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Mario-themed Game & Watch online orders close in a day amid big demand from Japan gamers

The reproduced "Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros." product to commemorate the Mario series' 35th anniversary is seen in this image provided by Nintendo.

OSAKA -- A reproduction of the Game & Watch handheld video game system originally released in 1980 will go on sale again, according to an announcement by Nintendo Co.

    Immediately following the statement via its homepage and other platforms at around 10 p.m. on Sept. 3, Nintendo's official online shopping site was inundated with orders, to the point that the game company stopped accepting them on Sept. 4. Nintendo did not provide any information on how many orders it received. Game & Watch will be available in physical stores from Nov. 13, retailing at 5,478 yen.

    Nintendo's Game & Watch handhelds were sold as consoles which came with a single title built in. By 1994 there were over 50 kinds of the console, and it is reported that more than 43 million units were sold internationally.

    The revival console is called the "Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros." Sept. 13 marks the 35th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Bros. in Japan, and the product will include both Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 2, also known as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels outside Japan. Along with both of these is "Mario Ball," a spin on the classic Game & Watch title with the player character switched out from the traditional Game & Watch with Mario.

    The new console will be chargeable, and Nintendo says that charging the product for 3 hours will allow for 8 hours of gameplay. Game & Watch will be produced for a limited time until the end of March 2021.

    Since 2016, Nintendo has re-released versions of its Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) to rake in combined sales of over 13 million units.

    (Japanese original by Yuhi Sugiyama, Osaka Business News Department)

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