Even then, its entry into the games industry was faltering, and - before it struck it big with 1981's Donkey Kong - Nintendo flailed around like a squid in a bin.
Here are all (some) of the games which led the way.
Unfortunately, Nintendo borrowed big to fund the sprawling, multiplayer, system, and when Japan's economy was punched in the glans by the 1973 oil crisis, the company nearly went bankrupt. Ha ha.
Get a load of this shit: the game's designer, Genyo Takeda, went on to create Punch-Out! and Pilotwings 64. He's still involved with Nintendo to this day, and in 2015 was given this amusing title: "Technology Fellow".
EVR was a complicated horse racing game; live action races would be shown on a TV screen, and players would have to place bets on who they thought would win. You know: like in the popular horse-racing sport known as "horse racing".
Skyhawk also holds the honour of being perhaps the only arcade game to be housed in a little tent - like the ones workmen use on their breaks to have a cup of tea and "polish their drill heads"
In Shakespeare's play of the same name, Othello was a Moorish general in the Venetian army. And too right he was Moorish - I couldn't get enough of that guy!!!!!!
We know how to do it.
Gimme that Space Fever, Space Fever!
We know how to show it..."
Thrashing about for a bona-fide arcade hit, Nintendo swabbed its cusp with the well-soiled Space Invaders rag. To wit: Space Fever was a blatant rip-off. A special edition - SF-Hisplitter (hunh?) - released later the same year at least demonstrated a vague concession to originality by making the aliens slightly wider.
In video game terms, this translated to trying to smash a monkey's face apart with a ball. You know: like you might have done at the "zoo".
Space Launcher itself was slightly more original than some of Nintendo's previous games, by succeeding in ripping-off two games simultaneously. There was Space Invaders again, of course, but this time with some added Frogger thrown in for good measure. Except - TWI-IIII-I-I-ST! - it was actually released two years before Frogger, and thus might've actually inspired Frogger!!!!
You had to fly to the top of the screen to collect treasure, ramming into enemies with your armoured "tip" without being destroyed by a side-on collision.
Check out my cool cowboy song:
Give me your answer true,
Please, where do you do your poo?
Well, that's it. That's mah song!