Are you old enough to have played video games in the mid-80s? Or have friends and family told you stories about classic old school games? Maybe your dad has even shown you an old games console that he’s been holding on to?
Well, the good news is that there is now a replica of the original Nintendo Entertainment System available. It looks practically identical, and it has some of the most popular games of the day pre-installed. If you are big into gaming, or know someone that had one of the original consoles, then this is a must own gadget.
But with all that noise in the gaming community about the Nintendo entertainment NES classic edition, you probably have a few questions. Like:
What games come with NES classic edition?
What was the console all about? And most importantly:
Where to buy Nintendo NES classic edition online?
The good news is that we answer these and many more questions in this article. Just keep reading to find out more.
What Is The Nintendo Entertainment System?
The Nintendo Entertainment System, NES for short, is a that was first introduced in Japan in 1983. By 1986 it had spread to Europe and North America to an amazing amount of success.
It was truly one of those first viral stories where people queued outside electronics stores to get their hands on one. The entire concept was brilliant. Nintendo had been designing arcade games with quite some success. And they wanted to bring those same games into people’s homes.
The concept was simple. You got a relatively small box that you could connect to your TV. One controller was included, but in later models, you could get a second one for multi-player gaming. To keep costs down the controllers were also hard wired into the main console.
At the start, Nintendo released just a few games, and these had to be bought in the form of cartridges. Essentially, there was a 72-pin connector slot where you plugged in the cartridge. Remember, this was even before the days of CDs. And even at that time it was light years ahead of tapes that had been common on many other devices.
The NES was so successful because of the simple design and some immediately popular games like Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda. These games continue through in many ways today, which shows how much of an impact this product actually made.
As well as that, Nintendo really took an innovative step by giving out licenses for other game developers to release games. The idea was simple. The more games there were, the more people would want to buy the console.
And that was a very wise decision. As you will find out below, the NES was the most successful console of its time by far. So popular that it is reappearing in its original look and feel.
What Is The NES Classic Edition?
In November 2016, the gaming world was surprised with an early Christmas gift. An emulator of the original NES, that looks and feels very much like the original was introduced. Known as the NES Classic Edition, it practically immediately sold out. Since then over 2.3 million devices have been shipped and many people in the gaming community are still getting their hands on it.
From a design perspective, it looks exactly like the original. But it is a little bit smaller. The default configuration is with only one controller. An additional controller can be bought so that you can get into some of the multi-player games. Unlike the original, the controllers can be disconnected, which is quite convenient.
The most significant difference is the fact that it doesn’t accept games cartridges. Instead, 30 of the most popular Nintendo games are pre-installed on internal memory. You also have the ability to save game progress directly onto that memory storage.
The controller has the full look and feel of the original one. And if you are a kid of this generation then it will immediately feel familiar again. And all the games are in their original format, without the graphical improvements that have come in the last 30 years. The games world jumped on the opportunity and more than 2.3 million of these devices were sold. That is almost 4% of the total original sales!
The question then becomes: Where to find the NES classic edition?
The answer is actually surprisingly simple. While at first it was sold out practically immediately, supplies have increased. And the easiest way to get your hands on your own retro device is by heading over to Amazon.
Alternatively, you can wait until the Super NES Classic Edition is released. This is due to hit the market in late 2017 ready for the Christmas season, and is likely to be an equally great success.
How Popular Was It?
The answer to that is best found in some real numbers of sales. The original NES sold a total of 61.91 million units. And how does that compare to competitors of the time? Sensationally!!!
The only real big sellers in the 80s console market were the Sega Master System and Sega Genesis. And even combined, these two devices sold less than half as many units. That made Nintendo the number one and dominant player in the video game market.
But you can take those comparisons even further. About the same amount of NES systems were sold as PlayStation 4 units to date. More than twice as many were sold as the Xbox One. And only in the last 10 years have major breakthroughs been made in games technology to really outsell the NES.
To this day though, the yardstick for any success is the NES.
If you grew up in the 80s then you remember how envious kids would be of their friends that had an NES. It was the game to have. And collecting or exchanging games became an important part of every birthday and Christmas.
One of the most important factors that made it so popular was that other games developers were allowed to enter the market. These licensing agreements seem normal these days, but at the time the video games industry was a closed market. You created the console and the game. And you never let anyone else release games. This one action changed things for decades to come.
Was It Really That Great?
That question raises a lot of different opinions, but here are a few facts that cannot be denied.
Firstly, it was successfully released immediately after the computer gaming crash of 1983. This was also known as the Atari shock. To put this in perspective let’s look at some numbers.
In 1983, the video games industry was worth $3.2 billion. By 1985 it fell to about $100 million or a drop of 97%. Who in their right mind would release a new games console in the middle of such a huge downturn? Thankfully, Nintendo did and they changed the gaming industry for decades to come.
The second vote of confidence in its success comes from Imagine Games Network who declared it the best games console of all time in 2009. Yes, newer consoles have been released since then. But these lists are usually created to show how influential they actually were.
Finally, PC Magazine put it second on its list of greatest video game consoles ever. That is a major computer and electronics publication, which carries a lot of weight.
But if you really want to know how popular and game changing it was then you need to talk to people who grew up in the 80s. We bet you won’t find anyone who doesn’t have great memories of playing the very first Mario Bros. And it’s mainly those people who are now flocking to get their hands on this great classic.
What NES Classic Games Are Available Now?
The NES classic game list consists of some of the most popular and successful games of the 80s. We won’t go into detail of every single game, because there are 30 of them in total. These are all preloaded onto the internal memory of the console. That is very different from the original where you had to change out cartridges every time you wanted to switch to another game.
So, let’s see what you can expect. The first thing to mention is of course one of Nintendo’s most famous creations. Super Mario Bros was introduced with the original version and people loved it from the start. It was so popular that it went through version 2 and 3 in a matter of a couple of years.
There even was a game called Dr. Mario which was very different to the Mario Bros. It was more of an action puzzle game, but incredibly addictive.
Then there was Donkey Kong. Some people might even remember this from some early hand held games of the late 80s. The game first appeared on Nintendo arcade machines of the early 80s and was very successful on the console as well. So successful that a spin off called Donkey Kong Jr was later released.
And finally, we have to mention The Legend of Zelda. This game exists to today in more modern spin off versions, but the idea is still the same. It’s a fantasy action and adventure game where you play a character called Link. Your task is to save Princess Zelda. On each level, you get closer only to see her disappear again.
This game has been so popular that every single console and hand held game ever made by Nintendo has featured a version of it. And with the Classic NES you’ll be able to play the original again.
What Are The Limitations?
Overall, we think this is a great idea and it was really cool for Nintendo to release this absolute classic. However, there are a couple of limitations you need to be aware of so that you are not disappointed.
First of all, you can only play preloaded games. You might still have some of the old cartridges packed away somewhere. If you think you can unpack those and plug them into this device then you’re unfortunately wrong. There is no slot to plug them. And you cannot load any additional games.
That is a bit unfortunate as there are still a lot of people who have the old modules left. What would be nice is maybe a USB card reader that allows you to download some additional compatible games. Kind of like the original idea behind the console, rather than making it a closed system.
Secondly, you only get 30 games to choose from. While they are some of the most popular ones you might be hoping to get some your personal favorites. But there simply is no way to add others. Not from Nintendo or third party developers either. If you have a particular game in mind that you haven’t played in decades, then we’d suggest that you check out the Nintendo official list.
Finally, if you plan to play the games with a friend, then you’ll need to by an extra controller. They are not expensive, but you might be disappointed when your order arrives and there is only one in the box. Might be best to just order a second one at the same time.
The NES classic edition is a great idea and has been very welcomed by gamers of all ages. It has been so popular that Nintendo plans to release the Super NES later in 2017. This could be a trend being set with the remake devices becoming as collectible as the original.
While there are no additional games for NES classic edition, you will have enough to choose from to keep you entertained. This is a great idea for dads to share with their own kids. To show them what gaming used to be like. And kids can quickly learn and see how much things have changed.