Nintendo’s Family Computer, better known as the Famicom (and in the west as the Nintendo Entertainment System) was released on July 15, 1983, making it 36 years old today.
The video game console was nothing short of revolutionary. Though it had been preceded by gaming machines such as the Atari 2600, the Famicom featured both hardware and software that set it apart. Games like Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda captivated nascent gamers with their advanced gameplay and graphics, and the console was a hit by 1984.
Meanwhile, with some aesthetic changes to its design to account for the tastes of American consumers, Nintendo released the Famicom as the Nintendo Entertainment System in the US on October 18, 1985, where it also became a hit.
Did you know:
- The initial release of the Famicom featured a batch with a bad chipset, necessitating a recall
- The second-player controller on the Famicom features a microphone: in the Japanese version of Zelda, the Pols Voice can be killed by speaking (or blowing) into the mic
- The Famicom was released in South Korea in 1989 as the Hyundai Comboy
- Nintendo released a stereoscopic headset called the Famicom 3D System in 1987
- The Famicom wasn’t officially discontinued until 2003
What are your favorite memories of the Famicom (or NES)?