Video Gaming Father

Guru Of Gaming Industry

Masayuki Uemura, the chief architect of the NES and SNES systems, died on December 6th at the age of 78.

Uemura, who joined Nintendo gaming as an engineer from Sharp in 1972 at a time when the company was hesitantly investigating the prospects of electronic entertainment, was the brains behind the Famicom – the system that would become the NES in the west. One of his initial responsibilities was to assist Nintendo gaming with their location-based light-gun games.

Uemura was put in command of Nintendo gaming R&D2 when it was established, and he was key in the creation of Nintendo’s gaming ‘Color TV-Game’ systems, the company’s first hesitant entrance into the world of domestic video games. These were extremely primitive game devices with rudimentary built-in titles.

In 1981, Uemura began development on the Famicom in response to Nintendo gaming CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi’s request that he design a system that could play arcade games on television, but with games on replaceable cartridges. The Famicom and its western cousin, the NES, sold a total of 61.91 million copies worldwide, with 20 million of those sold in Japan alone.

R&D2 would not only create the Famicom, but also the SNES / Super Famicom, which would be just as popular. He also worked on the Famicom Disk System and Super Famicom Satellaview, as well as the NES Zapper, which was exclusively available in Japan.

R&D2 would not only create the Famicom, but also the SNES / Super Famicom, which would be just as popular. He also worked on the Famicom Disk System and Super Famicom Satellaview, as well as the NES Zapper, which was exclusively available in Japan.

Uemura retired from Nintendo gaming in 2004 and went on to become a professor at Kyoto’s Ritsumeikan University, which announced his death today.

 

During a rare visit to the UK in 2020, Uemura spoke with Nintendo gaming Life about one of his career’s highlights:

The best memory I have is when we finished creating the Famicom. We didn’t know if it would be popular at the time, but the fact that we were able to finish the product was quite satisfying. That was the first mission: to ensure that the gadget was completed, and I succeeded, so I was pleased.

 

Masahiro Sakurai, the creator of Smash Bros. and Kirby, said on Twitter:

Masayuki Uemura, the developer of the Family Computer, has died, according to reports. I pray for the salvation of your soul… The NES was the game console that had the most effect on me. It wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for this.

It’s no exaggeration to say that without Uemura’s great contributions, Nintendo gaming – and the larger world of video games – would be considerably different today. Everyone at Nintendo gaming Life sends their deepest condolences to Uemura’s friends and family.
 

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