The NES is 30 years old today, at least based on its widely agreed - albeit historically debatable - North American release date. Not to be mistaken with the Famicom release - which is way back in 1983 - it was nevertheless the Nintendo Entertainment System rebranding and a certain Super Mario Bros. that catapulted Nintendo further into the centre of pop culture in the West.
After the so-called video game crash earlier in the decade, Nintendo had begun to become a recognisable brand in the West through arcades, with Donkey Kong being a breakthrough. It was the 8-bit system, however, that captured the public's imagination stateside and kickstarted the home console industry in a significant way. It became known simply as 'the Nintendo' - wonderful brand power if ever there was such as thing.
It was also a system that, as the lead of a gaming renaissance in North America - with a weaker impact in Europe - gave Nintendo huge market power. This was in an era when Nintendo secured a number of big-name titles for itself, with its dominance and third-party approach eventually landing the company in regulatory trouble. Nevertheless it was a tale of dominance in the first few years of the NES, in particular.
Of course, its library is almost unparalleled in terms of influence. The technology may mean its games may not have all aged well, but in this era Nintendo created and strengthened the Super Mario brand, and created incredible multi-generational franchises such as Metroid, The Legend of Zelda and to a lesser degree the likes of Kid Icarus, while the third-party library also stands up with many classics. Beyond games the NES also brought a huge range of accessories, from the good such as the zapper to the lovably bad, such as the Power Glove.
Without the NES modern-day Nintendo may not have flourished, and so we all owe it a gaming debt of gratitude.