Released in Japan in 1983, the Nintendo Family Computer, or Famicom, became Nintendo's first cartridge-based home video game console. Nintendo called on Masayuki Uemura to design the machine, originally code-named GameCom. Uemura's wife suggested the title "Famicom" to represent the idea that the system would be enjoyed by the whole family. Though technical problems plagued early Famicom units, causing the company to recall thousands of consoles for costly upgrades, Nintendo continued did not lose heart. After re-issuing system with new motherboards, the Famicom became a hit, selling several million units in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. Much of Nintendo's success in the video game market, including success with the Famicom, must be credited to legendary video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of such iconic games as Donkey Kong, Mario Brothers, and The Legend of Zelda.
Nintendo made modifications to the Famicom, and in 1985 they released the next iteration of the console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in North America. Benefiting from the enormous popularity of Miyamoto's Super Mario Brothers, the follow-on console sold more than 60 million units in the United States and became the best selling console of the late 1980s. Gamers and developers alike credited the NES with reviving the video game market following the industry-wide downturn of 1983. The system included more than 800 licensed games, including hit titles such as Excitebike, Hogan's Alley, Ice Climber, Kung Fu and Mach Rider.
Nintendo released the successor to this popular system in 1990, dubbed the Super Famicom. It debuted in the US a year later as the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). Popular titles included Super Mario World, Legends of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and Star Fox. It became the best-selling console of the 16-bit era, and even remained popular well into the 32-bit era. Some consider this console to represent the "Golden Age" of video games, due to its focus on gameplay instead of graphics.