Masayuki Uemura, creator of NES and SNES, has passed away

Photo: Nintendo Live / Saim Ahmed

It was revealed that the chief engineer of NES and SNES, Masayuki Uemura, died on December 6 at the age of 78.

The Famicom – the system that would become the NES in the West – was invented by Uemura, who joined Nintendo as an engineer with Sharp in 1972 at a time when he was initially exploring the possibilities of electronic entertainment.

Work began at Famicom in 1981, at the request of Nintendo President Hiroshi Yamauchi to create a device capable of playing arcade games on TV. He has risen to the position of Director of R&D2 for Nintendo, which will produce not only Famicom, but its beloved successor as well, the SNES/Super Famicom. During his time with the company, Uemura was also the producer of several titles, including ice climberAnd Chloe Chloe Terre A trio of sports titles: footballAnd baseball And golf.

Uemura retired from Nintendo in 2004 and became a professor at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.

Speaking to Nintendo Life in 2020 during a rare visit to the UK, Uemura discussed one of the highlights of his career:

The best time I remember was when we finished developing [the] Famicom. At the time, we weren’t sure if it would be popular or not, but the fact that we were able to finish the product was very satisfying. It was the first task. To make sure I finished developing the device and did, so I was happy.

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