Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

The Nintendo Entertainment System was released in Japan in 1983, and then across 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 game consoles.

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About The Nintendo Entertainment System

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 for many European users. A lot of the European regions had spent many years buying systems and software for the ZX Spectrum, C64, and Amstrad CPC. 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 the first) the most iconic Nintendo characters and franchises that still exist today. Such as Mario, Metroid, Zelda, and Donkey Kong.

Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System

Released after the video game crash in the US, the NES had the task of building up consumers’ interest in video gaming again. Quite intentionally, the name and design of the console positioned it 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 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 the online virtual console stores of Nintendo’s latest systems.