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The Family Computer, in Japanese (ファミリーコンピュータ Famiri Konpyuta), but better known as the Famicom, is a third generation video game console developed by Nintendo and sold in Japan from 1983-07-15 to 2003-09-25 and serviced them until 2007-10-31. The Famicom was re-engineered for markets outside of the Asian market as the Nintendo Entertainment System and, specifically to South Korea, as the Hyundai Comboy (현대 컴보이 Hyeondae Keomboi).

The Famicom uses a Ricoh 220A processor, which is a MOS Technology 6052 modified to eliminate decimal mode and include a custom audio processing unit. It also uses a custom video processing chip called the Picture Processing Unit.


I do not own and have never played a real-life Famicom, but I have played a lot of games through emulators.

Differences Between the Famicom and NES

The differences between the two consoles are notable enough that I have separate pages for each.

  • The Famicom console was considerably smaller than the NES.
  • The Famicom controllers are smaller than the those for the NES.
  • The console's two controllers were wired into the main unit for the Famicom, while they are removable on the NES.
  • The second-player controller lacks a start and select button and instead features a speaker and microphone.
  • Famicom game cartridges used a top-loader design while the NES used a spring-loaded design.
  • Famicom cartridges were smaller and had fewer connection pins.
  • Famicom game boxes were originally designed wider than taller, the opposite of NES boxes.
  • The Famicom did not feature the special lock-out chip of the NES.


See all Famicom Games.

These are the Famicom games that are both important to me and distinct enough from the American release to mention:



I don't really know enough about the console to warrant a review at this time.