Masayuki Uemura, the main developer behind the NES and SNES (and their Japanese counterparts,) has passed away. He died on December 6th at 78 years old, according to his former employer at the Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto.
Masayuki Uemura joined Nintendo in 1972 as an engineer from Sharp. This was during the time when Nintendo was first exploring the possibilities of expanding into electronic entertainment. His initial work had him work on Nintendo's location-based light-gun games until Nintendo R&D2 was created, and Uemura was placed in charge to work on 'Color TV-Game' systems. These basic gaming systems represented Nintendo's first tentative efforts in home video games. In 1981, Uemura was asked by Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamuchi to make a device that could play arcade games on a TV through the use of interchangeable cartridges. Thus, the Famicom was born.
In addition to producing the Famicom, Masayuki Uemura and R&D2 would also produce the SNES/Super Famicom, the Famicom Disk System and Super Famicom Satellaview, and the NES Zapper. He also had a hand as the producer on seveal titles, including Ice Climber, Clu Clu Land, and three sports titles: Soccer, Baseball, and Golf. Uemura retired from Nintendo in 2004 to become a professor at the Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, and they were the ones who broke the tragic nows of Uemura's passing today. In a (translated) tweet, Masahiro Sakurai, well-known for his work on the Kirby and Super Smash Bros. games, had this to say:
It has been announced that Masayuki Uemura, the creator of the Family Computer, has passed away. I pray for your soul... NES is the game console that I was most influenced by. Without this, it wouldn't be there.