Happy 25th Birthday, Nintendo Entertainment System!

It's not just Super Mario Bros turning 25 this year. Today, October 18, marks the 25th anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System going on sale in the US.

While a widespread release of the console didn't take place until 1986 (the same year it was released in Europe), it was in late 1985 at the FAO Schwarz in Manhattan, New York, (as part of an advance market test) that the first of millions of the machines would pass over the counter of an American retailer.

The first games available were, in hindsight, some of the strongest launch titles in console history, including classics like Excitebike, Ice Climber, Duck Hunt and Baseball. The first consoles, meanwhile, were built by nice ladies.

Interestingly, according to 1UP, Nintendo's advertising boss at the time, Gail Tilden, reckons that first console was sold not to an American consumer, but to a representative of a "Japanese competitor".

The venerable old machine lasted ten years on the US market, with Nintendo ceasing production of the NES in 1995. In that decade it gave birth to many of gaming's most cherished franchises and characters, from Super Mario Bros to The Legend of Zelda to Metroid.

Image by Great Beyond/Flickr



    I'd love to say i owned one, but it's one of the few consoles i have never actually owned. Instead i had a master system and later a super nintendo...

    Makes me feel like pulling out the ol' NES - if only I had a better than 1/50 chance of it working.

    I don't have the lung capacity to blow into the cartridge 49 times :/


    As a man who respects my elders, even those only 7 years my senior, I am grateful for it. Back when innovation was the only way forward because pac-man and pong re-hashes weren't as exciting as mario or metroid.

    I still have fond memories of this and the super-nintendo. They just don't make them like that anymore...

    Happy Birthday, my old friend :)


    I'm proud to say I still have the original box and even the plastic wrapping for my NES.

    I'm not wishing the NES a 25th Bday until 2012 as it came to Oz in 1987.
    I still remember my dad whinging about how old the games were when they were released in Australia.

    People nowadays whinge about the 6 month delay of PAL released games. How bout 12-18 months back in the 80s?

    "In that decade it gave birth to many of gaming’s most cherished franchises and characters, from Super Mario Bros to The Legend of Zelda to Metroid."

    In the following 15 years it proceeded to flog these creations like a deceased equine, and people bought them anyway.
    (Thankfully they created a small number of original ideas, like Professor Layton to tide the complainers over, if barely.)

    Didn't it "DIE" they day they stopped manufacturing them?

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