Image: Nintendo

Masayuki Uemura, the man behind two of the greatest video game consoles of all time—the NES and SNES—has passed away.

The sad news has been confirmed by Kyoto’s Ritsumeikan University, which published an obituary today revealing that Uemura died on December 6, 2021, at 78 years old. Uemura had been serving as the director of the university’s Center for Game Studies since his retirement from Nintendo in 2004.

From ANA Global Channel, which shared a video regarding the development of the Famicom (Japan’s name for the NES) with appearances by Uemura:

Born in 1943 in Tokyo. Mr. Uemura joined Hayakawa Denki (now known as Sharp Corporation) after graduating from Chiba Institute of Technology. He transferred to Nintendo in 1971 and was placed in charge of development for Famicom (Family Computer) and Super Famicom. In 2004, he acceded to Development Dept. office at Nintendo as adviser and specially appointed professor in Ritsumeikan University.

Uemura began developing the Famicom in 1981, but his initial work with Nintendo actually related to light-gun games such as the predecessor to the iconic Duck Hunt. His resume also includes classics such as Ice Climbers, Clu Clu Land, Soccer, Baseball, and Golf.

Source: Ritsumeikan University (via Polygon)

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  1. This hit me rrreeeaaalll f*ckin’ hard right now. I got in with the Atari 2600, NES changed my life. SNES is my favorite console of all time. I still play both systems. NES I had since childhood is working fine, replaced the 72-pin cartridge connector over a decade ago, then last month I replaced it again with this device:

    The SNES I had since childhood had the CPU die. My Super Famicom ended up with a broken trace going to the vRAM chip (according to my repair buddy who owns a store doing arcade/console/pinball repair). I’ve been borrowing another Super Famicom for years now.

    I really don’t have the words for what these two consoles, and Uemura’s work, mean to me. Sadly I don’t know enough about the man himself and his contributions, but that needs to change. All I can say is, thank you man for the unfathomable impact you’ve had on my life.

  2. I loved LOVED the original NES. I put a TON of hours into that one. Wizardry IV I believe was the game.

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