The Nintendo Entertainment System is coming back to stores
July 14, 2016 8:43 AM   Subscribe

Nintendo has shocked the gaming community by announcing the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, a "new" version of its legendary NES hardware which will cost $59.99 in the US. It connects to your TV via HDMI and comes with that classic NES pad, which can also be used with your Wii or Wii U.

The console arrives on the 11th November and will come with 30 pre-loaded titles:
    Balloon Fight
    BUBBLE BOBBLE
    Castlevania
    Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
    Donkey Kong
    Donkey Kong Jr.
    DOUBLE DRAGON II: THE REVENGE
    Dr. Mario
    Excitebike
    FINAL FANTASY
    Galaga
    GHOSTS 'N GOBLINS
    GRADIUS
    Ice Climber
    Kid Icarus
    Kirby's Adventure
    Mario Bros.
    MEGA MAN 2
    Metroid
    NINJA GAIDEN
    PAC-MAN
    Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
    StarTropics
    SUPER C
    Super Mario Bros.
    Super Mario Bros. 2
    Super Mario Bros. 3
    TECMO BOWL
    The Legend of Zelda
    Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
posted by porn in the woods (142 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
BUBBLE BOBBLE

ZELDA II

wait i'm just going to repeat the entire list in my excitement.
posted by sio42 at 8:45 AM on July 14, 2016 [20 favorites]


c.f. raspberry pi
posted by odinsdream at 8:46 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


GALAGA.

To repeat: GALAGA.

I'd pay sixty bucks just for GALAGA.
posted by Mooski at 8:47 AM on July 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


Nintendo finally wants that sweet Retron money.

My wife texted me out of the blue to tell me she wants one of these... Nintendo's spies must have realized they needed to include Bubble Bobble, the only videogame she has ever been addicted to.
posted by selfnoise at 8:51 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


i wonder if their emulation is as good as what the modders have made available for years?
posted by nadawi at 8:51 AM on July 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


I'd be curious to hear about the hardware. Overall I've been pretty disappointed with Nintendo's emulators and the quality of virtual console titles. If this is just a Nintendo branded version of all those "retro console" systems that are wimpy general purpose processors running a cut-rate emulator, I'm less inclined to buy.
posted by lucasks at 8:54 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


i wonder if their emulation is as good as what the modders have made available for years?

You mispelled decades.

I would guess... yes and no. I bet it functions fine - I think some of the emus are even open source, so they could have just repackaged one of those. But I bet the advanced functions like save states and fast forward aren't implemented or implemented well.
posted by Mitrovarr at 8:55 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is handy because I suspect, if we ignore the rosy glow of nostalgia, these games comprise the vast majority of good games that ever existed for the NES.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:55 AM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


i wonder if their emulation is as good as what the modders have made available for years?

Actually, in spite of my drooling response to being able to play Galaga again, I'm guessing the answer is no. That said, playing it in HD on a Nintendo console... I don't know. I guess I have been molded by consumer culture.
posted by Mooski at 8:55 AM on July 14, 2016


A friend of mine frequently carries around a laptop and a bunch of NES / N64 / Genesis / SNES contollers, but I suspect he'll buy one of these anyway, if the emulation is half good. I look forward to some Balloon Fight.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:57 AM on July 14, 2016


I think the harder thing than the emulation is the translation through HDMI. These games were all designed for CRTs and it's been quite tricky getting the visuals just right. Some picky people spend hundreds of dollars trying to fix it. That said I imagine they are not Nintendo's target market.
posted by selfnoise at 8:57 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


save states of some sort are included. per gizmodo : "games will have multiple suspend points so you won’t lose your progress."
posted by nadawi at 8:57 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


make no mistake - even with a huge nes collection, and with emulators easily available on my computer, my home will still likely buy one of these, but yeah i do sorta expect it's like those atari controllers that kb toys who whoever sell for $19.99 at christmas time.
posted by nadawi at 9:00 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


save states of some sort are included. per gizmodo : "games will have multiple suspend points so you won’t lose your progress."

Well, it's nice to know they've only halfway broken a feature that has been implemented successfully for nearly twenty years.
posted by Mitrovarr at 9:04 AM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


My big complaint about the selection is Contra. Contra is way better than the sequel, yet just like on the 3DS VC we are offered Super C instead. OTOH I'm surprised 2016 Konami were willing to participate in something other than making gambling machines so maybe I should just be happy with what we got.

All that said, check out the way in which they're offering a variety here. The only genre of games I don't see is light gun games, which would require more peripherals and probably wouldn't be workable on modern HDTVs. Platformers, sports games, shmups, a brawler, puzzle games, RPGs... from a curation standpoint that collection is brilliant, maximizing the spread of its appeal and having something to offer virtually everyone with an interest in the NES. (Okay, platformers dominate, but it's the NES and a composite average NES game would be a platformer.) Whoever they had doing collection development for this knocked it out of the park.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:05 AM on July 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


Any word on other games in the future? Say Adventures in the Magic Kingdom?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:06 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm curious about what Ben Heck will do with one once he gets his hands on it.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:07 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Surely it's possible to just have a controller that plugs directly into the hdmi. Apart from 2up, what's the point of the box?
posted by adept256 at 9:08 AM on July 14, 2016


Where's my NESFlix, Nintendo?

$9.99/mo online subscription service, curated back catalog for NES, SNES, N64, GCN available on their emulation client for PC, mobile, and consoles. It's so easy it seems like everyone has thought of this already. Sell USB controllers with subscription codes included even. Charge more for every additional OS maybe? Or "packages" of games? So many options.

Hopefully soon I'll be able to sign up for this and forget about it instead of being asked to rebuy the same games over and over.
posted by ODiV at 9:10 AM on July 14, 2016 [15 favorites]


Well, it's nice to know they've only halfway broken a feature that has been implemented successfully for nearly twenty years.

It's not nice. There should be no saves at all. Nintendo games should be Nintendo Hard like they were. Endless rage and frustration was part of the experience. You were forged in a merciless, unforgiving fire. Ninja Gaiden with save states? I've played it that way with emulators and it just isn't the same.

Today's gamers are too damn weak.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:10 AM on July 14, 2016 [37 favorites]


One of the funnest possibilities I see is giving Donkey Kong to someone your age when you first played it, and then sitting back (keeping your mouth closed) and watching them suss the patterns....
posted by CrowGoat at 9:10 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also I would note that the ports on the front appear to be the ports used to connect Wii Nunchuks and other peripherals to a Wiimote.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:10 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


No Bionic Commando?
posted by Nanukthedog at 9:13 AM on July 14, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yeah, Bionic Commando would be the best game, if Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and Super Mario Bros. 2 didn't exist.
posted by rocketman at 9:15 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also support the addition of Bionic Commando, if only so kids today will once again learn the joy of making Hitler's head explode.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:17 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Also I would note that the ports on the front appear to be the ports used to connect Wii Nunchuks and other peripherals to a Wiimote.

Ars says that it will work with the Wii Classic Controller Pro, and that the NES controller that it comes with will work with the Wii & WiiU virtual consoles. I'm divided on how I feel about the original controller, it's about as far from ergonomic as possible, but playing old games on another controller just never feels right to me.
posted by papercrane at 9:18 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


Surely it's possible to just have a controller that plugs directly into the hdmi. Apart from 2up, what's the point of the box?

It's an adorable miniaturized NES. There are people who would happily pay $60 for an adorable miniaturized NES just to put it on a shelf; the fact that it plays games is a bonus.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:19 AM on July 14, 2016 [18 favorites]


So I see it has a cartridge door. In my mind, the way they execute this is by having a miniature ROM cartridge that has the 30 games loaded on it, already installed in the box. Then in the future, they sell replacement ROM cartridges with different selections of 30 games.

This way we get to re-live the experience of blowing in the slot to try and make the game work.
posted by rocketman at 9:26 AM on July 14, 2016 [13 favorites]


Buy the games you've already bought again...again!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:28 AM on July 14, 2016 [12 favorites]


I am really excited about this. I downloaded the Wii Zelda retro package to show my son how good I was at that game - he had liked the newer Zelda games so I wanted to show him the originals - I beat 1st and 2nd quest on one life back in the day!

Yep, you guessed it, I got taken out by an Octorok within 4 screens
posted by caution live frogs at 9:39 AM on July 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


I do love the fact that it's in HDMI. Hope it's 1080p! Otherwise, each of the dozen 1/2-inch-wide pixels on Mario's face might fail to render properly.
posted by Mayor West at 9:40 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


On the flip side, this HDMI mod for NES just recently came out. Not something I'd probably ever attempt, but I'm glad it exists.
posted by destructive cactus at 9:42 AM on July 14, 2016


I'd pay sixty bucks just for GALAGA.


IMHO, the true Galaga is the arcade version, thanks to its ubiquity in bars everywhere (there must have been a glut of tabletop Galaga machines a decade or so ago). Not sure how accurate the NES port is, but at least the graphics and sound would be inferior due to the fact that, in the 1980s, decent framebuffers cost the kind of money only recoupable from revenue-generating commercial hardware. (The same applies to Bubble Bobble and Pac-Man, btw.)

Has anybody made a machine containing licensed, super-accurate arcade versions of classic games, and sold it as a TV-connectable box? (Not counting SNK's NeoGeo, that is.)
posted by acb at 9:45 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


Does the NeoGeo X count? It's just a box that runs FinalBurn AFAIK.
posted by griphus at 9:51 AM on July 14, 2016


There are a few games I really wish it had, but I want this so badly.
posted by drezdn at 9:51 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


NO BLASTER MASTER
posted by cortex at 9:53 AM on July 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


Is anybody really "shocked" by this news? Seemed inevitable that Nintendo would want a cut of all that sweet, sweet retro gaming.

That said, it's pointless except as a fan toy.

IMHO, the true Galaga is the arcade version

Exactly. You wanna play Galaga (or Bubble Bobble actually)? Save your quarters ...
posted by mrgrimm at 9:58 AM on July 14, 2016


I hope it has CRT emulation.
posted by bongo_x at 10:00 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is anybody really "shocked" by this news? Seemed inevitable that Nintendo would want a cut of all that sweet, sweet retro gaming

These games and many, many more have been available on the Wii and WiiU for up to a decade.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:02 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


BUT WHERE IS DUCK HUNT AND THE GUN
posted by bologna on wry at 10:02 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


NO BLASTER MASTER

NO PEACE

KNOW BLASTER MASTER, KNOW PEACE
posted by rocketman at 10:03 AM on July 14, 2016 [21 favorites]


Yeah what a few others have said: this is cool and all but it's not like a "shocking" gaming story. There's been replica gaming systems with pre-loaded games (Atari and Genesis I know I've seen at Target) out for years now. Nintendo's been selling ROMs of their old games ever since you could do it on the Wii and the DS.

The biggest surprise here is honestly how robust the games list is, especially with a bunch of third-party licenses in the mix. StarTropics is amazingly the biggest surprise for me, since Nintendo has never offered it on their games store before as far as I know. And also I love that stupid, broken game so much.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:03 AM on July 14, 2016


BUT WHERE IS DUCK HUNT AND THE GUN

Not on HD TVs, that's where.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:04 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


one of my favorite play old nintendo games on a newer console were the nes games hidden in animal crossing on the gamecube.
posted by nadawi at 10:08 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Both StarTropics games have been on the Virtual Console for some time now.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:10 AM on July 14, 2016


BUT WHERE IS DUCK HUNT AND THE GUN

Assuming it's not just a joke: it's literally impossible to use the Zapper on HDTVs. The device works by reflecting light pulses off of the glass of CRT televisions.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:10 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Curmudgeon here, but other than being a pretty display piece, I don't see much value or being that much of a groundbreaking project. Call me when it's something like Activision Anthology running on a console, with added options such as a game purchasing and online play.

A Raspberry Pi 2B + Sega Saturn Retro-link pad (as its' layout would make it perfectly compatible with most things until 1994) would run at around the same price, and allow a much larger number of systems (not to mention, more NES games). Plus, Retroarch has tweakable shaders to simlulate CRT screens. This will probably have on/off and be thankful for it.
posted by lmfsilva at 10:11 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


For the DIY crowd: a collection of 20 retro game cases, refurbed and 3D printed, for Raspberry Pi, with links to the sources if you want to make your own, like this tutorial to install a Raspberry Pi in a NES Case, which makes the internals seem so ridiculously spacious that I'd want to install a second Pi to do something else. Or you could go small with a custom case.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:13 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Both StarTropics games have been on the Virtual Console for some time now.

Ah, this stuff always passes over my head. I only have a DS, so the library appears to be more limited than folks with Wiis.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:14 AM on July 14, 2016


This will probably have on/off and be thankful for it.

Did you even look at the link? It also has a RESET button!
posted by rocketman at 10:14 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Assuming it's not just a joke: it's literally impossible to use the Zapper on HDTVs. The device works by reflecting light pulses off of the glass of CRT televisions.

That's not accurate. When you pull the trigger on the Zapper, the screen flashes black and there are white boxes overlaid on the targets. (This is why, when you fire, the ducks momentarily seem to have white boxes overlaid on them- for a couple of frames, they did!) The Zapper's photoreceptor checks to see if what it's looking at is white, and if so, tells the game you hit. You can RULE at Duck Hunt by pointing the Zapper at a lightbulb.

The reason this doesn't work on HD TVs is because the lag between an NES and a CRT was generally consistent, whereas between the different latency with HD TVs and the impact of image upscaling from the NES's tiny resolution, the black flash and white boxes don't appear when the Zapper expects them, making it impossible for the Zapper to interact with the game. The same lag is why retro fans tend to pounce on any CRTs that turn up for sale in good condition.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:16 AM on July 14, 2016 [23 favorites]


Being released 7 days before my birthday. How convenient. Paging Mrs. COD...
posted by COD at 10:17 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


You can RULE at Duck Hunt by pointing the Zapper at a lightbulb.


That's not accurate. The NES would flash the screen black and then white (or vice versa, I forget which) and if it doesn't detect the change it doesn't register the hit. The Sega Master System light gun was the one that would register a hit if you just pointed it at something bright.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:19 AM on July 14, 2016 [13 favorites]


I think the harder thing than the emulation is the translation through HDMI.

The emulators already out there seem to have solved this part of the problem, I'd think. We have a small computer running MAME and other emulators hooked up to a 1080p screen via an HDMI connection, for example. For the MAME games, their aspect ratio is set to fit the game display entirely within the confines of the screen, with a "wrapper" of console game art around the game-specific part of the display. Looks very nice and polished.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:21 AM on July 14, 2016


I wonder if I'm elderly and infirm enough yet to die from terminal Nintendo thumb. At least I won't get a crick in my neck since if I'm kneeling in front of the TV my head is on the same level these days.
posted by XMLicious at 10:22 AM on July 14, 2016


The worst part of this is how Nintendo's going to make $Texas selling these, and their response will be to make another one with a different set of games, and congrats, now we're collecting them like FunkoPOPs with USB ports.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:26 AM on July 14, 2016


> These games and many, many more have been available on the Wii and WiiU for up to a decade.

The Namco Museum and Midway Arcade Treasures compilations (which were released for the GameCube) are basically all I use my Wii for. The only problem is that the really fast-twitch games (especially Robotron) have been a brutally accurate way to chart the slow but inexorable decline of my hand-eye coordination; I can't even come close to my high scores from ten years ago.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:27 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


No RC Pro-Am. I has a sad.
posted by chimaera at 10:35 AM on July 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


A day or two ago If I were a serious investor (or any kind of investor) I would've been shorting Nintendo stock so hard. It was up 30% on the basis of Pokemon and the fact that its 'daily active users' was higher than Twitter (seriously, using 3 days of daily active user data as an investment metric is just asinine). But this news would give me pause. It tells me they have a strategy to aggressively make money off their IP portfolio. It's still a short term strategy but at least it'll last longer than 2 weeks.
posted by TwoWordReview at 10:38 AM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Buy the games you've already bought again...again!

Hey, I only ever bought 5 of these games before! (4 if you count Mike Tyson's Punch Out! separately from Punch Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream)

but at least the graphics and sound would be inferior due to the fact that, in the 1980s, decent framebuffers cost the kind of money only recoupable from revenue-generating commercial hardware

The whole point of sprites and tiles is that you don't need a framebuffer, the video hardware just composites each scan-line on the fly. Old arcade cabinets used this trick just like the consoles did. For instance, the arcade Pac-Man had 2KB of video memory, not nearly enough for a frame buffer.

Assuming it's not just a joke: it's literally impossible to use the Zapper on HDTVs.

There is one exception, made in the last year: Super Russian Roulette (it works by just trusting that you're pointing the Zapper at your own head, like you're supposed to, instead of at the screen)
posted by aubilenon at 10:40 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


No RC Pro-Am. I has a sad.

I'd be willing to bet the issue there is that Microsoft owns the IP.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:41 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Where's my NESFlix, Nintendo?

$9.99/mo online subscription service, curated back catalog for NES, SNES, N64, GCN available on their emulation client for PC, mobile, and consoles. It's so easy it seems like everyone has thought of this already.


Except that it isn't. The only company doing this is Sony, and they had to buy Gaikai a few years back for the tech.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:45 AM on July 14, 2016


Look, I'm just the ideas guy.
posted by ODiV at 10:50 AM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


"Curated back catalog" implies that they manage to surf the ridiculously convoluted tides of licensing agreements and who-REALLY-owns-the-rights-to-this-30-year-old-title slapfights.

Keep in mind that one of the prizes of the NES -- Tengen Tetris -- got yanked specifically over such legalities _and that was when the system was active_. Nowadays you have to figure out which company owns rights to which dead company that owns which dead division of another company that put the game out in the first place, and more good luck to you if it was based on a licensed property.
posted by delfin at 10:51 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Will wait for the reviews to come in before I buy for my.. daughter. Yes, for my daughter.
posted by Theta States at 10:56 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


EA Access is another games subscription service which exists. Couldn't tell you how it's doing though.

And yeah, licensing woes galore I would imagine for Nintendo, the farther back you go, the worse it gets. Still, they do try and package their old stuff up for us over and over, so someone is presumably working on it.

chimaera: RC Pro AM is available on Rare Replay for the XBox One.
posted by ODiV at 10:58 AM on July 14, 2016


Also, never underestimate the fun of Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers. It may have been the first Cooperative PvP game based on the fun and joy you could have by throwing your partner into certain death repeatedly.
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:00 AM on July 14, 2016 [5 favorites]


The curation of this list is pretty damn impressive. Like, I can't thing of many obvious titles that I would strive to include in a flagship re-issue release like this.
Tetris
Dragon Warrior
Ducktales

but not many...
posted by Theta States at 11:01 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Ice Hockey
posted by ODiV at 11:04 AM on July 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


You could sell me this with just the SMB, Zelda and Castlevania games. I am not usually worked into a state of excitement by a gaming announcement, but I want the thing.

I didn't expect it, but I'd have liked to see the old Scheherezade game. The game was based on a bunch of Arabian Nights tropes filtered through Japan and filtered back again through bad localization, but it was a lot of fun.
posted by Countess Elena at 11:14 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I do love the fact that it's in HDMI. Hope it's 1080p! Otherwise, each of the dozen 1/2-inch-wide pixels on Mario's face might fail to render properly.

I know this is a joke but I was kind of surprised and disappointed to see how lousy my Wii looked when I ditched my old CRT and hooked it up to a nice LCD screen — not just the size/resolution, but the colors really looked drab in comparison and of course the edges were very soft. So I think that even if the graphics are super low res by today's standards, properly upscaling them for HD display before sending them to the screen should make a difference in how crisp and attractive the games look on modern display hardware.
posted by Mothlight at 11:30 AM on July 14, 2016


Remember, when StarTropics asks you to soak a letter that came in the box in water in order to continue, the codes needed are 747 and 1776.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:37 AM on July 14, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah, but does it have Battletoads?

Obvious jokes apart, I'm also glad to see 3rd party titles in there. Sure, the legal battles over the rights of a 30 year old game might be tremendous, but maybe (just maybe) we are still in the beginning of these licensing quests and they'll get easier as time goes by. I want to believe that the Big Three have an enormous incentive to keep the rights to old games so that they can port them indefinitely, given how prone we are to buy games over and over again.

One can only hope.

Also, I hope Final Fantasy is shown in its original, semi-broken state so that future generations will know of the ridiculous things you can do without the patches made in later re-releases.
posted by andycyca at 11:38 AM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, never underestimate the fun of Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers. It may have been the first Cooperative PvP game based on the fun and joy you could have by throwing your partner into certain death repeatedly.

Capcom's Disney games are at their very worst still pretty good.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:43 AM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I was hoping for more sports games. Like Nintendo World Cup.
posted by bdz at 11:45 AM on July 14, 2016


Or GOAL!
posted by Sys Rq at 11:50 AM on July 14, 2016


"BUT WHERE IS DUCK HUNT AND THE GUN"

I think you're forgetting that no one actually played Duck Hunt for more than about five minutes ever.
posted by komara at 11:53 AM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


So consoles weren't even A Thing where I grew up when I grew up. My first gaming system was a Commodore 64; didn't even ever see an Atari. I was a PC gamer. There was no other kind that I knew.

After I moved to the US, I discovered that there's this entire world of games I'd never heard of... with an entire library of classics that, not being into the emulator scene, I was unlikely to ever get to play.

Which would be fine–my The List for gaming, as with The List for books or the one for movies, is longer than my arm anyway—except then I got really involved in the game music scene. I mean, really involved. Rediscover myself as a musician at age 37-level involved.

And, wow, look at that list there. DK, DK Jr. Final Fantasy. Megaman. Castlevania. Kid Icarus. Metroid. Super Mario Bros. The Legend of Zelda.

I've never played any of these except FF in the Android port. Yes, I've listened to all those soundtracks, know them, but that's not the point. Hearing the music just in FF in-game felt like witnessing the birth of a legend. That thing is crammed full of legends.

I'm throwing money at my phone screen and getting disappointed that nothing is happening, is what I'm saying.
posted by seyirci at 12:00 PM on July 14, 2016 [7 favorites]


I think you're forgetting that no one actually played Duck Hunt for more than about five minutes ever.

LIES
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:07 PM on July 14, 2016 [6 favorites]


Duck hunt is the only game I've ever played where the encouraged behavior was to shoot your dog.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:14 PM on July 14, 2016 [10 favorites]


btw, yeah, that duck hunt comment was entirely a joke; the game and gun came bundled with the system and I'm pretty sure I played it roughly twice... smb, on the other hand... ahhhhh nostalgia!
posted by bologna on wry at 12:14 PM on July 14, 2016


Duck Hunt is only being released in shoe form.
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:15 PM on July 14, 2016


A decent start but it at least needs Ninja Gaiden 2, Castlevania III, Contra, Blaster Master, Megaman 1, Metal Gear and Dragon Warrior.

And obviously Gyromite, the greatest game of all time with the most useful gaming peripheral of all time.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 12:20 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gyromite is fun when playing with a small child. They play the pistons. You play the professor. You and your young companion cooperate to complete they game. The kid figures out when to activate the pistons and you collect the dynamite.
It gets even more fun when the kid figures out that she can squish the professor!
posted by hot_monster at 12:34 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wait a sec. There are people who liked Zelda II? And are excited about it? I was thinking about how much better this would be if that were replaced with Super Dodge Ball.
posted by cardioid at 12:46 PM on July 14, 2016


Back in the early 80s, I went from an Atari 2600 to a Radio Shack Color Computer, and I've been on the computer side of the gaming fence ever since. So, I've never owned or even played any Nintendo game-- no Marios, no Metroids, no Metal Gear, no Final Fantasies, not even a single Zelda.

I've seen replays of the big gaming moments. I've learned the references. I know the princess is in another castle, that it's dangerous to go alone, and that I should take a jewel-encrusted sword with me. I even know about the dubious ritual of blowing on the pins of the cartridge.

But, the thing is, I don't have the depth of feeling that I see so many other people have, the nostalgic gleam of memory and experience in the eyes. It's an odd sensation, being outside of something so big, so common.
posted by KHAAAN! at 1:02 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


And obviously Gyromite, the greatest game of all time with the most useful gaming peripheral of all time.

Ha! R.O.B. sat there on top of the family TV for decades after having been used exactly once, in December 1985. We found Gyromite far more fun as a two-player co-op game. *squish*
posted by Sys Rq at 1:03 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


The device works by reflecting light pulses off of the glass of CRT televisions.

This is not remotely how the Zapper works.

The reason this doesn't work on HD TVs is because the lag between an NES and a CRT was generally consistent

Not accurate. It doesn't work on HD TVs because there is no scanline drawing the screen from top to bottom like on a CRT.
posted by hellphish at 1:07 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, never underestimate the fun of Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers. It may have been the first Cooperative PvP game based on the fun and joy you could have by throwing your partner into certain death repeatedly.

Rampage? George and Lizzie could fight oeach other or beat up the city.
posted by resurrexit at 1:11 PM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


Apologies, I was wrong about the NES zapper using scanlines as I was confusing it with the Super Scope.
posted by hellphish at 1:13 PM on July 14, 2016


I think we should all just start making up intentionally incorrect elaborate schemes for zapper tech, and then try and figure out how many of those are actually patented too.
posted by cortex at 1:27 PM on July 14, 2016 [27 favorites]


I think you're forgetting that no one actually played Duck Hunt for more than about five minutes ever.

My grandfathers spent at least an hour or more playing Duck Hunt the Christmas we received the NES.
posted by Atreides at 1:27 PM on July 14, 2016


I think we should all just start making up intentionally incorrect elaborate schemes for zapper tech, and then try and figure out how many of those are actually patented too.

I call dibs on ultrasonic beam-forming
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:43 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


It worked by having an actual duck in the controller. When you pull the trigger it opens a little door in the front. If the duck sees the duck on the screen it pecks the switch. HD TV's are too realistic and the duck just thinks it's outside hanging out with other ducks. If you have an original controller it may not work and probably smells bad.
posted by bongo_x at 1:44 PM on July 14, 2016 [31 favorites]


Where is the tiny Game Genie to go along with it?
posted by zebra at 1:45 PM on July 14, 2016 [4 favorites]


So now you can make your own weird Mario games, and buy an official Famiclone. Nintendo is really taking the fight to the bootleggers.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:13 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wait a sec. There are people who liked Zelda II? And are excited about it? I was thinking about how much better this would be if that were replaced with Super Dodge Ball.

I like it better than 1- the control's more fluid and responsive, the action's more exciting, and I like the Attack/Magic/Life progression.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:16 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Sega Genesis that has been at dollar stores for a couple of years has not only expandable games (you can plug in original Genesis carts) but also connectors for original Genesis controllers. The infrared controllers that come with it are dreck. It sold for $40 originally.

I'm guessing part of the mini-NES's $60 retail price is the license for Pac-Man and Galaga from Bandai Namco and Double Dragon from Technos.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:30 PM on July 14, 2016


I call dibs on ultrasonic beam-forming

The Power Glove says hello. Bastard didn't work on the big screen 40"+ rear projection TV my parents had because the receivers wouldn't work with something that large. Worked great on the 13" TV I had in my room, though.

"Light guns" on modern TVs work like Wiimotes, which would be OK except the tech is too damn laggy. Time Crisis on PS3 just wasn't the same as the old guns that worked on CRTs.

Incidentally, my Super Scope was the first thing I ever sold to get money for some other game. (Yay for newspaper classifieds?) IIRC, I spent most of the money I got for it on 688 Attack Sub for PC.
posted by wierdo at 2:36 PM on July 14, 2016


Am I the only one who prefers Tecmo Bowl to Tecmo Super Bowl? I like the simpler game, though internet folks who like the series seem to prefer Super.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:37 PM on July 14, 2016


I'm very, very fond of Zelda II. I think it was ahead of its time. The modern analogue is Dark Souls. An unforgiving, mysterious, no-hand-holding action RPG that constantly plays tricks on you.
posted by naju at 2:45 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


My local thrift store has tiny color CRT TVs for $4, I'm just sayin'. I can't tell if this thing has composite output though (all of my AtGames consoles do).
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:47 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


StarTropics is the other game I'm really excited to see included here. I still feel like most people never got a chance to play one of the best, deepest, most charming NES games in existence. Give that one some time when this adorable thing comes out.
posted by naju at 2:47 PM on July 14, 2016


StarTropics... I remember a friend and I renting that as a kid one weekend, but it didn't come with the manual which, if I recall correctly, had a code in it that you needed to progress in the game. We had a very frustrating weekend trying to brute force it.
posted by papercrane at 2:51 PM on July 14, 2016


The Minibosses - Castlevania

November?! AAARrrrghh
posted by petebest at 2:52 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]




So now you can make your own weird Mario games

been there done that
posted by cortex at 2:55 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


I like the built-in limitations of this. You have 30 games, that's it. Maybe your parents will get you Bionic Commando for Christmas if you're lucky. But you play what you have.
posted by naju at 2:58 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also, never underestimate the fun of Chip & Dale's Rescue Rangers. It may have been the first Cooperative PvP game based on the fun and joy you could have by throwing your partner into certain death repeatedly.

Mario Bros. Not Super Mario Bros. The original, or at least the Atari 8-bit computer adaptation of it: when the other player had flipped a crab you could lie in wait on a lower level and jump to reactivate the crab when they approached. I recall persuading my mother to join me in this game and then playing this trick on her repeatedly with relish and glee.
posted by Songdog at 3:50 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


im down with this. Yeah I could probably DIY my own but iono I just want this. Cause I'm a sucker that's why.
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:42 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


I may have to hide this information from my husband because we literally don't have any more inputs available with my Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii, Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, and SNES all hooked up. I can't have another person agreeing that we should get it.
posted by Crystalinne at 4:52 PM on July 14, 2016


You just need an input switcher, don't give up so easily.
posted by bongo_x at 4:56 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


You just need an input switcher, don't give up so easily.

I already have one for the component cables, don't have one for the HDMI ports.
posted by Crystalinne at 5:07 PM on July 14, 2016


Monoprice is your friend for an HDMI switch.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:30 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


i wonder if their emulation is as good as what the modders have made available for years?

I can attest that the Super Mario Bros. I bought on the Wii was the original code. I hadn't played the game in a decade and it still felt exactly right instantly.

I expect every game on this thing will likewise exactly replicate the original.
posted by VTX at 5:57 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


the ROM (game code) wouldn't be the issue but the emulator and the video line-out. "exactly replicate" in emulation is sort of a difficult concept to nail down which is why people spend hundreds of dollars on video converters.

here's an hour long conference talk on emulation, a bunch of it centered on replicating the experience of actually playing on a console, which is also literally the first conference talk I managed to sit through.
posted by griphus at 6:07 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


P.S. Nintendo doesn't even dump their own ROMs, which is hilarious. The ones on Virtual Console have headers from an unrelated emulator.
posted by griphus at 6:08 PM on July 14, 2016 [3 favorites]


The device works by reflecting light pulses off of the glass of CRT televisions.

Wouldn't it do so by picking up the flash of increased brightness as the electron beam scans the screen, in the way that the lightpens that looked like the future in the early 80s did?
posted by acb at 6:10 PM on July 14, 2016


NO ZANAC, but built-in Metroid and Gradius isn't too shabby.
posted by mubba at 6:55 PM on July 14, 2016


There is more about the NES Zapper here including a slow-motion GIF of the white boxes. My guess is that doing it this way is a lot simpler than looking at scan line timings like light pens do.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:14 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dr. Mario! I still play the Virtual Console version more than almost any other game. It's my turn off the brain and relax game. To have the original version with the right controller is worth $60 alone.
posted by downtohisturtles at 7:51 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


adept256: "Surely it's possible to just have a controller that plugs directly into the hdmi. Apart from 2up, what's the point of the box?"

Controllers are wear items, the box shouldn't be. Plus you can make more money selling alternative controllers for the box.
posted by Mitheral at 7:56 PM on July 14, 2016 [1 favorite]


  My local thrift store has tiny color CRT TVs for $4,

Fun fact: some Philips dual-screen car DVD players accept composite input. You can pick up sets of the 7" ones for about $60, and connect them with a camcorder cable.
posted by scruss at 8:09 PM on July 14, 2016


Yo I will pay for one of those and for shipping obviously.
posted by griphus at 8:12 PM on July 14, 2016


Fords that have Sync with MyFordTouch (the big screen..and shitty name) also accept composite in. It's pretty neat. The lag is pretty low since they use the other composite input for the backup camera.
posted by wierdo at 9:16 PM on July 14, 2016


No RC Pro-Am. I has a sad.

One of my fondest memories in gaming was playing this against my brother and my cousin. We raced for hours. The most unsung hero of the NES lineup.

When the Dreamcast came out I discovered Re-Volt and was in again heaven. RC Pro-Am on steroids. Race through museums. Through toy stores. Over rooftops. God, that was the best game.

And then 30 seconds ago I was googling to make sure the name was hyphenated and OH MY GOD THIS IS AN ITUNES LINK TO RE-VOLT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT gahhhhhhhh someone hold me
posted by middleclasstool at 10:18 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


Duck hunt got much much more replay value when my cousin and I discovered that the second controller can control the duck. Suddenly, duck hunt became very competitive and very popular in our circle of friends.
posted by Hicksu at 10:26 PM on July 14, 2016 [2 favorites]


SHADOWGATE SHADOWGATE PLS PLS oh shit i just found out they remade it and it looks terrible.

Probably too evil for Nintendo these days anyways.
posted by wyndham at 11:59 PM on July 14, 2016


My one personal dream title for inclusion would be The Guardian Legend. I think I've come back to that game throughout the years more than any other. The music, graphics, innovative Zelda-meets-Zanac gameplay, the game's odd obsession with floating bloody eyeballs...
posted by naju at 12:08 AM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


If you have questions about this new NES then you should read this comprehensive FAQ that I wrote. Lots of answers here.
posted by Servo5678 at 12:27 AM on July 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


The Power Glove says hello.

Just keep your powergloves off her, pal.

SHADOWGATE SHADOWGATE PLS PLS oh shit i just found out they remade it and it looks terrible.

Supposedly the remake isn't so bad. It has a mode that pixellates the new screens and plays the original chiptones. I see it's out for iOS now, which is tempting.
posted by snuffleupagus at 4:59 AM on July 15, 2016


This type of system (with a second controller) is incredible to throw in the car for that trip to Grandma's or to the vacation house. The old games are generally accessible to multiple generations in a way the Call of Duty just isn't and watching Grandad Street Fighter Grandma is fascinating entertainment for players and watchers alike.
Yeah, I know it is an alternative to DIY, and I have had various systems running MAME for 15 years or so, but a dedicated TV game with 2 buttons that just works is awesome for the whole range of people for whom "casual" gaming is still too serious.
I was an Atari kid, and what little gaming I did in my later teens was more Civ than Mario, but I'll probably buy one of these for the simple fun of it.
posted by bystander at 5:35 AM on July 15, 2016 [3 favorites]




Anyone wondering about who the demographic is for this, I think bystander has it spot on. The fact that it is coming from Nintendo has piqued my interest and barring some truly negative reviews or catastrophic hardware failures, it'll find a home at Chez Ashwagandha. Which is great because my old NES is getting too glitchy to play...
posted by Ashwagandha at 12:31 PM on July 15, 2016


If they just packaged these 30 games on a WiiU disc I'd probably buy it for $60. This is a no-brainer for me (though I am deep within the Cult of Nintendo™)
posted by Navelgazer at 12:44 PM on July 15, 2016


I was seriously considering one of these, until Nintendo said there will be no memory card slot or anything to allow one to purchase more games. May as well use the HTPC or get an NVidia SHIELD TV or a Fire TV and load an emulator.

Eventually they will learn they have to actually improve on the experience allowed by zero cost software with pirated ROMs. I'm not going to feel bad about giving this a pass since they have still failed to learn that simple lesson and I already own the games I want to play anyway.
posted by wierdo at 11:26 PM on July 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Eventually they will learn they have to actually improve on the experience allowed by zero cost software with pirated ROMs.

Convenience and not engaging in ethically dubious actions are both pretty good experience improvements. This is a novelty item aimed not at speed runners but the nostalgic. It's a novelty item, not the successor to the Wii U.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:36 AM on July 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


NES Classic trailer released

Now you're playing with power!
posted by porn in the woods at 11:34 AM on July 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also thought it would be convenient, until they said it wouldn't be possible to purchase new game packs for it. Seems pretty shortsighted to me. It's not as if they are packing in all the games I'd like to play. I'm not saying they need to include more, I just think it's ridiculous not to include a damn card slot so that they have the option of selling more software in the future.

I'm not OK with wasting the money an resources involved in buying an entirely new device for a different set of games. I would buy one of these if it had said card slot, even without any guarantee of any future game packs.
posted by wierdo at 2:46 PM on July 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


That probably would've raised the cost to something like $99. They've priced this perfectly and the lowest they were able to without any major sacrifices. It's the price of a single AAA commercial game. I think that's a brilliant move and will be the factor that sells loads of these things.
posted by naju at 4:28 PM on July 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


(I guess Raspberry Pi would be the counterargument that it would only cost like $5 more. Touche, self.)
posted by naju at 4:30 PM on July 21, 2016


Yeah, you can buy Nintendo DS replacement card slots (just to keep on a proprietary format) off eBay for anything between $5 to $15 (SD Card slots are like $1). Nintendo could easily offload the costs of the slot by selling additional "Game Paks" with 20 games or so for $40 every 6 months. Far more likely they didn't add one (or a wifi-enabled Virtual Console shop) is that they're planning on releasing a second console with 30 different games in the future.

I expect at the day of released people will be opening it and checking the internals to see if they can plug in a SD card reader to boot a loader along regular roms from it, anyway.
posted by lmfsilva at 7:06 AM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


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