Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo Entertainment System


The Nintendo Entertainment System (commonly abbreviated as NES) is an 8-bit home video game console that was developed and manufactured by Nintendo.

It was initially released in Japan as the Family Computer (Famicom) on July 15, 1983, and was later released in North America in 1985, in Europe in 1986, and in Australia in 1987.

The NES was succeeded by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

What is Nintendo Entertainment System?

Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, is an 8-bit video game console released by Nintendo in 1985. It was the company’s first home console, and became a global phenomenon, selling over 60 million units worldwide.

NameNintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Other NameFamily Computer/Famicom – Japan, Hyundai Comboy – Korea, Samurai – India
DeveloperNintendo R&D2
First ReleaseJuly 15, 1983
CPURicoh 2A03/2A07 @ 1.79/1.66 MHz[b]
Introductory PriceUS$179 (on 1st release in 1983)

The NES was originally released in Japan as the Family Computer (Famicom). It was later released in North America in 1985 as the Nintendo Entertainment System.

The system gained immense popularity in both markets and went on to become one of the most beloved video game consoles of all time.

Read: Ready or Not Game – GamePlay and description

The NES featured a number of groundbreaking technologies and games that helped define the console gaming experience for generations of gamers.

The History of the Nintendo Entertainment System

Early Development and Release in Japan (1983)

The NES was first developed and released in Japan as the Family Computer (Famicom) on July 15, 1983.

It featured a red and white color scheme and introduced a new generation of gaming with its innovative design and games like “Donkey Kong.”

Redesign and International Expansion (Mid-1980s)

After a successful launch in Japan, Nintendo aimed to expand Famicom’s reach to international markets.

To address concerns about the crash of the North American video game market, the Famicom was redesigned and rebranded as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) for its release in North America in 1985.

Revitalization of the Video Game Industry (1980s – 1990s)

The NES played a pivotal role in reviving the video game industry, which had suffered a significant downturn in the early 1980s.

Iconic games like “Super Mario Bros.,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and “Metroid” helped establish Nintendo as a dominant force in the gaming market.

Licensing and Third-Party Developers

Nintendo’s strict licensing policies allowed them to maintain control over the quality of games released on the NES.

Third-party developers, like Konami and Capcom, played a crucial role in expanding the NES game library and contributed to its success.

Hardware Innovations

The NES introduced several innovations, including a front-loading cartridge slot, the use of a controller with a directional pad and two buttons, and the optional Zapper light gun accessory.

Global Expansion and Legacy

The NES was released in Europe in 1986 and in Australia in 1987. It left a lasting legacy, contributing to the establishment of video games as a mainstream form of entertainment.

Successor: Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)

The NES’s success led to the development of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), which was released in 1990. The SNES continued Nintendo’s influence and introduced advanced graphics and sound capabilities.

Cultural Impact and Nostalgia:

The NES remains a beloved part of gaming history, with many of its games and characters becoming cultural icons. Nostalgia for the NES era persists, and the console’s games are still celebrated and played by gamers of all ages.


The NES is a cartridge-based system, meaning that games are played by inserting them into the console.

The console itself contains a CPU, RAM, and graphics processing unit, which work together to generate the images and sound you see and hear when playing a game.

When a cartridge is inserted into the NES, its ROM (read-only memory) is read by the CPU. This data tells the NES what kind of game it is and how to run it. The CPU then sends commands to the other hardware components to get them ready for gameplay.

The graphics processing unit (GPU) handles all of the graphical output for the NES. It takes the data from the game cartridge and transforms it into images that are displayed on your TV screen.

The GPU can create a variety of different image types, including sprites, backgrounds, and text.

The sound processing unit (SPU) is responsible for generating all of the sounds you hear while playing a game. It supports two channels of audio: one for music and one for sound effects.

The SPU can also generate primitive 3D audio effects using special sound algorithms known as “phasers.”

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) boasted an extensive and iconic library of games Here’s a selection of some of the most memorable and influential games released for the NES:

  1. Super Mario Bros.: The game that introduced players to Mario and the Mushroom Kingdom, setting the standard for platforming gameplay.
  2. The Legend of Zelda: An epic adventure game that set players on a quest to save Princess Zelda and defeat Ganon.
  3. Metroid: A pioneering action-adventure game that introduced players to the sci-fi world of Samus Aran.
  4. Castlevania: A challenging action platformer where players took on the role of Simon Belmont to battle Dracula and his minions.
  5. Mega Man: A series of action platformers that featured the titular character, Mega Man, battling against various Robot Masters.
  6. Final Fantasy: The first installment of the legendary RPG series, bringing players into a fantasy world filled with magic and adventure.
  7. Contra: A classic run-and-gun shooter that allowed players to team up and take on hordes of enemies.
  8. Duck Hunt: A light gun game that came bundled with the NES Zapper, challenging players to shoot down ducks.
  9. Punch-Out!!: A boxing game that pitted players against a colorful cast of opponents, each with their own unique patterns.
  10. Kid Icarus: A platformer that followed the adventures of Pit, a young angel, as he battled enemies and explored the underworld.
  11. Donkey Kong: The game that introduced Donkey Kong and Jumpman (later known as Mario) to the world.
  12. Tetris: A puzzle game that became a global phenomenon, challenging players to arrange falling blocks to create lines.
  13. Bionic Commando: A unique action game that featured a protagonist with a bionic arm capable of grappling and swinging.
  14. Kirby’s Adventure: A platformer where players controlled Kirby, a pink puffball with the ability to inhale enemies and gain their powers.
  15. Metal Gear: The first installment of the stealth-action series, featuring Solid Snake infiltrating enemy bases.
  16. Double Dragon: A side-scrolling beat ’em up that allowed players to team up as Billy and Jimmy Lee to rescue a kidnapped woman.
  17. Excitebike: A motocross racing game that allowed players to create custom tracks and race against the clock.
  18. Bubble Bobble: A charming arcade platformer where players controlled Bub and Bob to trap enemies in bubbles.
  19. Dragon Warrior (Dragon Quest): Another RPG series that introduced players to a fantasy world filled with quests and monsters.
  20. Ninja Gaiden: An action platformer known for its challenging gameplay and cinematic storytelling.

The Legacy of the Nintendo Entertainment System

  1. Revival of the Video Game Industry: The NES played a pivotal role in resurrecting the video game industry after the market crash of 1983. Its success in North America helped rekindle interest in video games and laid the foundation for the modern gaming landscape.
  2. Iconic Games and Characters: The NES introduced iconic characters like Mario, Link, and Mega Man, along with legendary franchises such as “Super Mario Bros.,” “The Legend of Zelda,” and “Metroid.” These characters and series have become cultural icons and continue to thrive in various forms of media.
  3. Standardization of Game Console Design: The NES’s design elements, including its front-loading cartridge slot and controller layout, influenced the industry’s approach to console design. Many subsequent consoles adopted similar formats.
  4. Global Reach and Influence: The NES’s international success helped establish video games as a global entertainment phenomenon. Its popularity spread to regions like Europe and Australia, paving the way for gaming’s worldwide impact.
  5. Launch of Nintendo Power and Nintendo Seal of Quality: The NES saw the launch of “Nintendo Power” magazine, which provided gamers with insights, strategies, and news. The “Nintendo Seal of Quality” on game boxes assured players of a certain standard of quality.
  6. Third-Party Development: The NES was one of the first consoles to work extensively with third-party developers. This collaboration led to a diverse library of games and established the importance of a strong developer ecosystem.
  7. Nostalgia and Retro Gaming: The NES’s impact has led to enduring nostalgia among gamers who grew up with the system. The console’s games remain cherished and are celebrated through retro gaming communities, re-releases, and emulators.
  8. Innovation and Expansion: The NES introduced gameplay innovations, such as scrolling levels, side-scrolling platforming, and in-game power-ups. These innovations have become staples in game design.
  9. Market Practices and Localization: The NES influenced localization practices by translating and adapting games for different regions. This laid the groundwork for how games are adapted for global audiences.
  10. Continued Influence on Nintendo: The NES’s impact continues to resonate within Nintendo’s business model. The company’s focus on family-friendly gaming, iconic characters, and quality assurance can be traced back to the NES era.
  11. Collectibility and Preservation: NES games and consoles have become sought-after collector’s items. Efforts to preserve and restore NES games have contributed to the preservation of gaming history.
  12. Gaming Culture and Community: The NES era helped shape gaming culture, fostering a sense of community through playground discussions, magazines, and early fan communities.


Now that you know everything about the Nintendo Entertainment System, it’s time to get one for yourself! The NES is a classic console with a huge library of games, and it’s perfect for gamers of all ages.

Read: Ready or Not Game (2022)

With its affordable price and easy-to-use design, the NES is a great addition to any gamer’s collection. So what are you waiting for? Go out and get yourself an NES today!


Q. 1 When did the Nintendo Entertainment System Come out?

It was initially released in Japan as the Family Computer (Famicom) on July 15, 1983. It was later released in North America on October 18, 1985. The NES had subsequent releases in other regions as well, including Europe in 1986 and Australia in 1987.

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