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(Ars Technica)   The Nintendo Famicom turns 30 today, and Ars Technica takes a look back at the console that saved the video game industry   (arstechnica.com ) divider line
    More: Interesting, Ars Technica, Nintendo Famicom, Nintendo, video game industry, system console, Super Nintendo, Quaker Oats, color televisions  
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2861 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Jul 2013 at 12:42 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-15 12:59:17 PM  
30? Good god does that make me feel old.
 
2013-07-15 01:03:26 PM  
And a boatload of those old Famicom/NES/Super NES games could be put out today for the various present and future consoles and make truckloads of cash.

/also you can emulate them on the PC.
 
2013-07-15 01:04:32 PM  

Dingleberry Dickwad: 30? Good god does that make me feel old.


Heh...but damn were they worth it. :)

/first to beat Mike Tyson's Punchout
//went to 49 rounds on Duck Hunt
///my lawn, get off it
 
2013-07-15 01:14:19 PM  

Dingleberry Dickwad: 30? Good god does that make me feel old.


If it helps, it wasn't released nationwide across the US until 1986.

What amazes me the most about the Famicom is just how farking powerful it was in 1983. That thing was basically a $3000 arcade cabinet packed into a tiny plastic toy casing, and sold for $200.
 
2013-07-15 01:16:20 PM  
I feel like part of my childhood was missing, and now has been found.  I must find and play the FDS version of Zelda with the extra sound channels!
 
2013-07-15 01:18:20 PM  

DD44Dostivei: Dingleberry Dickwad: 30? Good god does that make me feel old.

If it helps, it wasn't released nationwide across the US until 1986.

What amazes me the most about the Famicom is just how farking powerful it was in 1983. That thing was basically a $3000 arcade cabinet packed into a tiny plastic toy casing, and sold for $200.


Probably sold for a loss initially but as the years went by Nintendo probably made 1000x more.  As I said, memo to the consoles, wanna take my money for either the PS4/Xbone?  Update some of those classics and get back to me....except for Battletoads.  Who didn't hate that farking game!
 
2013-07-15 01:19:35 PM  
console that saved the video game industry

Hang on a second, let me get my popcorn.
 
2013-07-15 01:22:25 PM  

Flappyhead: console that saved the video game industry

Hang on a second, let me get my popcorn.


Did you RTFA?  By the time the NES rolled out, the industry had tanked.  It probably could've come out earlier but it would've been a casualty of the VG industry tanking.
 
2013-07-15 01:27:34 PM  

Rwa2play: Flappyhead: console that saved the video game industry

Hang on a second, let me get my popcorn.

Did you RTFA?  By the time the NES rolled out, the industry had tanked.  It probably could've come out earlier but it would've been a casualty of the VG industry tanking.


Be patient young one.  The PC elitists will be along shortly to tell us all about how the article is wrong.
 
2013-07-15 01:29:25 PM  

Flappyhead: console that saved the video game industry

Hang on a second, let me get my popcorn.


Why, because you think that PC gamers have the same binary thought processes of today's console zealots that their chosen system has and always will be the superior vehicle for entertainment delivery and wouldn't agree that in the 80s and early to mid 90s consoles were where it was at for video gaming?  Or is it because you missed the part where the FDS essentially turned the Famicom into a fully capable computer in its time, thus blurring the line between what defined a console and PC even then?  Or is it just because you're an idiot?
 
2013-07-15 01:31:43 PM  
While searching for this pic, I just learned that Nintendo Power's last issue came out in December.  Damn, I didn't think they lasted past the SNES days.  I was a subscriber back in the late 80's, it's what we kids did before things like game FAQs were a thing.

/off my lawn.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-07-15 01:33:05 PM  
Happy Birfday NES!!

...You were my first.

I would of never become a gamer without it.  So it saved my interest in it.  Now I'm a Master Race PC guy with a 360/PS3/Wii-U/Vita/3DS

...yeah, I'm a whore.  I'm okay with it.  No exclusive goes unnoticed.
 
2013-07-15 01:33:15 PM  
That article makes me think of all the hours I wasted playing Bionic Commando, Contra II, Bases Loaded, Legend of Zelda, and others..  Gawd, I miss my NES. :)  I have downloaded a couple of games from the Wii network, and I"ve got NESticle, with a couple of roms..   But damn, I feel old..
 
2013-07-15 01:37:33 PM  
PC elitist here.  The article is not wrong.  PC's just sucked for gaming until the early to mid 90's when they started putting craploads of memory in systems and invented video card processors.  I loved the NES for its time and appreciate its contribution to gaming history.  That and my C-64 got me through the video game crash...
 
2013-07-15 01:40:44 PM  

StrangeQ: Flappyhead: console that saved the video game industry

Hang on a second, let me get my popcorn.

Why, because you think that PC gamers have the same binary thought processes of today's console zealots that their chosen system has and always will be the superior vehicle for entertainment delivery and wouldn't agree that in the 80s and early to mid 90s consoles were where it was at for video gaming?  Or is it because you missed the part where the FDS essentially turned the Famicom into a fully capable computer in its time, thus blurring the line between what defined a console and PC even then?  Or is it just because you're an idiot?



No it's because sooner or later somebody jumps in and tries to start that annoying debate in these threads.  I find if you call them out early enough it tends to scare them off.
 
2013-07-15 01:49:36 PM  

Captain Meatsack: PC elitist here.  The article is not wrong.  PC's just sucked for gaming until the early to mid 90's when they started putting craploads of memory in systems and invented video card processors.  I loved the NES for its time and appreciate its contribution to gaming history.  That and my C-64 got me through the video game crash...


I remember trying to play games on our family's 286 in the mid-80s. It could be a real cast iron pain in the rear sometimes because a game that would work fine on an IBM XT might NOT work on a Packard Bell 286. Compatibility was hit and miss until the late 80s.

Compare that to the NES/Famicom, which had better graphics and sound than the vast majority of PCs without any of the "will this run on our particular flavor of PC?" True, PCs have surpassed consoles in the intervening years. That doesn't change history though.
 
2013-07-15 02:01:55 PM  

Mister Buttons: While searching for this pic, I just learned that Nintendo Power's last issue came out in December.  Damn, I didn't think they lasted past the SNES days.  I was a subscriber back in the late 80's, it's what we kids did before things like game FAQs were a thing.

/off my lawn.


I have the Nintendo Fun Club newsletter #2, where the big news was the announcement of a new game- the Legend of Zelda. You're damn right it's framed.

As for TFA, it still bggles my mind how people figured out all the tricks and workarounds to get that hardware to perform as well as it did.
 
2013-07-15 02:06:18 PM  

Rwa2play: And a boatload of those old Famicom/NES/Super NES games could be put out today for the various present and future consoles and make truckloads of cash.

/also you can emulate them on the PC.


I know on my kids WII you can buy and download some classic NES games on the WII store app thing. I don't know about PS3 or Xbox 360. Hell the third party game developers from that era that are still around could make some decent coin if they ported those games to PC and sold them singly or in packs of 3-5 games on Steam for $5-10 a crack. I know there were some old school Sega titles on Steam a while back. For the moment I use emulators for NES/SNES and Genesis stuff, but I wouldn't mind buying legal copies to play on the computer when I'm bored.
 
2013-07-15 02:10:44 PM  
img690.imageshack.us
Welcome Green Flapper.
 
2013-07-15 02:16:39 PM  
SEGA Master System FOREVER!!!

/And the TG-16 was a far better console than both NES and SMS.
 
2013-07-15 02:17:56 PM  

Dingleberry Dickwad: Rwa2play: And a boatload of those old Famicom/NES/Super NES games could be put out today for the various present and future consoles and make truckloads of cash.

/also you can emulate them on the PC.

I know on my kids WII you can buy and download some classic NES games on the WII store app thing.


Or you can softmod the Wii, download emulators from the Homebrew Channel, and have at it with your own ROMs from your own, previously-purchased games.

Either way. Whatever works for you.
 
2013-07-15 02:21:37 PM  

Gonz: Mister Buttons: While searching for this pic, I just learned that Nintendo Power's last issue came out in December.  Damn, I didn't think they lasted past the SNES days.  I was a subscriber back in the late 80's, it's what we kids did before things like game FAQs were a thing.

/off my lawn.

I have the Nintendo Fun Club newsletter #2, where the big news was the announcement of a new game- the Legend of Zelda. You're damn right it's framed.

As for TFA, it still bggles my mind how people figured out all the tricks and workarounds to get that hardware to perform as well as it did.


Developers still do that.  It makes emulation a nightmare at times because some developers go way off the track from normal development and really push the hardware.  Still, there was an amazing evolution form the first NES games to later ones.  SMB3 looks like it was on an entirely different system from SMB 1 for example.
 
2013-07-15 02:22:33 PM  

ZeroCorpse: SEGA Master System FOREVER!!!

/And the TG-16 was a far better console than both NES and SMS.


And a whole farkton more expensive too. I remember on various occasions saving up my allowance and pooling it with my brother's so we could rent a TG-16 (yeah, remember when you could rent consoles at video rental places?) and a few games for a weekend.
 
2013-07-15 02:26:48 PM  
I hate that damn dog.
 
2013-07-15 02:32:48 PM  

Antimatter: Gonz: Mister Buttons: While searching for this pic, I just learned that Nintendo Power's last issue came out in December.  Damn, I didn't think they lasted past the SNES days.  I was a subscriber back in the late 80's, it's what we kids did before things like game FAQs were a thing.

/off my lawn.

I have the Nintendo Fun Club newsletter #2, where the big news was the announcement of a new game- the Legend of Zelda. You're damn right it's framed.

As for TFA, it still bggles my mind how people figured out all the tricks and workarounds to get that hardware to perform as well as it did.

Developers still do that.  It makes emulation a nightmare at times because some developers go way off the track from normal development and really push the hardware.  Still, there was an amazing evolution form the first NES games to later ones.  SMB3 looks like it was on an entirely different system from SMB 1 for example.


This is why I think people underestimated the Wii, and continue to underestimate the Wii U.

I mean, have you seen Super Mario Galaxy 2 on the Wii? It's a gorgeous, fun game! It doesn't look like a game running at 480p. They use the resources they have to make a rich, beautiful game without needing all the horsepower of the competitor's consoles.

The problem is that it's only Nintendo first-party games that do this trick. The third parties are apparently lazy farks and just want to directly port games, or under-develop games for Nintendo's recent consoles. EA was so disinterested in putting forth any effort on Wii U games that they just quit.

And yet Nintendo cranks out these great games that take full advantage of the hardware and really shine because of it. It says something for the software side of things.
 
2013-07-15 02:46:01 PM  

Mister Buttons: While searching for this pic, I just learned that Nintendo Power's last issue came out in December.  Damn, I didn't think they lasted past the SNES days.  I was a subscriber back in the late 80's, it's what we kids did before things like game FAQs were a thing.

/off my lawn.


I had some issues of the fun club newsletter
 
2013-07-15 02:48:08 PM  
The 10NES chip would prevent the system from booting if its security check failed. It was important in the early days, but NESes with dirty or worn connectors are prone to failing its check-this led to the dreaded grey blinking screen that I've probably spent hours of my life looking at. The redesigned top-loading NES shipped without a 10NES chip, and some people who repair older NES consoles recommend snapping off the fourth pin of the chip to disable the check entirely, as shown here.

Whoa. That blew my mind! Its never been about dirt on the console/connectors, its been about that chip! I'll be trying this out this weekend!
 
2013-07-15 03:00:27 PM  

JamesBenjamin: The 10NES chip would prevent the system from booting if its security check failed. It was important in the early days, but NESes with dirty or worn connectors are prone to failing its check-this led to the dreaded grey blinking screen that I've probably spent hours of my life looking at. The redesigned top-loading NES shipped without a 10NES chip, and some people who repair older NES consoles recommend snapping off the fourth pin of the chip to disable the check entirely, as shown here.

Whoa. That blew my mind! Its never been about dirt on the console/connectors, its been about that chip! I'll be trying this out this weekend!


No kidding.
 
2013-07-15 03:06:47 PM  

Flappyhead: Rwa2play: Flappyhead: console that saved the video game industry

Hang on a second, let me get my popcorn.

Did you RTFA?  By the time the NES rolled out, the industry had tanked.  It probably could've come out earlier but it would've been a casualty of the VG industry tanking.

Be patient young one.  The PC elitists will be along shortly to tell us all about how the article is wrong.


Ya mean like this one?

Captain Meatsack: PC elitist here.  The article is not wrong.  PC's just sucked for gaming until the early to mid 90's when they started putting craploads of memory in systems and invented video card processors.  I loved the NES for its time and appreciate its contribution to gaming history.  That and my C-64 got me through the video game crash...


Pretty much that; when PCs started expanding the video card, hd and memory capabilities is when PC's as a gaming platform gained steam.
 
2013-07-15 03:08:53 PM  
What I get a kick out of is kids today whining about the cost of new games. (All you Canadian farkers will fondly remember the Consumers Distributing catalog)

i0.wp.com
Yes kids, Super Mario Brothers 3 was $65 in 1991 dollars, which is actually a price drop from when it came out. I paid 89.99 for it, which was like 4 months allowance.
 
2013-07-15 03:21:04 PM  

Nexzus: What I get a kick out of is kids today whining about the cost of new games. (All you Canadian farkers will fondly remember the Consumers Distributing catalog)

[i0.wp.com image 850x550]
Yes kids, Super Mario Brothers 3 was $65 in 1991 dollars, which is actually a price drop from when it came out. I paid 89.99 for it, which was like 4 months allowance.


Fark, that takes me back when Consumers was still around in the US.
 
2013-07-15 03:38:17 PM  

JamesBenjamin: The 10NES chip would prevent the system from booting if its security check failed. It was important in the early days, but NESes with dirty or worn connectors are prone to failing its check-this led to the dreaded grey blinking screen that I've probably spent hours of my life looking at. The redesigned top-loading NES shipped without a 10NES chip, and some people who repair older NES consoles recommend snapping off the fourth pin of the chip to disable the check entirely, as shown here.

Whoa. That blew my mind! Its never been about dirt on the console/connectors, its been about that chip! I'll be trying this out this weekend!


It's a little bit of both. The protection chip is very sensitive to noise and its failure is likely the first sign of poor contact between cartridge and the NES unit. If you clip pin 4, and the unit still fails, it's the NES' connector or the contacts in the cartridge. (The cartridge's edge connector can be easily cleaned with a little rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab - and optionally, a very fine abrasive such as a pencil eraser. The NES 72-pin cartridge socket can also be cleaned, but it's a little trickier, and you may not have to bother with it after you've cleaned any marginal cartridges.)
 
2013-07-15 03:42:16 PM  

Captain Meatsack: PC elitist here.  The article is not wrong.  PC's just sucked for gaming until the early to mid 90's when they started putting craploads of memory in systems and invented video card processors.  I loved the NES for its time and appreciate its contribution to gaming history.  That and my C-64 got me through the video game crash...


As far as 2D games, hardware accelerated video card use in games didn't come about until the mid to late 90s when DirectDraw came on the scene in Windows 95. There were low cost chips by S3, Western Digital, and Cirrus Logic that were marketed as Windows GUI accelerators because the display model allowed a middle-man driver to offload certain ops onto the chip instead of being done the CPU. But for games the dumb frame buffers that could be written to the fastest, like Tseng Labs' ET4000, were the best. In fact, S3's first 911 chip, while for a time was the fastest in Windows GUI drawing ops, was an incredibly poor choice for games under DOS. Dedicating transistors for allowing the CPU to write quickly to the frame buffer in low resolution VGA was not the priority of the engineers who designed it.

Even though the block transfer unit on these chips was much faster than the blitter in the Amiga(and especially the Atari ST), there was no standard way to make use of them in games. Even VESA compatibility in DOS between different cards, just to allow higher resolution and color depth, was a problem due to buggy firmware. There were some good examples of side scroller games making use of standard VGA using an undocumented mode referred at as 'Mode X' when Abrash wrote about it in one of his articles. But the dumb frame buffer cards were still the cards of choice for these games.
 
2013-07-15 03:46:27 PM  

red5ish: [img690.imageshack.us image 400x550]
Welcome Green Flapper.


+1. Never liked when those damn spiders attacked my food crops.

You can play that and many others at VirtualNES. Consider your productivity killed for a while.
 
2013-07-15 03:48:34 PM  

Captain Meatsack: PC elitist here.  The article is not wrong.  PC's just sucked for gaming until the early to mid 90's when they started putting craploads of memory in systems and invented video card processors.  I loved the NES for its time and appreciate its contribution to gaming history.  That and my C-64 got me through the video game crash...


on my Apple 2, I played stuff like the bard's tale, Ultima 4, wasteland, autoduel, lode runner, space quest, Oregon trail, etc.

NES was great, but PC gaming was still better.
 
2013-07-15 03:51:15 PM  
Rwa2play:
Pretty much that; when PCs started expanding the video card, hd and memory capabilities is when PC's as a gaming platform gained steam.

Not exactly

Consoles had video hardware optimized at moving sprites around the screen.  PCs did not.  This meant that consoles kicked ass at what most games used, ie sprites.  Which was fine, except when the game wasn't sprite based.  Then consoles sucked.  Early FPSes like Wolf3D and Doom didn't use any video acceleration, they just used the raw CPU power of PCs to throw pixels into the framebuffer.  No console did FPSes justice until the N64, which was well after PCs rocking them.
 
2013-07-15 03:55:20 PM  
My first system was an Atari 5200.  We got it in '82 or '83, and I'm shocked to learn that's when the Famicom came out.  Didn't get a NES until August of '87.  Good times.
 
2013-07-15 03:56:57 PM  

Nexzus: Yes kids, Super Mario Brothers 3 was $65 in 1991 dollars, which is actually a price drop from when it came out. I paid 89.99 for it, which was like 4 months allowance.


I remember my sister bringing Final Fantasy home for something like $50, and I was simply shocked that a video game could be so expensive. Of course my allowance was only a buck a week (it topped out at $2.50/week in the mid 90s), so my perception of money was a bit skewed.
 
2013-07-15 03:59:22 PM  

washu: Rwa2play:
Pretty much that; when PCs started expanding the video card, hd and memory capabilities is when PC's as a gaming platform gained steam.

Not exactly

Consoles had video hardware optimized at moving sprites around the screen.  PCs did not.  This meant that consoles kicked ass at what most games used, ie sprites.  Which was fine, except when the game wasn't sprite based.  Then consoles sucked.  Early FPSes like Wolf3D and Doom didn't use any video acceleration, they just used the raw CPU power of PCs to throw pixels into the framebuffer.  No console did FPSes justice until the N64, which was well after PCs rocking them.


Hmmm...interesting.  I always thought that once PC hardware makers started competing in terms of evolving the GPU and the CPU that's when PC games development got very creative.
 
2013-07-15 04:01:32 PM  

StrangeQ: I feel like part of my childhood was missing, and now has been found.  I must find and play the FDS version of Zelda with the extra sound channels!


I tracked a copy down with the disk system on Ebay.  Got an awesome deal although normally it's not cheap.  Zelda FDS is probably around $50ish and the FDS itself is another $50-70.

The extra sound channels sound nice though on Zelda 1 and 2.  Zelda 2 FDS is a world of a difference than the NES one.
 
2013-07-15 04:07:50 PM  

Nexzus: What I get a kick out of is kids today whining about the cost of new games. (All you Canadian farkers will fondly remember the Consumers Distributing catalog)

[i0.wp.com image 850x550]
Yes kids, Super Mario Brothers 3 was $65 in 1991 dollars, which is actually a price drop from when it came out. I paid 89.99 for it, which was like 4 months allowance.


Screw 1991, I remember paying in the $60-$70 range for new titles for my Intellivision in 1980, and that was on top of the $400 price tag for the console itself.
 
2013-07-15 04:32:32 PM  

Captain Meatsack: PC elitist here.  The article is not wrong.  PC's just sucked for gaming  until the early to mid 90's when they started putting craploads of memory in systems and invented video card processors.  I loved the NES for its time and appreciate its contribution to gaming history.  That and my C-64 got me through the video game crash...


Does not compute.

/People who still think Nintendo "saved" gaming are probably the same ones who think the Wii "revolutionalized" the industry.
 
2013-07-15 04:44:56 PM  

I Like Bread: Captain Meatsack: PC elitist here.  The article is not wrong.  PC's just sucked for gaming  until the early to mid 90's when they started putting craploads of memory in systems and invented video card processors.  I loved the NES for its time and appreciate its contribution to gaming history.  That and my C-64 got me through the video game crash...

Does not compute.

/People who still think Nintendo "saved" gaming are probably the same ones who think the Wii "revolutionalized" the industry.


Eh, 4/10, you may get a few bites.

And if you're serious, the whole thing about "saving gaming" is that it kept home video games popular during a time when home video game systems were in a shiathole. You folks can go blah blah my Apple IIE and whatever else all you want, but PC gaming back then didn't have near the market that the NES did. Partly because of cost, partly because of the knowledge level needed to coax a PC from the 80s into working with whatever game you were trying to play.  Nintendo kept it popular, simple and moderately affordable compared to PC at the time. It bridged the gap and kept the industry alive.
 
2013-07-15 04:47:12 PM  

Mister Buttons: While searching for this pic, I just learned that Nintendo Power's last issue came out in December.  Damn, I didn't think they lasted past the SNES days.  I was a subscriber back in the late 80's, it's what we kids did before things like game FAQs were a thing.

/off my lawn.

[i.imgur.com image 850x1146]


My boyfriend and I purchased 2 copies of the final issue - one to open and read and enjoy; and one to frame. We're hoping to find a copy of the original issue to also frame. I know that my dad subscribed to Nintendo Power for a while but I don't know when he started ... or if he saved any of the old issues. I'm hoping to go through the boxes of his belongings and finding Issue 1.
 
2013-07-15 04:49:04 PM  
Nexzus: What I get a kick out of is kids today whining about the cost of new games. (All you Canadian farkers will fondly remember the Consumers Distributing catalog)

I bought a lot of games used or on sale.

// and somehow, the industry did well

// the console was way cheaper, so the barrier to entry was lower.
 
2013-07-15 04:51:22 PM  

Nexzus: What I get a kick out of is kids today whining about the cost of new games. (All you Canadian farkers will fondly remember the Consumers Distributing catalog)

[i0.wp.com image 850x550]
Yes kids, Super Mario Brothers 3 was $65 in 1991 dollars, which is actually a price drop from when it came out. I paid 89.99 for it, which was like 4 months allowance.


Damn, you Canucks got hosed. Over here in the States, SMB 3 was about $45-50 when it came out.

Noticed StarTropics on there. Damn that game was an overlooked classic. The sequel, Zoda's Revebge came out on the NES near the end of it's life cycle. If Nintendo made a 3rd game to wrap up the series on the 3DS or WiiU, I'd buy it and a 3DS/WiiU RIGHT NOW.

(Too bad Mike Jones never got on the Super Smash Brothers series, but they already had a psychic with a yo-yo with Ness from EarthBound)
 
2013-07-15 04:54:27 PM  

legion_of_doo: Captain Meatsack: PC elitist here.  The article is not wrong.  PC's just sucked for gaming until the early to mid 90's when they started putting craploads of memory in systems and invented video card processors.  I loved the NES for its time and appreciate its contribution to gaming history.  That and my C-64 got me through the video game crash...

on my Apple 2, I played stuff like the bard's tale, Ultima 4, wasteland, autoduel, lode runner, space quest, Oregon trail, etc.

NES was great, but PC gaming was still better.


Apple II better than the NES? Jesus Christ that's a lifetime of mainlining the Kool-aid
 
2013-07-15 04:58:41 PM  

I Like Bread: Captain Meatsack: PC elitist here.  The article is not wrong.  PC's just sucked for gaming  until the early to mid 90's when they started putting craploads of memory in systems and invented video card processors.  I loved the NES for its time and appreciate its contribution to gaming history.  That and my C-64 got me through the video game crash...

Does not compute.

/People who still think Nintendo "saved" gaming are probably the same ones who think the Wii "revolutionalized" the industry.


What's not to understand?  The video game crash happened in the mid 80's.  I had a C-64 at the time.  (Which had better versions [both graphics and sound] of most of the PC titles of the day.)  When NES came out, I bought that.  I played on both of those (and later the SNES) to tide me over until PC's finally grew up enough to start fielding awesome games like X-Wing. (1993)
 
2013-07-15 05:00:56 PM  

StrangeQ: I feel like part of my childhood was missing, and now has been found.  I must find and play the FDS version of Zelda with the extra sound channels!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLd0WXxijZ8">http://www.youtube.com/w atch?v=uLd0WXxijZ8
 
2013-07-15 05:03:47 PM  
The NES did not "save the video game industry".  They sell video games in places other than the United States, and those places were doing fine, Atari crash be damned.  Good lord.  If the NES doesn't come around, the United States video game market probably looks like a smaller version of the European market, with a popular Sega device (Master System) and a heavier focus on computer video games.  What a stupid headline.
 
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