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Watch The Nelsonic Mario Watch

Nelsonic Mario watchToday when you talk about handheld gaming, most players think of a Nintendo Switch or a mobile device connected to a remote play or cloud gaming service.  Twenty years ago, handheld gaming meant carting around a Game Boy Color.  Thirty years ago?  Well, there was the original Game Boy, of course, but for a cheaper and more portable experience there were the Nelsonic gaming watches featuring famous licensed franchises from Nintendo including Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, and Donkey KongI wrote about my cherished Mario watch back in 2006, but Brian Crecente at Pad and Pixel dug into the history of the gaming watch concept and details how Mario wound up on our wrists once upon a time.

“Of course, the game-changer was the Pac Man game watch,” he said. “Again, I think the reason Bernie saw this first was because we were the demographic of the kids putting hundreds of quarters into the arcade versions. To play this game on your wrist was just too unbelievable. We had two suppliers in Hong Kong making the game for us. Both had color screens that looked identical to the arcade version and made that thoroughly annoying munching sound. One version actually supplied four colored mini joysticks to insert into the port in the watch face and play the game as if it were in the arcade.”

I had no idea Nelsonic was producing these watches into the Super NES era with a Star Fox model.  Today these watches are more of a unique collectible and conversation piece than an practical way to tell time or play a video game.  I wore my watch to my office job once on a lark and spent most the day explaining what the hell was strapped to my wrist.  Now it resides in my gaming collectibles display case with other Mario memorabilia.


Power Button - Episode 325: The Best That 2020 Had To Offer

Power ButtonAnother year done means a new batch of video games elevated into the vaunted Top 5 List of our Game of the Year picks.  This week on the podcast we discuss our top picks for 2020 along with a few honorable mentions.  Will the next-gen consoles sweep the honors or is there still juice in last generation's library?  We have a supersized show in which to hash it all out. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


Power Button - Episode 324: 2020's Biggest News Revisited

Power ButtonWith the portal sealed and 2020 banished back into Hell, it's time for our customary look back at the most memorable video gaming news from the year that was.  Thanks to the coronavirus, 2020's news was largely "inside baseball" in nature as nobody could safely stage a large physical presence at a convention or trade show, but there was still plenty to talk about as Nintendo's Super Mario Bros. celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary, Apple and Epic go to war over - what else? - money, Microsoft goes on a buying spree, and so much more. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Podcasts, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


A Christmas Gift Fit For A Princess

Princess Peach's CastleWhile my wife and I have only been married two months, we've been together for five years now and always have fun exchanging gifts.  She's the artistic one and is a master of tailoring, crafting, and painting, and she's given me several of her creations that have special romantic sentiment to us that also tie together with our love of video games.  Climb our stairway and you'll find framed photos of us next to the jerkass goose from Untitled Goose Game stitched with his to-do list of tasks, one of which is a crossed off "Steal your heart".   Around the holidays she hangs our Mushroom Kingdom-inspired wreath and we bring out the menorah she built based on the pipes from Super Mario Bros.  As for me, I'm not creative in that way.  I'm a writer, not a builder.  Usually I give her things that I buy from stores instead of something I create because I know that's not where my talent lies, but this year I was struck with special inspiration for a Christmas gift, and like so many of the good things that have come out of this damned year 2020, it all started with our wedding.  No, wait; actually, this really goes all of the way back to over twenty years ago.

Continue reading "A Christmas Gift Fit For A Princess" »


Super Mario Maker To Be Discontinued

Super Mario MakerIt's been a good run for Super Mario Maker for the Nintendo Wii U, but after five years, one port to the Nintendo 3DS, and a sequel for the Switch, it's almost time to say goodbye.  Nintendo announced this morning that effective March 31, 2021 that the game will no longer allow players to upload new courses to share with other players and that the game's website bookmark feature will also cease to be.  The game is also scheduled for delisting from the eShop on January 12, 2021.  Upload 'em while you've got 'em, folks.  This is last call.

As of March 31, 2021, it will no longer be possible to upload courses in the Super Mario Maker game for the Wii U system. On the same day, the Super Mario Maker Bookmark website will also close. As a result, Super Mario Maker for the Wii U system will be removed from Nintendo eShop on January 12, 2021.

Please note that depending on the circumstances, these services may be discontinued earlier than the above-mentioned date.

Services that will end

  • The ability to upload courses in the Wii U version of Super Mario Maker
  • The Super Mario Maker Bookmark website

Due to this, the following features within the software’s Course World will also become unavailable:

  • Updating the ranking of liked courses
  • Looking up your bookmarked courses

An error message will be displayed when trying to access these discontinued services after their end date.

It will still be possible to play courses that were uploaded before the course upload feature was discontinued, and to redownload the game after its removal from Nintendo eShop. There will be no impact on the Super Mario Maker 2 game for the Nintendo Switch system.

We would like to thank all players for supporting Super Mario Maker on Wii U over the past five years.

It's a shame to see it end, but Nintendo is fully committed to the Switch and likely sees that the Wii U version of the game has a dwindling player base as time goes on and does not want to shoulder the costs and maintenance needs of continuing to run the service.  Players will still be able to download previously uploaded levels after the cutoff date.  I created sixteen levels which was an exciting project when the game was new, but I haven't been able to get myself into creating new levels for Super Mario Maker 2.  I feel as though I got everything out of my system with the first game and am now simply content to play levels created by other people.


Power Button - Episode 320: Gaming's Greatest Weddings

Power ButtonIn celebration of my own imminent wedding day, this week's podcast is all about gaming's greatest weddings!  From Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach for a wedding on the moon in Super Mario Odyssey to the shotgun weddings of Fallout 2 to the Mad Moxxi love potion scheme of Borderlands 2 to, uh, Booster kidnapping Princess Toadstool for a wedding in Marrymore in Super Mario RPG and beyond, we're talking about the good, the bad, and the matrimony.  Join us for seventy minutes of discussion before I head off to say my vows. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


Power Button - Episode 319: Into The Console Wars Documentary Trenches With Directors Blake J. Harris and Jonah Tulis

Power ButtonOne of our favorite books here at Power Button, Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle that Defined a Generation, is now a documentary streaming on CBS All-Access, so it's the perfect time to talk to the book's author and friend of the podcast Blake J. Harris and his co-director on the film, Jonah Tulis.  Join us for an hour of conversation in which we discuss topics such as how the book made the transition to the screen, the difficulty of clearing all of those archival clips for use, the visual impact of showing key moments in the story as actual archival video instead of just a textual description ("$299."), new material in the film that isn't in the book, and so much more.  Console Wars is a fascinating book and a fantastic movie, so I highly recommend that you experience both.  Thanks to Blake and Jonah for joining us this week! Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


A Dangerous Darkwing Duck Musical Medley

Darkwing DuckSince the first video games to feature music were created, fans have tried to take those simple composition and tap them out on a piano or strum them out on a guitar.  Over the years, the fan community has continued to advance, taking increasingly complex melodies and turning them into impressive new creations.  If your game includes Super Mario or Mega Man in the title, then there's no shortage of people who can perform your tunes.  The familiar strains of World 1-1 or Air Man's theme are a bit overdone these days, but deeper cut games deserve to have their moment in the sportlight too.  Consider Capcom's 1992 release for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Darkwing Duck.  It's rare that you hear of a fan who can perform the music from that game, but today is your lucky day as LloydTheHammer has published a YouTube video of his take on a medley of the game's entire soundtrack.  From Quackerjack's bridge theme to Megavolt's wharf music to Bushroot's forest jam, it's all here and waiting for you to get dangerous.


Power Button - Episode 318: Cities In The Sky

Power ButtonCity-building simulators and their ilk are all the rage on this week's podcast episode.  Join us as we reminisce over classic titles including SimCity, SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000... well, you get the idea there, plus SimCopter, SimFarm, Rollercoaster Tycoon, SimTower, and all the way to our current obsession, Cities: SkylinesDownload this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way. 


Power Button - Episode 317: Preorder Tech: The Next Generation (Or, PlayStation Versus Xbox: Mayhem At The Terrordome)

Power ButtonThe ongoing game of pricing and release date chicken between Microsoft and Sony finally reached the cliff this week as both companies lifted the curtain on their plans for the next generation of video game consoles.  We're spending the hour discussing the new details about the Sony PlayStation 5 and the Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S plus a quick dip into the world of Nintendo for some pre-release Super Mario 3D All-Stars gossip.  Pull up a retailer's website and mash the refresh button with us as we try to preorder a console. Download this week's episode directly from PTB, listen with the player below, find us on Stitcher, subscribe via iTunes, Amazon Music Podcasts, and Google Play, toss this RSS feed into your podcast aggregation software of choice, and be sure to catch up on past episodes if you're joining us late. Remember that you can reach us via , you can leave a message on the Power Button hotline by calling (720) 722-2781, and you can even follow us on Twitter at @PressTheButtons and @GrundyTheMan, or for just podcast updates, @ThePowerButton. We also have a tip jar if you'd like to kick a dollar or two of support our way.