Masayuki Uemura, chief architect of Nintendo’s iconic NES console, has died: NPR

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

You may not know the name Masayuki Uemura, but chances are you’ve spent hours with his groundbreaking work.

(EXTRACT FROM THE THEMATIC SONG SUPER MARIO BROS. BY KOJI KONDO “)

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

With games like Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong, the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, dominated the home video game industry in the ’80s and’ 90s. Uemura was its chief architect.

CORNISH: He passed away this week at the age of 78. Uemura grew up in Tokyo. He became an electrical engineer. He joined Nintendo in 1972 and quickly worked on the predecessor of the first hit Duck Hunt.

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KELLY: In the early ’80s he was commissioned to create a home console to compete with Atari. Nintendo’s president asked Uemura to come up with a game that uses cartridges.

CORNISH: The result was Famicom, or the home computer. It hit the US market in 1985. And if Santa Claus didn’t log you in, the 8-bit gaming system was around $ 150.

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UNIDENTIFIED ADVERTISER: When you play the most successful arcade system, you play with power.

KELLY: We used to be worried about screen time. We remember the work of Masayuki Uemura. He died this week.

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