Laser Clay Shooting System (lost Nintendo 16mm film shooting gallery game; 1973)

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Laser Clay Shooting System.jpg

People playing Laser Clay Shooting System.

Status: Lost

In the 1960s, bowling became a fad in Japan. However, like all fads, its popularity faded away, and many bowling alleys were abandoned by 1971. Desiring to make new use of these facilities, Hiroshi Yamauchi, president of Nintendo, began devising concepts for a new game to be hosted in these buildings. In the early 1970s, Nintendo was largely a toy company but was venturing into other industries. Yamauchi's idea became known as Laser Clay Shooting System.[1]

It could be said that this game was Nintendo's first venture into the video game industry, although it wasn't truly a "video" game. Instead of electronic video, it used projected 16mm film. Players would stand in a line holding light guns. Targets, in this case, clay pigeons, were projected from the film onto the back wall of the former bowling alley, and the players would aim at and shoot them. A computer calculated whether a player hit a target or not.[2]

Despite technical problems, such as the computer breaking down and Genyo Takeda having to add up player scores himself[2], it was a success and inspired Nintendo to get into arcade gaming. However, when the 1973 oil crisis hit, Japan cut back on unnecessary amenities, and clients began cancelling their orders. However, Nintendo eventually designed a smaller, arcade cabinet-sized model known as Mini Laser Clay and made several new games based on it, such as 1974's Wild Gunman.[1]

No known instances of Laser Clay Shooting System are either operational or intact today.[3]


A Mini Laser Clay arcade machine.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Laser Clay Shooting System at Wikipedia. Retrieved 26 Sept '15.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Laser Clay Shooting System at Kotaku. Retrieved 27 Sept '15.
  3. Before Mario. Retrieved 27 Sept '15.