Nintendo, a Japanese company known for such arcade hits as Donkey Kong and Wild Gunman has released a gaming console. The straightforwardly named Nintendo Entertainment System took the Japanese market by storm in 1983 and has finally arrived in the US. Hardware-wise NES is quite a beast indeed: 2KiB of onboard work RAM, 48 colors and 6 grays (up to 25 simultaneous colors!) and staggering 256 x 240 resolution. Graphics and sound-wise, the games look and sound unlike anything we’ve seen before.
In spite of all the (admittedly impressive) technical show off, the question still remains whether or not the public is really interested in video games anymore. During the past few years, former industry leader Atari has gone dramatically downhill sales-wise, and therefore Intellivision has remained the only home video system that has even somewhat survived the infamous game crash of 1983.
However, Atari’s downfall may very well have been the low quality of their games during the last year, so perhaps the demand for video games still exists and, if it does, Nintendo is basically entering an empty stage here. The claim that video games are far from dead is further supported by the fact that arcade games are still very much alive and kicking – and Nintendo knows this better than anyone.
Plus, if it is the quality that matters, Nintendo seems to have it covered. Super Mario Bros., an adventure game that comes bundled with the console is one of the best things we’ve played since Pitfall. Moreover, it must be said that Nintendo has really done a brilliant job with their marketing campaign. Check out their deranged television commercial below. This really is the stuff of legends:
Nintendo Entertainment System is now available from most department stores and toy retailers starting from somewhat expensive $199.