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Masayuki Uemura, The Legendary Designer of the NES and SNES Has Died at 78

Modern gaming would look much different today if it wasn’t for Masayuki Uemura. Uemura was a brilliant creator who developed the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1981 and the Super Nintendo System in 1988. Today, it was announced that the inventor has passed away at 78 years old.

Uemura initially worked as a technology salesperson for Sharp where Nintendo was one of his clients. The salesman was an expert in photocell technology. Nintendo thought that the tech would help them in creating an arcade shooter game so they brought Uemura on board in 1971. He helped to develop Laser Clay Shooting System where gamers were tasked with shooting clay pigeons. In 1976, he helped on Duck Hunt, which later became a hit for the NES.

In 1981, Uemura was asked to help create a system where gamers could play arcade titles at home. Released in the United States in 1984. the console was a huge hit. It sold 61 million units and changed gaming forever.

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When asked how the creation of the NES changed his life, Uemura said, “Well, my salary went up. That’s a fact. So I was getting paid more, but the flip side was my job got a lot harder. President Yamauchi’s attitude played a big part in this, but my feeling was one of ‘seize the day.’ Just go for it.”

In 1988, the designer began working on the Super Nintendo, an upgrade over the existing system. The SNES was also a massive hit selling 49 million consoles.

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Uemura retired from Nintendo in 2004.

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Todd Neikirk

Written by Todd Neikirk

Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and hillreporter.com. He enjoys sports, politics, comic books, and spending time at the shore with his family.