Nintendo’s first product into home console gaming, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), is turning 35 today. In celebration of this fateful event, we take a look at the machine that changed the way we game.
The NES may not have pioneered home video gaming. But its creation is undoubtedly a great turning point, especially at a time of great uncertainty following the “Atari crash” of 1983.
For a console that made game consoles a fixture in many abodes as well as gives life to titles that became household names, the NES essentially revolutionized gaming. Iconic franchises such as the Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda would not have been a thing if not for this platform.
A rocky start
But while subsequently a successful venture, the development of the NES and its marketing is not without great struggles. This comes even when the originally toy-making company already has the prowess in developing quality games as an arcade gaming manufacturer.
Originally planned to be a partnership between the industry’s giant at the time, Atari, and Nintendo, the project was to be named Nintendo Advanced Video Gaming System. But the deal eventually fell off, leaving the Japanese company nothing but the desire to enter home video gaming.
Left to itself, Nintendo had finally come up with its own when it launched the Family Computer (Famicom) in 1983. But this is also the time of great distress in the industry where consumer confidence is at an all-time low, following the highs of the video game boom.
Birth of the gaming revolution
Still committed to finding success in the venture, the now gaming company has devised a plan that will see a similar but different product entering people’s homes as an entertainment system. Two years after the conception of the Famicom, the Nintendo Entertainment System was born.
Essentially a Famicom, but with a different look, cartridge, and peripherals, the NES offers a fresher take at 8-bit gaming. But more than just as a result of deviating from the conventional looks of its contemporaries, NES’ success was a result of offering quality games and the stunts that Nintendo had to pull to bring the entertainment system to the market.
Many of today will find the initiatives that Nintendo had to take as borderline gimmicky and even cringy. But those moves are indeed the very reason why the company is not only developing games, but also the platforms to run them even to this day. More importantly, however, it is also thanks to the Nintendo Entertainment System for being instrumental to Nintendo’s early attempts in home entertainment.
Image used courtesy of RobinLe/Pixabay