Released October 18, 1985- The Nintendo Entertainment System!
On this day in 1985, Nintendo made some big waves with the Nintendo Entertainment System. In North America at least.
The market was so oversaturated by video game consoles at this time. Most of which, did much of the same as the other. Consumers were no longer impressed by video games. They felt they could get the same value for their money by just playing the ones they already had. Moreover, many consoles were simply reproduced by different manufacturers. Radioshack had their TandyVision system, which was a clone of the Intellivision and even Sears had their own Atari console. This meant lots of floor space for consoles, coupled with huge price drops and massive software libraries. The market was oversaturated. This caused the industry to peak at 3.8 billion in sales in 1983, down by 97% by 1985 to just $100 million.
Still, Nintendo was determined to penetrate the market. The success of the Famicom in the Japanese market just had to translate to success in the west. However, many retailers were afraid to carry the system. Nintendo had to market it a little differently. And instead of calling it a video game system, they marketed the NES as a home entertainment system. A toy if you will and included the Robotic Operating Buddy, to appeal to more kids. To that end, they struck a deal with retailers in a very limited launch in New York in 1985. With an agreement to buy-back any of the unsold systems.
Nintendo Entertainment System is King!
Shortly after release, however, the NES was declared the King of the video game world in North America. With sales that surpassed any console before it. Prior to Nintendo pulling the plug on the NES 10 years later, it sold over 61 million units. Meaning there was one Nintendo system for every second house in the US. This, of course, was no small feat. And thanks to its brilliant and diverse library of game titles to choose from. Along with the third party developers and unique and interesting peripherals, the system is still regarded as one of the best systems to ever exist.
Nowadays, picking up a Nintendo Entertainment System is just as easy, but could still cost you about $50 CDN at least. Hitting up garage sales at the right time could get you one cheaper. The games are another story. With some costing upwards in the $1000 range and even higher! Luckily, there is emulation.
The NES Classic Edition proved peoples fond memories and love for the system. The fact that Nintendo released one of those things at all is a true testament to its history. Any gamer owes it to themselves to try titles like Super Mario Bros 3 and Ninja Gaiden, Mega Man 2 or any number of other games they might imagine. There is something for everyone on the NES. We promise you. Remember, when you play with Nintendo, you’re playing with POWER!