Monday, 3 October 2016

Nerdversity Reviews: Nintendo Entertaiment System 30th Anniversary

As September 1st 1986 marks the 30th anniversary of the NES in Europe, I thought we'd take a look at the system in general and then some of the best games around for the system

The origins of the NES lie in Japan in the early 1980s. Nintendo had had some early successes porting arcade games to the Atari 2600 and Colecovision, namely Donkey Kong and Popeye. After experimenting themselves, the Famicom released to Japanese audiences in 1983, making it the first home console with interchangable gaming cartridges. Something that was unheard of at the time. 

By 1984, Nintendo was ready to go international with the Famicom. The early deal with Atari had fallen through, thanks to the crash of 1983. Keeping with the theme of a family computer, they called it the Nintendo Advanced Video System and would have been more akin to a 1980s home computer, like the ZX Spectrum, C64 or Amiga systems, rather than a console. This proved to be a failed marketing ploy at early CES shows and Nintendo was passed off as a failure by the American media

In 1985, Nintendo returned to the CES with their newly redesigned system, the now more familiar grey box that we know of today. They had ditched the home computer look to it.They debuted it in New York in 1985 as the Nintendo Entertaiment System with ROB and a library of 18 launch games. In the US, it was one of the biggest selling systems, however, it failed to achieve the level of success in Europe and the UK. It was rebranded the Comboy and sold through Hyundai in South Korea, as Korea, until 1998, had a ban on Japanese imports. Russia's own copy, called the Dendy, looked aesthetically like the Famicom, but had Atari 2600 style removable controllers.

Throughout the late 1980s and into the early 90s, the NES was the market leader in 8 bit systems in the US, compared to the likes of the Atari, Master System and home computers at the time. The US had seen 2 systems, one taken from the Japanese AV famicom, nicknamed the "dog bone". By the start of the 1990s, The NES was starting to be unseated in the US by the PC-Engine and Sega Genesis. By 1995, Nintendo of America had ceased production. It's reign of dominance over and the 16 bit wars would begin.