Nintendo Entertainment System | NES

System Overview

The Nintendo Entertainment System released in Japan in 1983, then the rest of the world over the following few years. Also known as the ‘Famicom’ in Japan, the NES was Nintendo’s first huge success story. It is widely regarded as one of the most iconic video games consoles.

Undoubtedly the NES was the best selling 8-bit console in the US and Japan, it was also very big in Europe. The European market was very different though in that Sega had gained some decent market share. Sega also priced their products slightly cheaper than Nintendo. This was a huge selling point to many European users. A lot of the European regions had spent many years buying systems and software for the ZX Spectrum, C64 and Amstrad. Software for these machines typically started from pocket money amounts. When Nintendo arrived charging potentially up to 15-20 times more for a game. This took some time for users to adjust and transition to consoles such as the NES.

The NES popularised (but not necessarily was first) the most iconic Nintendo characters and franchises that still exist today. Such as Mario, Metroid, Zelda and Donkey Kong.

Released after the video game crash in the US, the NES had the task of building up consumers interests in video gaming again. Quite intentionally, the name and design of the console positioned is as a ‘home entertainment’ device. Moving it away from the stigma of the label ‘video game’. As the market recovered, the NES had essentially displaced Atari at the top of the home console food chain.

Still hugely popular to this day, Nintendo released in 2017 the NES Mini, a miniaturised version of the NES that included a number of built-in games. Many NES games are still being ported to online ‘virtual console ‘ store of Nintendo’s latest systems.

How to Emulate this system?

Nintendo Entertainment System | NES emulation is reasonably well catered for, we recommend taking a look at RetroArch if you are seeking an all in one solution. RetroArch emulates a large number of systems including the Nintendo Entertainment System | NES. RetroArch is a front end that utilises emulator 'cores', it is reasonably easy to use and has lots of good supporting documentation on how to use it. RetroArch is available across a number of platforms including Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi and many consoles.

Check out RetroArch here

Also, check out the other Nintendo Entertainment System | NES emulators we enjoy using:

Emulator Description Platform
FCEUX FCEUX emulates the NES, Famicom, Famicom Disk System (FDS), and Dendy systems. Windows

Emulating the Nintendo Entertainment System | NES using a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a compact single board computer which has become very popular for emulating retro computers and consoles. You can buy the Pi very cheaply and has a whole community supporting and building accessories and applications that are compatible with.

Significantly, for Retro Gaming enthusiasts, the Raspberry Pi offers fantastic all round emulation of many systems. It offers the ability to output games on HDTVs via HDMI or older CRT TVs via composite outputs. Combining the Raspberry Pi with Retropie, you have a device capable of emulating anything from the Atari 2600 to the Sony PlayStation.

Check out the different Raspberry Pi packages you can pick up on Amazon using the button below.

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