Super Mario Bros turns 35 next month. Mario himself, having debuted in 1981’s Donkey Kong, is closer to 40, but Nintendo has always treated his first original console game appearance like his birthday. They have a LOT planned for this year’s celebration, including the return of the Game and Watch brand.
Game and Watch was the original handheld system, brought about by Gunpei Yokoi in 1980 when he noticed Japanese businessmen would fiddle on their calculators to pass time. It was possible to make simplistic games out of the same technology, so Nintendo did just that, blinking a board of static images on and off to simulate movement. Tiger Electronics would later copy and mangle the formula throughout the 1990s.
Nintendo’s early arcade titles like Donkey Kong were translated into Game and Watches, but Super Mario Bros. skipped the conversion…until now. They’re releasing a limited-edition Super Mario Bros Game and Watch this fall; however it won’t be in the crude format of an actual G&W. It’s the literal NES game running on a more advanced LCD display.
The Super Mario Bros Game And Watch contains the full 1985 original, plus its 1986 sequel (known as “The Lost Levels” outside Japan), AND a recreation of the first Game and Watch game, Ball, only with Mario’s head. The buttons of the NES are replicated on the handheld, with the addition of a “Time” button (these things were also watches, true to the name).
The Super Mario Bros Game And Watch will go on sale November 13 for a limited time. If you want one, we would strongly advice you preorder it now.