Had lots of fun playing Double Dribble, Contra, Super Mario, 1942 etc during my free time (which I had lots of because I was just a kid) with it. My friends would come over at our house to play games and swapping cartridges was common that time because they were too expensive to buy.
As kids, we did not care about who made this great video game console or other tidbits of information. All we were concerned about was getting our hands on and playing different kinds of games the Family Computer had to offer. Heck, up until now, I have no idea what is that port in front of the console and what it is for.
It was quite a fine gaming console indeed. However, when a friend invited me to play over at their house with his new gaming console, excitement ran through my body. I had to check this one out. His new console had this game called Duck Hunt and it had this cool gun. It was quite boxy and bigger compared to my old Family Computer and its cartridges are bigger as well.
Checking it out, I noticed that it says “Nintendo Entertainment System” on its chassis. Had lots of fun playing games with that console. I thought, this console might be the next model after the Family Computer. Now, years after playing games on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Playstation, Playstation 2, I finally found out that the Family Computer and the Nintendo Entertainment System are almost the same. Aside from that discovery, here are a couple of facts about the Nintendo Entertainment System that I did not know until today.
When Nintendo intended to sell it in North America, they picked the moniker “Nintendo Entertainment System” so it would not make it look like a child’s toy. Looking at its name, yeah, it did sound a little more “serious”. Speaking of adults, there were also game titles that appealed to mature audiences although Nintendo acted to stop it from gaining mainstream popularity.
In Japan where it first came to light, it was known as the Family Computer. Here in the Philippines and other Asian countries where it became a hit, it was also known as such. In the U.S. and other European countries as well as Australia it was called the Nintendo Entertainment System. Fascinating, it also became a hit in South Korea and it had another name there, the Hyundai Comboy.
Interesting to know that the Family Computer I had when I was a kid and my friend’s console are almost the same thing. And there I was thinking that his console was better than what I had. Never did I know that they were just the same thing. They were both 8-bit systems, were made by Nintendo and all fun.
Another thing is that the cartridges for the NES has 72 pins in them while the Famicom has 60 pins. I never bothered to count them back in the day ( I was a kid then, what do I care about pins anyway ).
Those were the things that fascinated me about the NES.
While we are talking about the NES and the Famicom, let me just add these observations as well. The NES had a bigger chassis, game controllers that could be pulled out and bigger game cartridges. The Famicom had the opposite. Controllers were hard wired, it has a smaller chassis and smaller cartridges. The hardwired controllers are a real pain when it gets really used. You had to push the buttons really hard for it to work, resulting in calloused fingers. One more thing, when removing carts, in the NES you push it down, then when the cradle pops up, you pull the cart out. On the Famicom, you simply push the lever and it pops the cart out. That is it.
Whether either one these gaming consoles has addons installed in them. Be it the Famicom Disk System or the NES Zapper, it does not change the fact that it brought long hours of fun. Looking back, these gaming consoles are so much different from what are available today and the most notable of this are the graphics quality of games for the NES or the Famicom. They were really blocky and do not have that much color. Add to this the sounds (think midi).
In today’s world of high polygon count and high quality sound, the Nintendo Entertainment System is no match to the newer consoles made by Microsoft or Sony or even Nintendo itself. But back in the day, these were the gaming consoles and had so much influence on the gaming consoles that would follow and gaming in general. Sure there are ways right now that allow you to play either NES, SNES, even SEGA Genesis games – all using a single console, but I sure would like to have a separate Nintendo Entertainment System AND a Family Computer again… For old time’s sake.
And that is a fact.