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Thread: A Brief Essay on the Nintendo Entertainment System

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    Mew's Avatar
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    A Brief Essay on the Nintendo Entertainment System

    Cast your mind back to 1984. North America is experiencing a, to many companies, detrimental stock market crash. Not just one company, nor a chain of businesses, but an entire industry. Lots of low quality software developed on systems like the the once-powerful Atari 2600 have made the general public turn their nose to the thought of a video game. Systems like the Atari 5200 have failed miserably. This is how a Japanese company brought back the video game industry with some clever designing and a load of quality software.

    In 1983, Nintendo released the Famicom, short for Family Computer, in Japan. In the Land of the Rising Sun, there never was a video game crash. The Famicom was a great success in Japan, so Nintendo had the ambitious idea to bring the console stateside. How would they do this after the general public didn't want video games? The NES wasn't designed nor marketed as a games console. Instead, it was marketed as a toy, with the inclusion of a accessory ROB the Robot (short for Robotic Operating Buddy) and designed as a home appliance like a VCR. The Famicom loaded games on the top of the console, but the Nintendo Entertainment System loaded cartridges in the front, again like a VCR. With this, and being designed overall more like a sleek and mature appliance, helped the NES become extremely popular and pull North America out of the video game crash.

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    the Damned darkwise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mew View Post
    Cast your mind back to 1984. North America is experiencing a, to many companies, detrimental stock market crash. Not just one company, nor a chain of businesses, but an entire industry. Lots of low quality software developed on systems like the the once-powerful Atari 2600 have made the general public turn their nose to the thought of a video game. Systems like the Atari 5200 have failed miserably. This is how a Japanese company brought back the video game industry with some clever designing and a load of quality software.

    In 1983, Nintendo released the Famicom, short for Family Computer, in Japan. In the Land of the Rising Sun, there never was a video game crash. The Famicom was a great success in Japan, so Nintendo had the ambitious idea to bring the console stateside. How would they do this after the general public didn't want video games? The NES wasn't designed nor marketed as a games console. Instead, it was marketed as a toy, with the inclusion of a accessory ROB the Robot (short for Robotic Operating Buddy) and designed as a home appliance like a VCR. The Famicom loaded games on the top of the console, but the Nintendo Entertainment System loaded cartridges in the front, again like a VCR. With this, and being designed overall more like a sleek and mature appliance, helped the NES become extremely popular and pull North America out of the video game crash.
    And it allowed kids to slide one cartridge atop another to hold the game in when the bracket broke.

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    Tenured Member cyko's Avatar
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    I'm an Atari fan, but they coasted way too long on their previous success without moving ahead to the next big thing. The NES was outdated by the time we got it in the US and all the games weren't necessarily good, but they were different. I didn't know anyone that bought the NES based on the mature, VCR-like perception. The home videogame industry crashed, but we all still loved videogames. The NES gave us something new, and it was better than the last thing we had (the Atari 5200 & Intellivision barely count since they were poorly suppported). As many vertical shooters as Atari made, the NES was overpopulated with side-platformers. But Nintendo was committed to videogames and followed up their success with innovation (the SNES & peripherals). Their mindset changed after the Wii, and they sat on their mountains of money expecting us to buy the Wii-U, which was as outdated as Atari's 7800 being introduced in 1987. Seems history does repeat itself.

    So will Microsoft be the next "crash"? The Xbox One X looks a lot like a dressed-up, 3-year-old Xbox One. 4k Resolution won't save poorly-developed games, and the videogame experience hasn't changed much in the last 5-7 years.
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    Major Pussy Smoker england joe's Avatar
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    I'm an Acorn electron guy.

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    Tenured Member cyko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by england joe View Post
    I'm an Acorn electron guy.
    You had me on that one! Was that in competition to the Commodore 64? The earliest computer I had was a Timex Sinclair with a whopping 2k memory, and even for a BASIC machine, it was pretty weak.
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    Major Pussy Smoker england joe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyko View Post
    You had me on that one! Was that in competition to the Commodore 64? The earliest computer I had was a Timex Sinclair with a whopping 2k memory, and even for a BASIC machine, it was pretty weak.
    The Acorn had an extra cartridge area that you could plug in games ( similar to N64) which was an add on to the keyboard , that also boosted it to 32 bit, the Commodore 64 had double the power.
    It was never ever going to compete with any serious computer.
    I played the fantasy game Sphyx on it.
    A really dodgy game.
    Move North
    You come to a bridge.
    Cross bridge
    You can't a troll jumps out.
    Hit troll
    He kills you.



    And that was what the game was like.
    No wonder I never became a gamer!Hahaha

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    Quote Originally Posted by darkwise View Post
    And it allowed kids to slide one cartridge atop another to hold the game in when the bracket broke.
    Lol, true.



    ZX Spectrum for best microcomputer

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyko View Post
    I'm an Atari fan, but they coasted way too long on their previous success without moving ahead to the next big thing. The NES was outdated by the time we got it in the US and all the games weren't necessarily good, but they were different. I didn't know anyone that bought the NES based on the mature, VCR-like perception. The home videogame industry crashed, but we all still loved videogames. The NES gave us something new, and it was better than the last thing we had (the Atari 5200 & Intellivision barely count since they were poorly suppported). As many vertical shooters as Atari made, the NES was overpopulated with side-platformers. But Nintendo was committed to videogames and followed up their success with innovation (the SNES & peripherals). Their mindset changed after the Wii, and they sat on their mountains of money expecting us to buy the Wii-U, which was as outdated as Atari's 7800 being introduced in 1987. Seems history does repeat itself.

    So will Microsoft be the next "crash"? The Xbox One X looks a lot like a dressed-up, 3-year-old Xbox One. 4k Resolution won't save poorly-developed games, and the videogame experience hasn't changed much in the last 5-7 years.
    I do think that the NES and its design and marketing sold a few units, but I do agree with your points

    Another reason the 7800 was outdated was the sound. Same as the 2600. I think the sound works with the rudimentary graphics on the VCS, but they don't fit with the 7800. Also the 7800 is pretty much a beefed up 2600.

    The Wii U was a great system with horrible marketing. I do admit I defend the Wii U though as it's the first console I saved up and bought myself. I hope the Switch does well. There are predictions it will outsell the Wii U's 14 million by the end of this year.

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