Skip to Content

Does Nintendo Own Atari?

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.


Have you ever wondered if Atari and Nintendo were the same company? Maybe you heard that Nintendo bought Atari and you wanted to know if it’s true. Well you came to the right place. 

So does Nintendo own Atari?

Although many people do not know this, Atari was a company far before Nintnedo, and Nintnedo was only making consoles the same time as Atari for a few years. Although Nintendo could have purchased Atari, they did not, and therefore do not own Atari. 

If you want to know more about Nintendo and Atari, you will definitely want to keep reading. If you prefer to learn by watching a video, this one will help you understand that Atari and Nintendo were not the same company, but actually rivals. 

If you are an old-school Atari lover then you have to get a classic Atari T-Shirt to show it! To see the most popular Atari T-Shirt retro designs that will stay classics for years just click here.

Atari Flashback 8 Gold Console HDMI 120 Games 2 Wireless Controllers

If you love all things Atari then you have to check out this awesome Atari Flashback console.

The Atari Flashback 8 comes with two wireless controllers (YES, WIRELESS!) two paddle controllers, and 120 authentic Atari games.

How far back in history does the Atari corporation go?

The Atari Corporation is credited with the development of the first-ever handheld game console in 1972. This happened in Sunnyvale, California thanks to Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney. After this, there was a prolonged silence before the emergence of another development process, undertaken by another corporation by the name Epyx. The final product was released into the market in the year 1989 in North America.

Which corporation is older than the other; is it Atari or Nintendo?

Atari is considered as the iconic gaming company. The classic titles such as Pong are the well-known products of Atari. The corporation was very active, and went on to release its first home console which it named the 2600, in 1977. It continued dominating the marketing by launching several generations of consoles before Nintendo came into the market to set up a rivalry with the Atari Corporation. 

Atari struggled to maintain its pioneering role and position in the market because of Nintendo’s console. However, its struggle ended in 1993, a time when it made its last full release. This release was called the Atari Jaguar. After the Jaguar was released, No one heard from the Atari corporation for a very long time. The invention of the Nintendo Entertainment System caused Atari some concern in the market and at one point Atari even sued Nintendo. 

The charge it brought forward against Nintendo was that the Japanese video game maker was trying to monopolize the market. It went further in its charge to say that Nintendo was putting restrictions on its licensed game creators leaving very little room for competition. These were certainly the last kicks of a dying horse as the corporation then went into oblivion leaving Nintendo to carry on.

Is Atari still alive and making consoles today?

Atari has long been presumed dead due to its inactivity in the making of computer hardware since the ’90s. Although there were not many consoles made for a while, Atari was still alive. They actually recently released the Atari Flashback console. This Flashback console is still for sale, and comes preloaded with 120 games including Pitfall, Burger Time, and Froger! This console is alot smaller than the original console, but still packs great games into such a small console.

The controllers are very similar to the original ones, but they are now wireless! The console itself runs with HDMI and is full HD although the games can still maintain their original graphics to keep nostalgia. This console sells for a great price and is a steal for all the games that come with it, and is available here

Does Atari make anything besides gaming consoles?

Although most people do not realize it, Atari is still making games today! Although they are not in home gaming consoles, they are still in alot of peoples homes. Atari today makes Arcade machines that are known as 1Up arcade machines, and are available here!

These arcade machines are ¾ size of the original arcade machines, and include names such as Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Mortal Kombat, and many more! These machines only cost a couple hundred dollars and are extremely affordable for the normal person. Most people will actually buy more than one of these machines as they are a good price and allow you to have the feel of an original arcade right in your home. You are not going to want to miss your chance to own one of these iconic arcade games for a fraction of the price.  

History of Nintendo

Nintendo is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics company. Its headquarters is in Kyoto, Japan. Nintendo was founded to produce handmade hanafuda. Initially, it was a locally based company dealing with the local audience but with time, it became one of the most prominent names in the video game industry. It is indeed the largest video game company in the world today by revenue. Nintendo continues to grow from strength to strength even though there are many other competing corporations in the gaming market. 

Although Nintnedo has created many games, they have far outlived Atari as well as many other gaming companies that have entered the gaming community. The following facts will help to unravel the mystery of Nintendo versus Atari. 


The discussion above outlined the history of the Atari corporation versus Nintendo. Most of the time the bigger gaming companies get all the attention because they can flood the market with ads while the older smaller companies most of the time are forgotten. 

Atari started the line of handheld game consoles which was then received with so much joy as it was an innovation at the perfect time. However, some practices were supposed to be maintained by Atari to keep it in the market, but these practices never happened, resulting in Atari basically shutting down. Nintendo did not take advantage of this gap that was created, but it came up quickly to take care of the thirst of the market in terms of gaming consoles. This is where Nintendo shined and showed the world what they had to offer the gaming community. 

Because of what we have read above, you can easily say that Nintendo simply took over where Atari could not move on. Therefore, Nintendo does not in any way own Atari. The existence of Atari was short-lived despite the major innovation that it could not maintain. 

Today, Nintendo continues to offer solutions to the demand for game consoles all over the world! The range of products that Nintendo continues to deliver into the market might be identical to some of the products that Atari used to be identified with. Although this makes some Atari lovers upset, Atari just could not keep up with demand and their products that they released. 

The fact that some Nintendo games are like Atari games makes many people think that perhaps there was a purchase of ownership of Atari by Nintendo, but this just is not how it happened. Nintendo is a totally separate company and is loved by so many gamers because of not only their games, but also their consoles. Nintendo has been keeping their head in the game by staying ahead of the curve and introducing consoles that are unlike anything we have ever seen. Some of these consoles include the Wii (which used sensors which made you the player by actually playing the game) and the Nintendo Switch (which allows you to play on the go, or on a tv with the exact same console). 

No matter what console you prefer, you have to admit that both Atari and Nintendo both have great consoles that are still fun to play today!