It’s daunting to think how much time has passed, but Nintendo’s NES celebrates 30 years since paving the way for gaming and in-home consoles, guiding an entire generation of gamers.
- NES launched in Japan on July 15th, 1983
- It first launched in North America on October 18th, 1985
- Only 100,000 units were shipped over, but 50,000 were quickly sold by the holiday season
- NES is Nintendo’s best selling console, with 60 million units sold worldwide, and Super Mario Bros sold over 40 million units
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was meant to take gamers away from the classic arcades that saw to incredible success. Its aim was to bring highly entertaining games into our homes, and the roughly-shaped and squared grey slab managed to achieve just that. It arrived with a series of successful and enjoyable games, some of which are still popular today.
It’s quite an amazing achievement, and it started three decades ago. President of Nintendo in America, Minoru Arakawa managed to finally get the NES in the United States after years of effort. There was a huge gap in the market, known as the video game crash of 1985. All hopes were on an October event held in New York.
According to a Nintendo official, Arakawa strongly believed that if their promising console could do good there, it could be successful everywhere else.
The company struggled, and was able to ship over only 100,000 units, after its release in Japan on July 15th, 1983. In fact, it met with several challenges. This included the obstacle that retail stores did not have sufficient faith in the NES to do well, which forced Nintendo into a gamble. They were to ship the units in toy stores or for other retailers for free.
Meaning that they would only make money if the console was actually successful and saw to decent sales.
However, the NES did more than that. It launched on October 18th, 1985 in New York, and until the holiday season of that year, it managed to sell 50,000 units. Half of the consoles had nearly flown off the shelves, along with the 18 games it packed. This included classics like Super Mario Bros, Excitebike, and Duck Hunt.
And the rest, as they say, was history.
The NES built a legacy that is still felt today. It paved the way for console gaming as we know it, entertaining, encouraging, and introducing a generation back to video games. Obviously, it wasn’t perfect. When pinned against what we have today, they were slow and presented with big pixeled graphics.
Not to mention the fact that sometimes it required a lot users blowing off the dust, smacking it, or placing it in odd positions later on in its life for it to work. Those are distant yet fond memories. However, it had to start somewhere.
The good ol’ grey console is now a legacy, and has gone on to being Nintendo’s top sold gaming platform, with 60 million units sold worldwide. Today, we have the high-tech and high-performing PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but we have NES to thank for opening the door.
And, for that annoying, snickering dog in Duck Hunt that most of us tried to shoot in frustration.
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