News Article

We Celebrate 25 Years of NES

Posted by Zach Kaplan

We're throwing a hootenanny, and you're invited

Today is the 25th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System's North American debut, and we're celebrating in style. This week, you can look forward to a menagerie of features that hearken back to the olden days of 8-bit glory.

Twenty-five years ago today, every New Yorker sensed something magic in the air. Droves of them confusedly checked their calendars to make sure that Christmas had not come early, and only a portion could semi-accurately attribute the curiously joyous feeling to that day being their birthday. Yet this was something more momentous than a holiday. It felt more like a revolution – as if the Trojan Horse himself had rolled into town while they slumbered, this time bringing not marauding attackers but happiness and love. But this was no horse. It was, instead, a small gray box. It was the Nintendo Entertainment System.

Well, at least that's how we imagine it went. This was the system's limited test launch – the rest of the nation would get their hands on the system the following February. Europe and Australia would see the system appear on their shelves throughout 1986 and 1987.

Today is also the 25th anniversary of the platform's original 18 launch titles, available in such a large quantity thanks to the fact that the system had been available in Japan for a few years already. These titles were 10 Yard Fight, Baseball, Clu Clu Land, Donkey Kong Jr. Math, Duck Hunt, Excitebike, Golf, Gyromite, Hogan's Alley, Ice Climber, Kung Fu, Mach Rider, Pinball, Stack-Up, Super Mario Bros., Tennis, Wild Gunman and Wrecking Crew.

Why not begin your own personal celebration with some of the above titles that Nintendo has made available on the Virtual Console? You also couldn't go wrong with revisiting this episode of the Nintendo Life podcast, a segment of which is devoted to discussing 8-bit goodness, or watching the extremely creepy NES ad below.

Stay tuned for some great content in the coming week as we celebrate the little gray box that changed everything.

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User Comments (36)



James said:

3D Lakitu and Bowser long before the days of 16-bit, let alone Mario 64. Amazing!



DannyBoyTheDude said:

I am I the only person who would've been extremely creeped out by that commercial, had I been around when it aired?

"You can not beat us. You can not beat us. You can not beat us. You can not beat us. You can not..."



HipsterDashie said:

And to think, 25 years ago that advert would have been at the cutting edge of 3D computer generated graphics.



sonic_brawler95 said:

That commercial seemed a little........evil.

My dad remembers his NES perfectly. He said he always loved Punch Out!! (which is most likely why he ran out and bought the Wii one the second he found out about it) and Super Mario Bros.
My cousin got his NES, and I loved wathing him play SMB before I even knew how to grip a controller. But when my cousin moved about 7 or 8 years ago, we lost the NES in storage....

Happy 25th Birthday NES!



PSICOffee said:

Trojan horse of beauty, what a description! I've had so much stupid school work in the way but sometime today I want to celebrate this occasion by playing my NES. It can't be topped like Pat did with his 750 game marathon in 24 hours, but I want to start by playing all the games released at launch which I have except Stack-Up for its extreme price point complete. Of course I'm sure I'll play other games tonight hopefully too! To think most of these first-gen NES games of 30 total or so came out so fast.

Ah the good old black box, never afraid to show what the games truly looked like in sexy conformity of labels!



MasterGraveheart said:

Today was a beautiful day for me as a Nintendo fan. Today, I played through my ENTIRE NES library, both on Virtual Console and for my actual NES system... I missed the old girl. :')

Today, I can finally say I accomplished a few things of note.
> I finally got past Level 1 in The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle... and even got as far as Level 3... I still hate that game, though...
> I got ImageFight to finally work ever since I got it from the old defunct Video Rental Store in my old supermarket... Pleasently surprised to find that it was actually a fine shooter!
> I came to the conclusion that Meta Knight is Lolo turned anti-hero after Kirby took his lime light.
> Wondered what he's missing in Excitebike that made it so popular...
> The NHL needs to conform to Blades of Steel rules... only the losers of the fights go to the penalty box!
> Samus Aran is, was, and always will be the badass hottie of video games. <3<3<3
> The Adventure of Link has aged quite well.
> Ninja Gaiden is still as tough as ever!
> The original NES Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles gets a bad rap.
> Super Mario Bros... still as timeless as ever.
> The Legend of Zelda... I keep forgetting to hold in reset to this day... ^^;
> Startropics needs to make a comeback.
> Dubious though the reason, I'm glad we got the USA version of Super Mario Bros. 2... especially since we ended up getting the original anyway.
> Nobody makes 'em like Nintendo!



Tasuki said:

Lol I never realized that Nintendos North Amercia birthday was the same day as mine. Happy Birthday Nintendo.



PaperLucario said:

That commercial....was the scariest thing I have ever seen Nintendo related. But hey Happy 25th N.E.S.!



Capt_N said:

@Tasuki: Happy Birthday!

The Duck Hunt dog could be shot in the Nes Vs. arcade system version of the game, so I hear. Of the full list, I have

Cart: Duck Hunt, ExciteBike, Golf, Hogan's Alley, Pinball, Tennis, had Ice Climber,

VC: Super Mario Bros., Wrecking Crew

Both: Super Mario Bros., had Wrecking Crew cart

Happy B-day, Nes!

I played SMB3 tonight, my fav game of all time stll!



Fuzzy said:

Haha oh man, those 80's ad's are great to watch now- they used to amaze me when I was a kid! I notcied that they were playing 25th Anniversary ads during the AFL Grand Final, which I thought was pretty good.



LuWiiGi said:

Oooh, special content! I wonder what it is! A free NES for every user? Well, a man can dream...

I'm gonna feel left out though, because I only ever played the NES once, and that was at a friend's house 5 years ago (played Super Mario Kart and Bomberman). That's my only NES experience.



NintendoFanatic98 said:

Zaphrox: That is depressing.
LuWiiGi: That is even more depressing. You sure you don't mean SNES?
Well, I was born in '98, but I <3 my NES regardless of my age. Super Mario Bros. 3 is as fun as ever.

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