You know Mario. Everyone knows Mario. Perhaps you even knew him once as Jumpman, the hero of Donkey Kong, before he was properly named. Maybe you even knew him as Mr Video. But Mario was once known by another name.
Ossan was the original name of Nintendo's famous mascot, says Hiroshi Imanishi, former director and general manager in the latest "Iwata Asks" entry. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata interviews Imanishi and Masayuki Uemura, R&D advisor, about the early days of the Famicom, the Japanese equivalent to the Nintendo Entertainment System, as part of the Super Mario Bros 25th anniversary series.
The nickname Ossan means "middle-aged guy," Imanishi explains, the internal name of Mario before he was known as Mr Video.
Iwata Asks 25th Anniversary [Nintendo]