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After seeing the success and falling price of pocket calculators, Nintendo adapted the technology to produce cheap pocket-sized games. Over 40 million Game&Watches were sold in Japan and Asia. Distribution agreements with various European toy and electronics distributors also ensured success in Europe. North America proved a more difficult market to crack – the then fledgling Nintendo of America completely messed up their marketing campaign by casting wooden amateur ‘actors’ in their advertising campaign as well as upsetting their distributors and retailers.

The Games

Dozens of games were released, including many early appearances of Mario and Luigi, including Mario’s Cement Factory. Nintendo also used licensed characters, notably for Popeye the Sailor Man, where the spinach-fuelled hero had to save Olive Oyl from Brutus’ clutches.

People

Gunpei Yokoi (link to follow)

A short biography of the man who brought us the D-pad, portable gaming and a really rather natty robotic hand.

Thanks

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Major events

1980
Launch of the Game & Watch range

Pocket-sized range of electronic games which could also – as the name suggests – display the time. Monochrome LCD display – some games such as Donkey Kong and Rainshower had two separate displays and a clamshell style case.

Emulators

Mac OS X

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iOS

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OUYA/Android

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Features

Model name

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