Masayuki Uemura passed away - creator of NES/Famicom/FDS, SNES/SFC

# Masayuki Uemura

Pour one out for a legend. It can safely be said that one of the reasons I love video games is directly related to his work. The NES was the toy that comprises most of my earliest memories. And I still continue to enjoy games on the hardware today, 30+ years later.

The fact that I still continue to find new games on the hardware that bring me joy is just a testament to how capable it was at supporting developers in creating diverse gameplay experiences.

It’s the hardware that represents a true turning point for game design on home consoles where things became far more elaborate, supporting scrolling graphics, huge open worlds, and smooth gameplay like the arcades.

FDS furthered that vision by making save files a standard feature in the console space - something that arcades really didn’t have and which was most relegated to more complex PC hardware.

Famicom was capable of so many concepts that were far FAR ahead of its time. It had networking capabilities, music making software, let people program things in Family Basic, it had the Power Pad which allowed you burn calories and control game with your feet, 3D glasses, motion controls with the Power Glove, a voice activated laser scope, and the world famous zapper.

Pour one out.



Eternal thanks, Uemura-san!

He was in the UK last year to give a talk at the national video games museum just before covid changed everything. I really regret not going to see that now, you don’t know what you’ve got 'til it’s gone…

Whenever I read about versatility of the Famicom as the years went by I’m always impressed…as Peltz mentioned it went far beyond what would have been envisioned for launch.

While I’m too young to have grown up with its NES cousin, one thing that always astounds me is how whole new genres were continuously being created during that period of time. You would have gone from fixed scrolling titles like Donkey Kong to completely new types of games.

I really like the developer anecdotes in this documentary about the system:

The History of the Famicom (Japanese documentary w/ subtitles) - YouTube

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