Monday, 3 October 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: NES In Europe

In our last part, we took a look at the NES history in general. Now lets take a look at how the console would fair in the UK and Europe.

The first wave of NES consoles were released as normal in 1986. They were licensed by Mattel, who were Nintendo's distributor of products at the time in the UK and parts of Europe. However, Mattel had completely screwed things up by making it more expensive than home computers and even the Master System. They also opted to only release it in chemists and department stores.

Nintendo saw what a colossal mistake Mattel had made with the console, so decided in 1987 to pull the license and release their own version, simply called NES VERSION. Now, this is where problems started to arise.

Now, if you were able to afford the £70 ($110) game for your UK NES, you had to ensure you had bought the correct version for your system. Despite looking the same, the games were NOT cross compatible, meaning that people who owned a Mattel version could only play Mattel licensed games and if you had traded systems from Mattel to Nintendo, you'd be required to rebuy your entire library of games.

The cost of NES games in the UK and the lack of availability across the board, in comparison to the Master System (£30 per game) and home consoles (starting at £1,99 per game), the NES couldn't really handle the competition and faded into obscurity.