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.
Here's to still having a working one to break out on holidays.
Thanks for saving gaming NES! Without you there would be no COD, Skylanders, etc.
squints eyes That's a cake isn't it....yup, that's a cake. lol
I still remember watching my cousin play Duck Hunt with the Zapper.... And the dog laughing at him. Good times!
@Megumi I'm an idiot for not realising.
happy birthday NES
My dad had one. He still brings it out sometimes to play TMNT 2.
@NintendoFan990 Pro Tip: The NL staff members are obsessed with cake. lol
(how is this a tip?)
Aww my first system...so many memories. Like Mom sneaking into my bedroom and playing Dr. Mario all night (theme song for fever is now stuck in my head permanently), nearly breaking a controller over Solar Jetman, trying to shoot the duck hunt dog because he laughed at me... Even the power glove which sorta worked but was too big for me at the time was a fond memory. I still have seller's remorse to this day for selling my whole collection when I was 7 at a yard sale. That regret is pretty much the reason why I keep and take care of all of my games now... I still joke that I was a preemie because I wanted to get here before the NES came out...beat it by 5 days LOL!
Long Live Nintendo!
Hopefully the NX will live up to the legacy of the legendary NES! Happy birthday!
@Megumi Everything's a tip when you make it a tip.
I didn`t remember! forgive me everyone! happy 30th anniversary Nintendo Entertainment System in North America! I will begin my celebrations later on.
I had a Master System instead at the time. I used to think very little of the NES, but since I got my Wii U have got really into what's there on the VC. Games were seriously difficult back then, but with less importance on visuals i guess the emphasis was more on mastering the mechanics rather than taking everything in all at once visually. Mario Bros 3 is my probably not very original choice as my favourite NES game.
Oh I remember getting this for my birthday back in the day. The system was late in Europe but hey, who cares. I got to play it and thank my parents to this day that they introduced me to gaming.
I think the quality level the system had was great too. It definitely helped getting me to fall I love with gaming.
i got two and one still works fine but it doesent work on my tv and the tv i used when i was a kid at my moms house is gone so now its just decoration.when i have some money left over i realy want a extra tv to, play again
Not my first system (that honor goes to Colecovision), but the system that holds the keys to so many great memories as a kid in the 80s. Happy birthday NES.
FamiCom master race!
I hope they make the NX the NEX.
Happy Birthday NES!
My first memory as a gamer is sitting at a friend of my mother's house and being baby sat by it playing Super Mario Bros., World 1-2 while they prepared dinner. Favorite game... Dragon Warrior (that's the original US Dragon Quest for you youngsters). In those days they were so expensive my dad had to buy one at a Rent-A-Center and it came bundled with Super Mario Bros. & Duck Hunt with a zapper. So many memories... Happy Birthday NES!
It's amazing that after 30 years there are still working ones out there.
Can't wait to get home for the holidays and pull out my brother's NES. While I wasn't alive during the NES era, I still played the system a lot growing up. I couldn't tell you guys how many times I have played through the original Super Mario Bros. Maybe for this holiday season, I'll try to hunt down some rare cartridges online. I love Super Mario Bros. 3 (have it on the Wii Virtual Console and my GBA), so having the original cartridge would be sweet.
Mine still works. It gets played a few times every year.
I want this cake! but it`s not for sale. Ironically I have NEVER played on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Mine still works!
30 years old and still rockin. My original Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cart still works as is the zapper light gun and my toaster front loading style NES. Now if only that damn third party Power Glove thing is of higher quality, I would had love that too.
THIS IS NOT NEWS
@chronicler Ooh! So lucky, I wanna come over to your house and play.
@Ryu_Niiyama Ha! My mom did that with Zelda II and SMB3
I have so many good memories and even the games I didn't play till I was an adult are still a blast. The NES and its formidable library have serious staying power.
My kid is a fan of Paper Boy, Duck Hunt, Tetris and Monster Party.
Happy Birthday Nes this system made me love Nintendo and gaming too this day!!
Congrats Nintendo I got my NES in 1987 and it changed my life forever!
Let's not forget that although 30 years seems very very long, and it is, but Nintendo exists since 1889. That's 126 years...crazy huh!
In the UK/Europe NES was not that successful!!!! Please stop this revisionism - video games were fine in the early and mid 80s in the UK and after that we all had Amigas/Sega consoles. The NES was popular for one Christmas when Turtles came out. It did not 'save' video games ffs!!!
I've got one near mint & boxed NES stashed away and another one that's been hacked to remove the region check so i can play PAL and NTSC carts. Hooked up to a big old CRT TV and a 5.1 sound system. i've got about 250 NES cartridges and my current faves are Bubble Bobble, Metroid and Gradius.
Me and the NES are the same age! Im 30 next month.
I think the very first NES games I played were Mario Bros/Duck Hunt and a Sesame Street game. Ha ha, damn I feel old now.
Happy birthday to the system that got me into gaming! Hopefully the nx will be a better system then the Wii U so I can go back to the company I live for gaming.
Funny thing, I still pay the NES alot and have a very good working one since removing the 10NES chip
So much good memories of playing SMB3, Bubble Bobble, Megaman, Shatterhand, Probotector, Mr. Gimmick, Battletoads, etc.
I never completed Lolo 3 when i was younger so maybe i should give it a new try and see what happens. Not gonna look help from internet because that would be cheating.
@bryce951 Speaking from the US perspective, as I child I clearly remember pretty much everyone my age talking about how awesome the NES was. I remember Nintendo Power's influence and huge electronics spaces in department stores and games stores dedicated to Nintendo. I remember kids sitting on the playground talking about their latest games and many nights going over to a friend's house specifically to rent a Nintendo game to play for late into the evening. Maybe it was my particular circle in the Plains and Midwest of the US but Nintendo DID have huge recognition. Much less was spoken about Sega until things really got rolling with Genesis. Atari was in its rapid decline and what you settled for if you could not get a Nintendo. There are many articles on it but yes, Nintendo, while not always the kindest and at times just plain cut-throat and savvy, did much if not the most to save the anemic video game industry and bring it back to forefront as a serious industry.
cant believe the Nes is over 32 years old scary stuff.
I remember my first time with the NES. I was 4 & our family were at a friend's house. I wandered upstairs & spotted the NES, switched on with Super Mario Bros on idle. Of course I was immediately drawn to the bright colours, picked up the controller & fell in love with the game (even if i was terrible at it lol)
Such an awesome memory for an awesome console.
Ah, Xmas '88. I was so happy to have my own NES. Memories.
I bought the nes on my 8th b day at a local kmart .the guy selling it said it was brand new with ROB the robot. I turned 38 last September. ...... I think we missed its 30th b day.
The first console I ever played, the first I ever owned, and the reason I fell in love with gaming in the first place.
@Megumi i was like i dont remember an NES with raised letters.... hey that controller is rounded, hey that NES is rounded....heeeey that must be an anniversary cake
Happy Birthday NES!!!
Listen i understand that NES was the second coming of the digital jesus for you good old boys in the US of A but over here no one gave a snitch and still dont!
NES by the time it was released in Europe was really old hat tech wise and people were knee deep in 16bit computers and consoles.
My grievance is that even the UK centred (r then e yes its called english) retro press like retrogamer magazine especially like to tell us uk readers that Nintendo saved the day from the video game crash with their grey block and tha Megaman / Contra/Zelda/Mario/Metroid et al were what UK gamers remember with fondness.
However the truth is that there was never a video game crash in Europe (mainly because we didnt buy the poopopoptypoo Atari 2600 either) and very few people had a NES later in the decade.
The popular talked about games of the time were on Sega and Amiga. SNES came later and then was also popular. The way the retro press hype up the nostalgia for the NES classics is just a fabrication of reality.
Happy Birthday, NES.
You know, I never actually owned a NES back in the day—I was a Master System guy—but I did play a couple of games on it, and I have played a lot more NES games since, and I can really appreciated just how awesome it must have been for its time. I just wish I'd actually been a NES owner at the time and really felt just how special it was firsthand, in the moment. Still, I had the Master System, which had better graphics anyway, and a few pretty great games.
The SNES is the first Nintendo console I actually owned, and that is pretty much pound for pound the greatest console and overall best console experience ever created, certainly imo, so I can't complain.
Boy do I wish I owned a NES back in the day though, just so I could feel like I was genuinely part of it.
@GLA SMB3 may be an unoriginal choice but very few people would be so loony as to pick anything else as the absolute greatest game on the system.
@bryce951 Let's be clear with the facts here: The NES was beaten by only a couple of million units in the Europe, around 8.56 million for MS and 6.8 million for NES, but in Japan and the US/Americas it completely decimated the Master System. Japan, 19.35 million to 1 million. Americas, 43 million to 7 million.
History of Video Game Consoles Third Generation
So, while we in the UK remember the Master System being pretty popular and successful, it really wasn't the system that "saved" console gaming as far as most people would understand that concept.
Without the NES the industry almost certainly wouldn't have bounced back anywhere near as well as it did, if it were just left to the likes of the Master System, Atari 7800, and Amstrad GX4000, even in the UK.
So, credit where credit is due, is all I'm saying.
Okay, what time is the secret birthday "Nintendo Direct"?
If not, it's another missed opportunity.
SNES will always be the Nintendo console I go back to the most but NES introduced me to gaming and for that I'll always have plenty of love for the console. Can never get enough Duck-Hunt.
I still have three working ones. One is the gray one, one is painted like R2-D2 and the other is a light up Transformer one.
Is there anything in my life that was with me 30 years ago? ***CHECKS***. Yep, just my good ol' NES.
The Nes is a couple months younger than I am. I got into it, when I was 4, & 5.
@bryce951 I can understand that it may have been a different situation for Europe and the UK than it was in the US. Our perspectives are separated by the Atlantic.
I do have an issue with you explaining your spelling of "centred" vs. "centered". Please do not feel you need to look down your nose at us in "the Colonies". While American English dialect and spelling is different from the UK we over here know that you did not misspell the word. You do not have to be an elitist about your use of the English language. It is the WORLD trade language and is spoken and written differently in every continent whether established by British colonialism or America as a world power. This is one of the best Nintendo sites out there and that is why we in the US like to come here. Don't ruin it for us.
here is to 30 years and to another 30 years for the NES
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