July 15, 1983. If that's your birthday, happy birthday! If it's not, that's cool. It's still a very special date in history. Because it's the day the Nintendo Famicom first went on sale in Japan.
Later released in the West as the Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES), the Famicom is where things really got serious for the company. Sure, Donkey Kong was an arcade hit, and Nintendo had a string of successes before that, but the Famicom is where we first met Link, Samus, Simon Belmont, Mega Man and many more of gaming's oldest, most cherished characters.