Nintendo caused quite a stir today when it unexpectedly announced the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition console. Bundled with an authentic pad and 30 pre-loaded games, it's coming this November and will cost $59.99.
We assumed that the machine would be locked-down and wouldn't be able to accept original cartridges, but Nintendo has confirmed this - and more - to Kotaku:
Will the mini-NES be able to connect to the internet?
No. The console is a standalone device, so it cannot connect to the internet or any external storage devices. The game lineup was chosen to provide a diverse mix of popular and recognizable NES games that appeal to a wide variety of players. Everyone should be able to find multiple games to enjoy.
On the same note: does Nintendo plan to sell other NES games for the mini-NES beyond the 30 it comes preloaded with?
No. The console is a standalone device, so it cannot connect to the internet or any external storage devices. The 30 games included with the system were chosen to provide a wide variety of top-quality, long-lasting game-play experiences.
Are there plans for other mini-consoles, like a mini-SNES or mini-N64?
We have nothing to announce at this time.
Just because people have been asking: safe to say it can't play old cartridges, right? (Based on the image it looks like an NES cartridge would have around the same width as the entire console.) Does it open up at all?
The console does not use physical media and therefore the Chamber Lid does not open.
It's a shame that there won't be any means of getting more games onto the console, but when you consider how great some of those bundled titles are, it's not too crushing a blow. Plus, it leaves the door open for an updated model, which will no doubt arrive when Nintendo realises that this kind of thing is basically a license to print money.