A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, nostalgia. Readers of this site are probably all too familiar with the feeling. Empires are built on the firm foundation of warm and happy remembrances. Take a look at the current slate of movies at any given time and there's a good chance at least one big blockbuster is a franchise from thirty years ago.
The holiday shopping season seems almost perforated, like peppermint flavored Swiss cheese, with clones of old gaming systems. For between fifty and a hundred dollars you can pick up a clone or an enclosed system with built in games of any number of retro consoles. Emulators, roms, mobile rebuilds of classic games, its' clear that there is a demand for the gaming experiences of old. Even in this world of high-concept high-graphics gaming, every once in a while you want to jump in feet first and be the savior of a 2D world.
Nintendo is never at the head of the console war, they can't compete with either of the two major gaming consoles in terms of computing power or graphics. They do however seem acutely aware of the market power they hold in terms of nostalgia. While they may have been left behind in some aspects of gaming, the simple fact that they started the race well ahead of their peers means they have an almost complete monopoly on the memories of a huge section of the gaming population.
Last week Nintendo released "Poke'mon Go" to huge success. Estimates around various parts of the interwebs indicate that Nintendo's value has increased anywhere from seven to eleven billion dollars almost overnight. While that may level off some in the coming months as people trickle in and out of the game, the company has seen huge profits for a game that's not only free, but is essentially a trimmed down version of a game they released before many of Go's players were even born.
Today, Nintendo announced the release of the NES Classic Edition, a closed-system clone of the 1983 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System. The system will come with thirty games built in, no cartridge needed, and unlike many other closed-system clones for other consoles, you won't get one game you want to play and twenty-nine you've never heard of. The pre-loaded titles include:
- Balloon Fight
- Bubble Bobble
- Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Double Dragon II: The Revenge
- Dr. Mario
- Final Fantasy
- Ghosts'N Goblins
- Ice Climber
- Kid Icarus
- Kirby's Adventure
- Mario Bros.
- Mega Man 2
- Ninja Gaiden
- Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
- 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
All of that for $59.99.
The system will release on November 11, of this year, just in time for your holiday shopping, and works via HDMI cable connected to your television. You might also have noticed from the photo that the controller ports look different, but familiar. The included controller will let you play the Classic directly in the same way you remember from when you were a kid, but also has the option to plug into a Wii or Wii U controller to allow play of any downloaded NES titles you may have.
My only wish is that the console also be able to play cartridges. How else am I supposed to go through my pre-game, puffed cheeks, dust relocation ritual. Playing Nintendo games just won't be the same without it.