People who read about the historical side of gaming know the story of Nintendo. They started out as a company who started selling trading cards of flowers, then moved into arcade cabinets, and then NES and the rest is history. That's the story I always thought, and have read again and again. Then I saw these pictures from Steven Pucci, and learned that Nintendo released a home console ten years before we would see the NES! Enter, The Color TV-Game.
Released through 1977-1980, the Color TV-Game was a one trick pony. It was a machine that came with one game, and an opportunity for two players to play. The very first one (seen above) was packaged with Pong (they called it light tennis) and six variations you could play.
It never launched state side, but would go on to sell around 3 million units in Japan! It was the highest recorded number for any selling console at the time (admittedly a short list). Later incarnations included Breakout, a racing game, and Othello.
While you don't often hear it talked about in Nintendo history, it is referenced in their games. There are references within the Warioware series, and Super Smash Bros most recently as an assist trophy.
Big up's to Wikipedia on this one! I feel like I just expanded my Nintendo history by a lot!