Nintendo Game Console Creator Passes AwayDecember 15, 2021

Masayuki Uemura, the lead engineer of the Nintendo popular home video game system, passed away on December 6, 2021, in Japan at the age of 78.  With an electronic engineering degree from Chiba Institute of Technology, Uemura initially worked at Sharp Corporation.  He went to work at Nintendo in 1971 and became head of hardware research and development.  Then in 1981, with arcade games, such as Donkey Kong, becoming hugely popular in the United States, the president of the company asked Uemura to create a home console for playing video games on a TV.  The Japanese cartridge-based console, called Famicom, was released in 1983, followed by the release in the U.S. in 1985 under the name Nintendo Entertainment System, followed by Super Nintendo a few years later.  Sales eventually topped over 100 million around the world.

While at Nintendo, he also created a number of video games, including soccer, baseball and golf. Upon retirement, Uemura became director of the Center for Game Studies at Ritsumeikan University  in Tokyo in 2004.

Prior to the success of the Nintendo video games, the company made conventional playing cards and games.

Kirk Hartung is a member of the Mechanical Patent Practice Group at McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC. For additional information please visit or contact Kirk directly via email at

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