Super Mario Bros. was supposed to be Nintendo’s grand farewell to the NES. Wait, what? Wasn’t Super Mario Bros. the first major NES game? Well, it was in North America. Nintendo’s Japanese 8-bit system, the Famicom, came out nearly two-and-a-half years before the American NES and by the time SMB came along, Nintendo was already planning to replace it with the Famicom Disk System, an upgraded Famicom that read games off rewritable floppy disks. America never got the Disk System, as Nintendo of America opted to stick with cartridges (most of the later, more advanced NES games like Zelda, Metroid and Castlevania were Famicom Disk System games in Japan).
So, basically the impetus behind the creation of Super Mario Bros. was to make one last epic game for the cartridge-based Famicom before Nintendo tossed it on the scrap heap in favor of the Famicom Disk System. Ironically the game that was supposed to be the Famicom’s send-off became the title that launched the NES’ successful run in America.
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