Nintendo is re-releasing its classic Game & Watch handheld for the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., complete with 35 easter eggs and references for fans

  • Nintendo is celebrating Super Mario Bros.’ 35th anniversary this year by re-releasing its classic hand-held console, the Game & Watch.
  • The console was originally launched in 1980, and helped propel hand-held video games gain global popularity.
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To celebrate the 35th anniversary of Super Mario Bros., Nintendo announced that it will be re-releasing its classic Game & Watch system, which helped launch hand-held video games to global popularity. The console will feature three games: “Super Mario Bros.,” “Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels,” and the old-school juggling game “Ball.”

The first Game & Watch was released in Japan in 1980. The device originally had two buttons, a black-and-white LCD screen, and only one game. When owners weren’t actively gaming, they could turn the screen to a digital clock mode. The series would go on to sell 43.4 million units, according to Satoru Iwata, the late CEO of Nintendo.

“Ball,” one of the Game & Watch’s classic titles, had a simple objective: using the Game & Watch’s two buttons, a gamer had to help a juggler keep two balls in the air. This time around, Nintendo has replaced the juggler with everyone’s favourite Italian plumber: Mario.

The anniversary version of the Game & Watch features a full-colour LCD screen, 4 direction control pad, and A/B buttons. To the delight of old-school Nintendo fans, developers have hidden lots of easter eggs and references throughout the game.

The news of the console’s re-release follows the relatively new trend of gaming companies selling miniature versions of classic consoles that come pre-loaded with games and ports to hook the devices up to modern TVs. Nintendo sells the NES Classic Edition for $US60 and the SNES Classic Edition for $US70. Sony launched the $US99 PlayStation Classic in December 2018, and SEGA Genesis Mini retails for $US80.

Nintendo says the Game & Watch will be released November 13 for the price of $US49.99.