Game On: A Super Mario triple play

New York (CNN Business)Nintendo is feeling nostalgic lately, and it’s reviving a yet another ’80s relic.

The Game & Watch portable console, first introduced in 1980 and produced until 1991, was responsible for putting Nintendo on the map. It was a far cry from the Nintendo of today, which regularly puts out best-selling games, connects people online and uses augmented reality with toy cars.
Game & Watch was a series of handheld games that Nintendo sold before the world fell in love with the Game Boy. Back then, the black-and-white Game & Watch only played a single game each.

    The new Game & Watch takes the shape of the original with its red and gold design, but charges by USB-C and comes in color. It plays three games: “Super Mario Bros.,” “Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels” and “Ball (the Mario version).” Only “Ball,” a juggling game, stays in black and white.
    Fans of any “Super Mario Bros.” game will immediately recognize the iconic music.

    A multiplayer mode for Game & Watch just means you can play first as Mario in “Super Mario Bros.” and then let a friend or family member take the console to play as Luigi. None of that modern connecting to the internet business here.
    Nintendo Game and Watch
    Just like the name suggests, the Game & Watch console is also literally a watch. By tapping on the Time button, it will display a clock, alongside Mario jumping around.
    While Game & Watch wasn’t Nintendo’s first attempt at video games, it was the first success, leading into the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985 and the Game Boy in 1989.
    The Game & Watch isn’t as celebrated as some of Nintendo’s other game systems, but it was the first system to feature the + shaped directional pad, first found on the 1982 “Donkey Kong” Game & Watch. Its success also gave some legitimacy to handheld gaming, which was a niche that video game manufacturers were unsure of in the 1970s.
    Nintendo has dipped into the Game & Watch nostalgia bucket before by releasing a version last decade and putting Mr. Game & Watch, the anonymous character who appears in many of the early Game & Watch games, into its “Super Smash Bros.” games.

      The company has been on a re-release tear lately. In recent years, it sold classic versions of the NES and Super Nintendo, complete with a couple dozen games and the original controllers. Now, Nintendo is in full celebration mode: It’s the 35th anniversary of Mario. The company announced a ton of Mario products, including a new battle royale game and the re-release of “Super Mario 64,” “Super Mario Galaxy” and” Super Mario Sunshine.”
      Now it’s Game & Watch’s turn in the spotlight. The 40th anniversary edition of the Game & Watch goes on sale November 13 for a limited time and retails for $49.99.
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