arcade video games, to new games designed from the ground up for the service. Games available through the XBLA service range from $5–20 in price, as of October 2016, there have been 719 Xbox Live Arcade titles released for the Xbox 360. Prior to the Xbox 360, "Xbox Live Arcade" was the name for an online distribution network on the original Xbox, replaced by the Xbox Live Marketplace; the Xbox Live Arcade service was announced on May 12, 2004, at Microsoft's E3 press conference by Bill Gates and launched on November 6, 2004, for the original Xbox game console. The XBLA software was obtained by ordering it on Microsoft's website, it was sent by mail on a disc that contained a free version of the Ms. Pac-Man video game. To generate greater publicity for the service, the disc was distributed with special issues of the Official Xbox Magazine and as part of the Forza Motorsport Xbox console bundle The service launched with six titles and expanded its library to twelve titles by the end of the year.
Once connected to Xbox Live, customers could purchase additional titles by using a credit card, or download a limited trial version of a game. Prices for the games range from $4.99 to $14.99. On November 22, 2005, XBLA was relaunched on the Xbox 360; the service was integrated into the main Dashboard user interface, the Xbox 360 hard drives were bundled with a free copy of Hexic HD. Every Arcade title on the Xbox 360 supports leaderboards, has 200 Achievement points, high-definition 720p graphics, they have a trial version available for free download. These demos are playable and most of them offer only a fraction of the levels and content of the full game. A full version of the game must be purchased to allow the user to upload scores to the leaderboards, unlock achievements, play online multiplayer, download bonus content. Several new features and enhancements have been added through software updates including a friends leaderboard, additional sorting options, faster enumeration of games, an auto-download feature for newly released trial games, "Tell a Friend" messages.
The original size limit imposed by Microsoft for Xbox Live Arcade games was 50 MB, in order to ensure any downloaded game could fit on a 64 MB Xbox memory unit. The limit has since been changed to 150 MB 350 MB, now 2 GB, the latter of, a technical limitation of the system. On September 12, 2012 the 2 GB limit was raised to an unknown number with two titles, Red Johnson's Chronicles and Double Dragon Neon weighing at 2.68 GB and 2.24 GB, respectively. On July 12, 2006, Microsoft launched the "Xbox Live Arcade Wednesdays" program, which promised a new Arcade game to be launched every Wednesday for the rest of that Summer; when that summer ended, Microsoft announced that new titles for XBLA would be released on Wednesdays. In order to promote the service in retail, Microsoft released Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged Volume 1 as a compilation disc of six games. On October 18, 2007, Microsoft announced the Xbox 360 Arcade console SKU which includes full versions of Boom Boom Rocket, Feeding Frenzy, Luxor 2, Pac-Man Championship Edition, Uno.
On May 22, 2008, Microsoft's general manager of Xbox Live, Marc Whitten, detailed changes for the service that included increasing the size limit of the games to 350MB and improving the way digital rights management is handled. Furthermore, Microsoft created an internal games studio to create "high quality digital content" for XBLA. On July 30, 2008, Microsoft announced the XBLA Summer of Arcade. Anyone who downloaded one of the titles released over August, would be entered into a prize draw with a grand prize of 100,000 Microsoft Points, 12 Month Xbox Live Gold subscription, an Xbox 360 Elite console. Another Summer of Arcade began the next year on July 22, 2009. Anyone who purchases all the titles released, will receive an 800-point reward; the next Summer of Arcade began on July 21, 2010, features Limbo, Hydro Thunder Hurricane, Castlevania: Harmony of Despair, Monday Night Combat and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. A "Shopping Spree" promotion ended November 1, 2010, in which anyone who spent over 2400 points during October 2010 received an 800-point reward.
By March 10, 2006, three million downloads had been made on the service. By January 30, 2007, that number had grown to 20 million; the service reached 25 million downloads on March 6, 2007 with 45 million downloads projected by the end of 2007. On March 27, 2007, Microsoft declared Uno to be the first Xbox Live Arcade game to exceed one million downloads. Nearly 70 percent of Xbox 360 owners connected to Xbox Live have downloaded an Arcade title with the attach rate being 6–7 titles per user. Original games receive 350,000 downloads in the first month. Titles have an average 156% financial return over twelve months with the first two months of sales accounting for just 35% of total volume. Average conversion rate across all titles is 18%. On September 19, 2007, Microsoft announced the top ten Arcade downloads worldwide as Aegis Wing, Texas Hold'em, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved, Bankshot Billiards 2, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 Classic Arcade
An arcade cabinet known as an arcade/coin-op machine, is the housing within which an arcade game's electronic hardware resides. Most cabinets designed since the mid-1980s conform to the Japanese Amusement Machine Manufacturers Association wiring standard; some include. Because arcade cabinets vary according to the games they were built for or contain, they may well not possess all of the parts listed below: An output, on which the game is displayed, they may display either vector graphics, raster being most common. Standard resolution is between 315 vertical lines, depending on the refresh rate. Slower refresh rates allow for better vertical resolution. Monitors may be oriented horizontally or vertically, depending on the game; some games use more than one monitor. Some newer cabinets have monitors. Printed circuit boards or arcade system boards, the actual hardware upon which the game runs. Hidden within the cabinet; some systems, such as the SNK Neo-Geo MVS, use a main board with game carts. Some main boards may hold multiple game carts as well.
A power supply to provide DC power to the arcade system boards and low voltage lighting for the coin slots and lighted buttons. A marquee, a sign above the monitor displaying the game's title, they are brightly colored and backlit. A bezel, the border around the monitor, it may contain instructions or artwork. A control panel, a level surface near the monitor, upon which the game's controls are arranged. Control panels sometimes have playing instructions. Players pile their coins or tokens on the control panels of upright and cocktail cabinets. Coin slots, coin returns and the coin box, which allow for the exchange of money or tokens, they are below the control panel. Translucent red plastic buttons are placed in between the coin return and the coin slot; when they are pressed, a coin or token that has become jammed in the coin mechanism is returned to the player. See coin acceptor. Early coin slots could be defeated using a piezo-electric gas fire or gas oven igniter held against the steel bodywork of the cabinet, thus enabling free credits to be obtained.
In some arcades, the coin slot is replaced with a card reader that reads data from a game card bought from the arcade operator. The sides of the arcade cabinet are decorated with brightly coloured stickers or paint, representing the gameplay of their particular game. There are many types of some in fact being custom-made for a particular game. Upright cabinets are by far the most common in North America, they are made of wood and metal, about six feet or two meters tall, with the control panel set perpendicular to the monitor at above waist level. The monitor is housed inside the cabinet, at eye level; the marquee is above it, overhangs it. Controls are most a joystick for as many players as the game allows, plus action buttons and "player" buttons which serve the same purpose as the start button on console gamepads. Trackballs are sometimes used instead of joysticks in games from the early 1980s. Spinners are used to control game elements that move horizontally or vertically, such as the paddles in Arkanoid and Pong.
Games such as Robotron: 2084, Smash TV and Battlezone use double joysticks instead of action buttons. Some versions of the original Street Fighter had pressure-sensitive rubber pads instead of buttons. If an upright is housing a driving game, it may have a steering wheel and throttle pedal instead of a joystick and buttons. If the upright is housing a shooting game, it may have light guns attached to the front of the machine, via durable cables; some arcade machines had the monitor placed at the bottom of the cabinet with a mirror mounted at around 45 degrees above the screen facing the player. This was done to save space, a large CRT monitor would otherwise poke out the back of the cabinet, to avoid eye strain from looking directly up-close at the monitor. To correct for the mirrored image, some games had an option to flip the video output using a dip switch setting. Other genres of game such as Guitar Freaks feature controllers resembling musical instruments. Upright cabinet shape designs varies from the simplest symmetric perpendicular boxes as with Star Trek to complicated asymmetric forms.
Games are for one or two players. Cocktail cabinets are shaped like low, rectangular tables, with the controls set at either of the broad ends, or, though not as common, at the narrow ends, the monitor inside the table, the screen facing upward. Two-player games housed in cocktails were alternant, each player taking turns; the monitor reverses its orientation for each player, so that everything seems right-side-up from each perspective. This requires special programming of the cocktail versions of the game; the monitor's orientation is in player two's favour only in two-player games when it's player two's turn, in player one's favour all other times. Simultaneous, 4 player games that are built as a cocktail include Warlords, others. Cocktail cabinet versions were released alongside the upright version of the same game, they were common in the 1980s during the Golden Age of Arcade Games, but have since lost popularity. Their main advantage over upright cabinets was their smaller size, making them seem less obtrusive, although requiring
Namco Plug & Play game
A Namco Plug & Play Game is any of a series of models dedicated to games by Namco which make up a subset of Jakks Pacific's Plug It In & Play TV Games plug & play game system lineup with the exception of the newest one called Pac-Man Connect and Play, handled by Bandai America instead of Jakks Pacific. They should not be confused with the Japan-only Namco Nostalgia pair of plug & play games directly from Namco Bandai Games; this first unit in the series was released in the summer of 2003. It includes Pac-Man, Rally-X, Dig Dug and Galaxian; the sound lacks the detail of the original arcade games. The original version of the game did not save high scores but there is a variant of this unit, in a pocket-size form factor, smaller and has the ability to save high scores; this unit was released in the summer of 2003. It contains Ms. Pac-Man, Pole Position and Xevious. A second edition adds high score saving and GameKey functionality, which can add games found on the Pac-Man system, with the exception of Galaxian.
One key adds Rally-X and New Rally-X, while another adds Pac-Man and Bosconian. The third version of this unit removes the GameKey slot but it still does save high scores. A fourth revision has the two extra games of the wireless edition. A wireless variant of Ms. Pac-Man includes all five games, plus Bosconian and New Rally-X built-in instead of requiring a GameKey; the unit consists of a wireless controller and an infrared receiver base which connects to the television. This model was the first to save high scores. In 2017, MSI Entertainment distributed a unit created by WinFun that only contains Namco's NES port of Ms. Pac-Man; this unit contains Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, Pac & Pal, Pac-Man Plus, it can save high scores. The inclusion of Pac-Man Plus marks the first time the game have received a home port; the inclusion of Pac & Pal marks the first time the game was released outside of Japan. This unit combines the Pac-Man and Super Pac-Man units' contents, replacing Rally-X with New Rally-X. Thus, the games contained within are Pac-Man, New Rally-X, Dig Dug, Super Pac-Man, Pac & Pal, Pac-Man Plus.
It saves high scores. This unit combines the contents of the Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man units, with the omission of Ms. Pac-Man and the replacement of Rally-X with New Rally-X, it saves high scores. Bandai released a Pac-Man plug & play system to tie in with the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures TV show; the games that the system boasts uses every game's original coding, making it easier to play to Pac-Man's infamous 256th glitched split-screen level. It features the same games as the Retro Arcade, excluding Pole Position, replaced with a new game called Pac-Man 256; the game starts out with level 255. It features a compartment to store the TV wires, a display side. Pac-Man 256 was renamed Pac-Level 256 on the packaging for the reprint of this plug & play that celebrates the 35th anniversary of the original Pac-Man, it is the first Pac-Man plug & play system to be released in Japan. This unit is shaped like a Sega Genesis controller; this unit contains the NES and Famicom versions of Galaxian, Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Mappy, The Tower of Druaga, Sky Kid.
All units sold at Wal*Mart include the NES version of all the other games and the NES version of Pac-Mania instead of The Tower of Druaga. A unit created by MSI Entertainment includes the NES and Famicom versions Dig Dug II, Pac-Mania, Tower of Druaga. List of Namco retro video game compilations Atari Flashback - Four out of the seventy games on the 2017 edition of the Atari Flashback Portable were Atari 2600 ports of Namco games. NES Classic Edition - Two out of the thirty NES games included are the NES ports of Pac-Man and Galaga
The Xbox 360 is a home video game console developed by Microsoft. As the successor to the original Xbox, it is the second console in the Xbox series, it competed with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles. It was unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information announced that month at the 2005 Electronic Entertainment Expo; the Xbox 360 features an online service, Xbox Live, expanded from its previous iteration on the original Xbox and received regular updates during the console's lifetime. Available in free and subscription-based varieties, Xbox Live allows users to: play games online. In addition to online multimedia features, it allows users to stream media from local PCs. Several peripherals have been released, including wireless controllers, expanded hard drive storage, the Kinect motion sensing camera; the release of these additional services and peripherals helped the Xbox brand grow from gaming-only to encompassing all multimedia, turning it into a hub for living-room computing entertainment.
Launched worldwide across 2005–2006, the Xbox 360 was in short supply in many regions, including North America and Europe. The earliest versions of the console suffered from a high failure rate, indicated by the so-called "Red Ring of Death", necessitating an extension of the device's warranty period. Microsoft released two redesigned models of the console: the Xbox 360 S in 2010, the Xbox 360 E in 2013; as of June 2014, 84 million Xbox 360 consoles have been sold worldwide, making it the seventh-highest-selling video game console in history, the highest-selling console made by an American company. Although not the best-selling console of its generation, the Xbox 360 was deemed by TechRadar to be the most influential through its emphasis on digital media distribution and multiplayer gaming on Xbox Live; the Xbox 360's successor, the Xbox One, was released on November 22, 2013. On April 20, 2016, Microsoft announced that it would end the production of new Xbox 360 hardware, although the company will continue to support the platform.
Known during development as Xbox Next, Xbox 2, Xbox FS or NextBox, the Xbox 360 was conceived in early 2003. In February 2003, planning for the Xenon software platform began, was headed by Microsoft's Vice President J Allard; that month, Microsoft held an event for 400 developers in Bellevue, Washington to recruit support for the system. That month, Peter Moore, former president of Sega of America, joined Microsoft. On August 12, 2003, ATI signed on to produce the graphic processing unit for the new console, a deal, publicly announced two days later. Before the launch of the Xbox 360, several Alpha development kits were spotted using Apple's Power Mac G5 hardware; this was because the system's PowerPC 970 processor running the same PowerPC architecture that the Xbox 360 would run under IBM's Xenon processor. The cores of the Xenon processor were developed using a modified version of the PlayStation 3's Cell Processor PPE architecture. According to David Shippy and Mickie Phipps, the IBM employees were "hiding" their work from Sony and Toshiba, IBM's partners in developing the Cell Processor.
Jeff Minter created the music visualization program Neon, included with the Xbox 360. The Xbox 360 was released on November 2005, in the United States and Canada, it was launched in Mexico, Chile, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Russia. In its first year on the market, the system launched in 36 countries, more countries than any other console has launched in a single year. In 2009, IGN named the Xbox 360 the sixth-greatest video game console of all time, out of a field of 25. Although not the best-selling console of the seventh-generation, the Xbox 360 was deemed by TechRadar to be the most influential, by emphasizing digital media distribution and online gaming through Xbox Live, by popularizing game achievement awards. PC Magazine considered the Xbox 360 the prototype for online gaming as it "proved that online gaming communities could thrive in the console space". Five years after the Xbox 360's original debut, the well-received Kinect motion capture camera was released, which set the record of being the fastest selling consumer electronic device in history, extended the life of the console.
Edge ranked Xbox 360 the second-best console of the 1993–2013 period, stating "It had its own social network, cross-game chat, new indie games every week, the best version of just about every multiformat game... Killzone is no Halo and nowadays Gran Turismo is no Forza, but it's not about the exclusives—there's nothing to trump Naughty Dog's PS3 output, after all. Rather, it's about the choices Microsoft made back in the original Xbox's lifetime; the PC-like architecture meant the early EA Sports games ran at 60fps compared to only 30 on PS3, Xbox Live meant every dedicated player had an existing friends list, Halo meant Microsoft had the killer next-generation exclusive. And when developers demo games on PC now they do it with a 360 pad—another industry benchmark, a critical one." The Xbox 360 began production only 69 days before launch, Microsoft was not able to supply enough systems to meet initial consumer demand in Europe or North America, selling out upon release in all regions except in Japan.
Forty thousand units were offered for sale on auction site eBay during the initial week of
The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii competed with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states; as of the first quarter of 2016, the Wii led its generation over the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in worldwide sales, with more than 101 million units sold. The Wii introduced the Wii Remote controller, which can be used as a handheld pointing device and which detects movement in three dimensions; the console runs games supplied on Wii optical discs. It supported the now discontinued WiiConnect24 service, which enabled Wii to receive messages and updates over the Internet while in standby mode. Like other seventh-generation consoles it supported a service, called "Virtual Console", that downloaded emulated games from past Nintendo consoles, support for online video streaming such as BBC iPlayer, other services provided by Nintendo over the Internet. Internet services were withdrawn. Wii Points could no longer be purchased after March 2018, could not be used and were permanently lost from 31 January 2019.
The Wii succeeded the GameCube. Nintendo first spoke of the console at the E3 2004 press conference and unveiled it at E3 2005. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata revealed a prototype of the controller at the September 2005 Tokyo Game Show. At E3 2006, the console won the first of several awards. By December 8, 2006, it had completed its launch in the four key markets. Models are no longer compatible with Nintendo GameCube. In late 2011, Nintendo released a reconfigured model, the "Wii Family Edition", not released in Japan; the Wii Mini, Nintendo's first major console redesign since the compact SNES, succeeded the standard Wii model and was released first in Canada on December 7, 2012. The Wii Mini can only play Wii optical discs, as it has neither GameCube compatibility nor any networking capabilities; the Wii's successor, the Wii U, was released on November 18, 2012. On October 20, 2013, Nintendo confirmed it had discontinued production of the Wii in Japan and Europe; the console was conceived in 2001.
According to an interview with Nintendo game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, the concept involved focusing on a new form of player interaction. "The consensus was. Too many powerful consoles can't coexist. It's like having only ferocious dinosaurs, they might fight and hasten their own extinction."In 2003, game engineers and designers were brought together to develop the concept further. By 2005 the controller interface had taken form, but a public showing at that year's Electronic Entertainment Expo was canceled. Miyamoto stated. So we decided not to reveal the controller and instead we displayed just the console." Nintendo president Satoru Iwata unveiled and demonstrated the Wii Remote at the September Tokyo Game Show. The Nintendo DS is said to have influenced the Wii's design. Designer Ken'ichiro Ashida noted, "We had the DS on our minds as we worked on the Wii. We thought about copying the DS's touch-panel interface and came up with a prototype." The idea was rejected because of the notion that the two gaming systems would be identical.
Miyamoto stated, " if the DS had flopped, we might have taken the Wii back to the drawing board." In June 2011 Nintendo unveiled the prototype of its successor to the Wii, to be known as the Wii U. The console was known by the code name "Revolution" from May 11, 2004 when its codename was announced at Nintendo's 2004 pre-Electronics Entertainment Expo press conference in Los Angeles, California until April 27, 2006 before E3. Before the Wii's codename was announced, the media referred to the console as "GCNext" or Gamecube Next and "N5" or Nintendo's fifth major home console. Nintendo's spelling of "Wii" is intended to resemble two people standing side-by-side and to represent the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. One reason the company has given for this name choice since the announcement is: Some video game developers and members of the press stated that they preferred "Revolution" over "Wii". Forbes expressed a fear "that the name would convey a continued sense of'kidiness' to the console." The BBC reported the day after the name was announced that "a long list of puerile jokes, based on the name," had appeared on the Internet.
Nintendo of America's Vice President of Corporate Affairs Perrin Kaplan defended the choice of "Wii" over "Revolution" and responded to critics of the name, stating "Live with it, sleep with it, eat with it, move along with it and they'll arrive at the same place." Nintendo of America's president Reggie Fils-Aime acknowledged the initial reaction and further explained the change: The Nintendo Style Guide refers to the console as "simply Wii, not Nintendo Wii", making it the first home console Nintendo has marketed outside Japan without the company name in its trademark. The Wii's successor, the Wii U, was marketed without Nintendo in its name, although its successor, the Nintendo Switch, brought back the Nintendo name in marketing. On September 14, 2006 Nintendo announced release information for J
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie