Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES or just Nintendo for short) was Nintendo's first major console as well as first home console and a westernized version of the Famicom, the console was discontinued in 2003, even though its last game was released 9 years before.
In late 2016, Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition that includes 30 NES games.
Due to the North American Video Game Crash of 1983, video games were seen as a fad so Nintendo initially had trouble getting investors interested in the Famicom.
Nintendo solved this by designing it to look like a VHS player and included the R.O.B the Robot toy as well as the Light Gun. With this, they were able to get stores to sell it by marketing it as a "Robot Toy Controller" rather than a video game. The renamed NES became very popular and soon revitalized the video game industry in North America.
Why It Rocks
- Large library of games, with over 700 officially licensed games, and over 100 unlicensed games.
- It had near perfect arcade ports of games like Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Mario Bros., Pac-Man, Q-Bert, and Galaga to name a few.
- The two button (not counting start, select, and the D-Pad) controller is easy to master.
- Very large number of games released.
- The Lock-out chip and Nintendo's strict regulations helped prevent its library from being flooded with shovelware, which happened to the Atari 2600.
- Includes several accessories like the Light Gun for several games.
- The NES was the world's very first video gaming console to feature direct RCA output so the gamers could easily hook it up to a stand-alone RCA TV, rather than hooking up to the RF TV.
- Lot's of case mods were made by fans, like the Nintoaster.
- Many great franchises got their start because of the NES: Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Kirby's Adventure, Final Fantasy, Mega Man, Metroid, Contra, Ninja Gaiden, and Castlevania] just to name a few.
- Saved North American gaming itself from the crash.
- The cartridge slot in the original model can get damaged from inserting and removing cartridges over time. It is possible to repair or replace it though. The Top Loader model solves this issue.
- The original game cartridges can be expensive, though this makes sense due to becoming more rare.
- The original controller's square design can make it uncomfortable to hold due to the edges poking the player's palms.
- Even with Nintendo's strict regulations, some and unlicensed bad games still made it into the NES.
- The original model is extremely large (it has the same size of a small VCR) and takes a lot of shelf space.
- A regular American NES will not play European titles. A top loader will play anything though.
- A large number of NES games were never released in Europe or Australia (there were only 325 games released on PAL regions).
- *It's worth noting that the NES was not as popular as the Sega Master System or Commodore 64 in Europe.
- Due to Nintendo's family-friendly policies, many games were censored, sometimes in pretty stupid ways, such as renaming the Punch-Out character Vodka Drunkenski as Soda Popinski. Nintendo's first party localizations still tend to be bad even to this day.
- Because of these policies, some very great games for the Famicom never had an official English release such as Sweet Home, Devil World, and The Portopia Serial Murder Case.
The NES's infamous reset loops can be attributed to the 10NES lockout chip. As the cartridge slot's edge connector degrades, the lockout chip in the console has trouble communicating with its counterpart in the game cartridge, and when the 10NES cannot verify the authenticity of the cartridge, the 10NES puts the console into the reset loop. The lockout chip on the console can be permanently disabled by cutting pin 4; the lockout chip is labeled "CIC" (Checking Integrated Circuit) on the NES's motherboard, and pin 1 is indicated by an indent on one corner of the chip. When disconnecting pin 4, be careful not to break any other pins on the lockout chip itself or any components near the chip, as doing so can potentially brick the system.
While disabling the 10NES chip will stop the reset loop, the console may still have a solid blue screen on startup if the cartridge contacts are not making a good connection; when disabling the 10NES chip, it is a good idea to either clean and repair the existing cartridge connector or replace it outright while console is disassembled. Also, disabling the 10NES chip makes the NES region-free, allowing PAL format games to be played on an NTSC console and vice versa.
The NES is widely regarded as one of the greatest consoles of all time and is heavily praised by retro gamers and game collectors. James Rolfe, famous for The Angry Video Game Nerd, highly values the console and owns nearly every game made for the system. Rolfe is known for owning a "Nintoaster", which is basically a fully functional NES stuffed into a Toaster.