Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo creator Masayuki Uemura has died at 78, leaving behind a legacy as one of the chief engineers at Nintendo.
The news that Masayuki Uemura has died at 78 was confirmed the Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies has confirmed this morning, as the industry legend passed away on December 6th.
A private funeral was held by Uemura’s family, however its currently undecided if a memorial service will be held for the public. Uemura was born in Tokyo in 1943, and got his start in the tech industry at Hayakawa Electric Industry Co., Ltd. (now Sharp Corporation) in 1967.
Uemura joined Nintendo back in 1972 and was known as the lead architect and engineer on both the original Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Uemura was also involved with Nintendo’s early attempts at light gun technology in the 1970s, prior to their color television home consoles in the late 70s.
Easily one of his biggest accomplishments, the original NES, or as it’s called in Japan the Famicom (Family Computer), was a massive hit for Nintendo. The company’s goal was to produce a home family computer with interchangeable games, to which they succeeded.
The original Famicom launched with its three initial games: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., and Popeye. Uemura was also in charge of both western redesigns of the Famicom and the Super Famicom.
Despite retiring from Nintendo back in 2004, he continued to collaborate with Nintendo as an advisor. At this point he started his tenure as a Ritsumeikan University professor, and later became the first director for the 2011-launched Ritsumeikan Center for Game Studies.