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The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES or just Nintendo for short) was Nintendo's first major console and a westernized version of the Famicom, the console was discontinued in 2003, even though it's last game was released 9 years before.

In 2016 Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition, an official Plug-and-Play that includes 30 NES games.

Background

Due to the North American Video Game Crash of 1983, video games were seen as a fad so Nintendo initially had trouble getting investors interested in the console.

Nintendo solved this by designing it to look like a VHS player and included the R.O.B the Robot toy as well as the Light Gun. With this, they were able to get stores to sell it by marketing it as a "Robot Toy Controller" rather than a video game. The NES became very popular and soon revitalized the video game industry in North America.

Why It Rocks

  1. The Nintendo Entertainment System was the most successful video gaming console in the world.
  2. Large library of games, over 700 officially licensed games, and over 100 unlicensed games
  3. The two button (not counting start, select, and the D-Pad) controller is easy to master.
  4. Very large number of side-scrollers.
  5. Many of the games are quite challenging and thus rewarding if you beat them.
  6. The Lock-out chip and Nintendo's strict regulations helped prevent its library from being flooded with shovelware, which happened to the Atari 2600.
  7. Includes several accessories like the Light Gun for several games.
  8. The original North American NES was the world's very first video gaming console to feature direct composite video output so the gamers could easily hook it up to a stand-alone composite monitor, rather than hooking up to the RF monitor.
  9. You can dismantle an NES, shove its components into a toaster shell, and it'll work.
  10. Many great franchises got their start because of the NES: Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, Megaman, Metroid, Contra, Ninja Gaiden, and Castlevania, just to name a few.
  11. Saved North American gaming itself from the Crash.

Bad Qualities

  1. The cartridge slot in the original model can get damaged from inserting and removing cartridges over time. It is possible to repair or replace it though. The Top Loader model solves this issue.
  2. The original game cartridges can be expensive due to their old age.
  3. The original controller's square design can make it uncomfortable to hold due to the edges poking the player's palms.
  4. Even with Nintendo's strict regulations, shovelware and unlicensed bad games made it into the NES.
  5. A large number of NES Games were never released in Europe and Australia.
  6. The original model is extremely large (it has the same size of a small VCR) and takes a lot of shelf space.
  7. A regular American NES will not play European titles. A top loader will play anything though.
  8. Due to Nintendo's family-friendly policies, many games were censored, sometimes in pretty stupid ways, such as renaming the Punch-Out character Vodka Drunkenski as Soda Popinski.

Maintainance

The NES's infamous reset loops can be attributed to the 10NES lockout chip. As the cartridge slot's edge connector degrades, the lockout chip in the console has trouble communicating with its counterpart in the game cartridge, and when the 10NES cannot verify the authenticity of the cartridge, the 10NES puts the console into the reset loop. The lockout chip on the console can be permanently disabled by cutting pin 4; the lockout chip is labeled "CIC" (Checking Integrated Circuit) on the NES's motherboard. When disconnecting pin 4, be careful not to break any other pins on the lockout chip itself or any electrical components near the chip, as doing so will brick the system.

While disabling the 10NES chip will stop the reset loop, the console may still have a solid blue screen on startup if the cartridge contacts are not making a good connection; when disabling the 10NES chip, it is a good idea to either clean and repair the existing cartridge connector or replace it outright while console is disassembled. Also, disabling the 10NES chip makes the NES region-free, allowing PAL format games to be played on an NTSC console and vice versa.

Reception

The NES is widely regarded as one of the greatest consoles of all time and is heavily praised by retro gamers and game collectors. James Rolfe, famous for The Angry Video Game Nerd, highly values the console and owns nearly every game made for the system. Rolfe is known for owning a "Nintoaster", which is basically a fully functional NES stuffed into a Toaster.