The Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES, for short) is arguably one of the most popular consoles ever created. Released in Japan as the Famicom ('Family Computer'), Nintendo's 8-bit machine was re-styled for the West and went on to sell millions thanks to its stellar range of first class software.
First home to some of Nintendo's most respected franchises - including Super Mario, Metroid and Zelda - the NES was a triumph of gameplay over graphics. By the time the console was released in the US it was already outdated when compared to rival machines like Sega's Master System and NEC's PC Engine (TG-16), yet Nintendo's intimate knowledge of quality gaming helped it to effortlessly see off all challengers. As the '90s dawned the machine started to lose ground to the next generation of newer 16-bit consoles, but games like Super Mario Bros. 3 sold by the bucketloads and proved that the console still had something to offer in the face of technically superior rivals.
The 'toaster' design of the NES has since gone on to be one of the truly iconic images in the history of videogames and through the Virtual Console the legacy of this wonderful machine lives on.