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Masayuki Uemura, the creator of Nintendo, has died at the age of 78

Masayuki Uemura, who joined Nintendo in 1972, began working alongside Gunpei Yokoi and Genyo Takeda on electronic games, including the popular Japanese Laser Clay Shooting System, launched by Nintendo in 1973. Uemura, creator of the NES, passed away and SNES, at the age of 78.

Following his success, Uemura was appointed head of Nintendo’s R&D2 division. The division itself focused on hardware and led to Nintendo’s Color TV game systems, which began in 1977 and marked one of Nintendo’s first steps in making home video games.

In 1981, Uemura began work on the Famicom – also known as the NES – after then-Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi lobbied the company to create a video game console capable of playing with different insertable cartridges. Famicom was released in 1983 and became so popular that it spurred the development of SNES (or Super Famicom), which Uemura has been working on since 1988.

While Uemura was primarily known for his work on Nintendo hardware, the engineer also spent time working on several NES games, including Baseball, Donkey Kong, Clu Clu Land, and Ice Climber. Uemura retired from Nintendo in 2004, where he remained as a consultant in the research and engineering department.

During a lecture at the National Video Game Museum last year (as detailed by Eurogamer), the legendary engineer spoke fondly of his former employer. “There was something different about Nintendo,” Uemura said. “Here these guys were very serious about the content of the game. Other companies were importing ideas from America and adapting them to the Japanese market, making them cheaper and smaller. But Nintendo was interested in the original ideas.”

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