As of this month, Nintendo has been making video game hardware and software for 40 years.

As Kotaku's Chris Kohler reports, the company's first gaming hardware releases were the Color TV Game 6 and Color TV Game 15 in July 1977.

Both were Pong clones, and at the time, the dominant hardware players were Atari and Magnavox.

The Color TV Game 15 debuted for ¥15,000 (NZ$180 / AU$175) and had more game variations and hand-held paddle controllers rather than controllers built right in to the console itself.

Apparently both these machines were significantly cheaper than competing hardware, and that made them a big hit.

Not long after they launched, Nintendo hired a young Shigeru Miyamoto.

In 1980, it followed up the Color TV Game series with another console that could only play a single game: Computer Othello.

That same year, Nintendo hit pay dirt with the Game & Watch line of LCD games.

Its first cartridge-based system, the Famicom/NES, released in 1983.