Nintendo Relaunches Old Game Console

Category: Technology/Innovations


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. sensation / sɛnˈseɪ ʃən / (n) – something or someone that causes a lot of excitement, surprise, or interest

    The boy became an internet sensation because of his singing ability.

  2. handheld / ˈhændˌhɛld / (adj) – small enough to be held and operated by hand

    Handheld devices like cellphones are more convenient and travel-friendly.

  3. momentous / moʊˈmɛn təs / (adj) – having great or lasting impact

    The board made the momentous decision to change the company’s line of products five years ago.

  4. pave the way / peɪv ðə weɪ / (idiom) – to create a situation that allows something to happen

    Scientists are hopeful that the research will pave the way for a more effective cure for the disease.

  5. noteworthy / ˈnoʊtˌwɜr ði / (adj) – important, interesting, or deserving of attention

    The band is not very famous, but they have some noteworthy songs.


Read the text below.

Nintendo has announced that one of its vintage consoles, Game & Watch, will be relaunched for a limited time.

The Game & Watch devices were originally released in 1980 and manufactured until 1991. The console became a sensation, selling over 43 million units. Each device was designed to play only one game, and Nintendo released a total of 59 handheld games for it. The console’s original release was momentous for Nintendo because its success paved the way for the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Game Boy in the latter half of the 1980s.

Although the Game & Watch was not as noteworthy as other Nintendo consoles, it was the first to feature the plus-shaped directional pad that became common among the company’s later releases.

Called the Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros., the relaunched console will contain three games—Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, and Ball (the Mario version).

The new edition will have a full-color LCD screen in place of the original black and white display. It will also be rechargeable through a USB-C port and can last through eight hours of play per charge. Like every Game & Watch device that came out after 1981, the new one can also be used as an alarm clock. It will feature 35 different screen-savers showing scenes of Mario interacting with a clock.

The console will be released near the end of the year in celebration of Mario’s 35th anniversary. It will be priced at $49.99 and will only be available in very limited stocks until March 2021.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Who do you think is most likely to buy this console (e.g. collectors, old fans)? Discuss.
• Do you think relaunching old consoles is a good idea? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• What do you think people gain from playing video games (e.g. entertainment, friendship with other gamers)? Discuss.
• What do you think are possible disadvantages of playing video games? Discuss.