If you are a millennial born in the 1980s and early 1990s, chances are, you have played your favourite games on a little something called the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).
For many like myself, it was our very first taste of a console gaming, and the NES is probably something that has influenced an entire generation.
The console was first released in 1985, and is home to cult hits such as The Legend of Zelda, Dungeons and Dragons, and Super Mario – all of which have since been immortalised in gaming history.
Of course, good times don’t last.
As technology advances, so did the appearance of rivals Sega and Sony, as the NES neared the end of its life cycle.
Fast forward to 2016, and Nintendo has decided to play the nostalgia card again (their second this year, after Pokemon GO) and as expected, it was a major success.
The Nintendo NES Classic Edition
First announced in July this year, the NES Classic is Nintendo’s reply to those yearning for a blast from the past without relying on third party emulators on their phones and computers to relive their childhood.
The Classic is basically a miniaturised version of the original NES adapted with some modern creature comforts, and at US$59.90, is at a price point any household can afford.
On the outside, interestingly enough, Nintendo decided to reuse the original controllers’ design.
I would have thought that they would have at least updated the input to a USB port considering that this ‘new’ console is powered through a single micro USB port at the back.
Speaking of the back side, it is also where you will find a HDMI port, enabling you to enjoy the classics in wonderful high definition (HD).
Games-wise, we’re sorry to disappoint your muscle memory of blowing at cartridges to get games to run. This is because the controllers are the only legacy kept from the original NES.
Nintendo has done away with cartridges, and the door where one expects to lift up to insert games into is now merely for aesthetics and doesn’t move an inch.
Where are the games stored then?
Well, in the console itself.
Youtuber JerryRigEverything did a teardown video of the new NES Classic to find out what exactly is happening under the casing.
The innards were admittedly simple, with a circuitboard being home to most of the electronic components – including where the 30 classic game titles that you will be able to play are stored.
Check out Nintendo’s official product page for the full list of 30 games.
Last Friday, when the console finally went on sale both online and off in the US, there was literally a mad rush for it.
Though there were no exact figures released by Nintendo, considering that they list large retail chains like Gamestop, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy, as well as online marketplace Amazon as possible destinations for potential buyers, you can be sure that the entire stock for the US probably depleted overnight.
This of course prompted an official statement by Nintendo:
“The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition system is a hot item, and we are working hard to keep up with consumer demand. There will be a steady flow of additional systems through the holiday shopping season and into the new year. Please contact your local retailers to check product availability. A selection of participating retailers can be found at www.Nintendo.com/nes-classic.”
Looks like there’s more coming, but I won’t be holding my breath to get one so soon.
For most, the reality of getting the console after Christmas is one that they have to accept.
Tugging At Our Heartstrings
A quick check on social media reveals a whole lot of photos of excited fans posting their new loot.
Most are just happy to show off their new (old) console.
And the special setups they prepared:
Singapore’s On It Too
The US isn’t the only country enveloped in the mad scramble of people looking for the NES Classic Edition.
At about the same time that the sales went live in the US, it seems like Lazada also joined in the party and quietly sold some sets at an introductory price of S$99 (S$109.90 now).
However, many may have missed this little release as the nation was caught up with all the other deals that were being pushed out due to the 11.11 singles’ day sales.
Well, for the few who managed to see it and snagged a set, congratulations for being one of the first in the world to own an NES Classic Edition!
The rest of us, though, will have to play the dreaded waiting game, and hold on to the day that it’s restocked. One thing you shouldn’t do, though, is buy from resellers, who are selling them at ridiculous markups.
I guess the past weekend has been one where novelty tech was released and sold out.
I mean, just look at the Spectacles by the team over at Snapchat, which are going for US$2,500 on eBay!