Gunpei Yokoi (1941 – 1997), sometimes transliterated Gumpei Yokoi, was a Japanese video game designer. He was a long-time Nintendo employee, best known as creator of the Game Boy and Game & Watch handheld systems, inventor of the modern-day D-pad or 'cross' pad (a design that nearly all video game controllers use today), and producer of a few long-running and critically acclaimed video game franchises.
Gunpei Yokoi was the creator of the Game Boy and Virtual Boy and worked on Famicom (and NES), the Metroid series, Game Boy Pocket and did extensive work on the system we know today as the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Gunpei Yokoi grew up in Kyoto where he graduated from Doshinsha University with a degree in electronics. He was first hired by Nintendo in 1965 to maintain the assembly-line machines used to manufacture its Hanafuda cards.
In 1889, Nintendo began as a playing cards manufacturer, their Hanafuda playcards were very popular.
Later Gunpei Yokoi was reassigned as an engineer with newly formed games division - the first day on his new job Yokoi invented "The Ultrahand" which sold 1.2 million units the first Christmas season for $6 in 1970. The Ultrahand was Nintendo's first toy, it was a toy arm on an accordion like extension that kids could use as an extendable claw.
Yokoi left Nintendo in August, 1996 to set up his own toy company, Koto Co., in Kyoto.
On October 27, 1992, Nintendo of America Inc. registered the configuration of its hand-held game machine.
On October 4, 1997, while driving with Etsuo Kiso, a business man with Nintendo, the two of them spotted a car accident. Once they got out to investigate, two cars rammed into the broken car and crushed Yokoi, and gave Etsuo Kiso two broken bones. After two hours in a hospital, Gunpei Yokoi was announced dead.