Nintendo Entertainment System
The Nintendo Entertainment System, first released in Japan as the Family Computer, is a third-generation video game console created by Nintendo. It was first released in 1983 in Japan and in America in 1985. The system uses a Ricoh 2A03 processor which is a modified MOS 6502 with an integrated audio processing unit (APU), and a custom picture processing unit (PPU).
Back around 1988, my brother and I pooled our paper route money to buy the Action Set which came with the Zapper, two controllers, and a Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt dual cart. I still have the system, though it barely works now due to the poor design. It has become one of my favorite video game platforms ever made. We later got the NES Advantage, a friend of mine had the NES Max, and my cousins had the Power Pad. For awhile we had a Game Genie, and I also remember borrowing a Game Action Replay for a short time.
I own a very damaged, but still working, original model NES.
- See all NES Games.
These are the NES games that are important to me:
- Four Score
- Game Action Replay
- Game Genie
- NES Advantage
- NES Controller
- NES Max
- Power Pad
- Many great games were released on the platform.
- The controllers, though not the most comfortable to hold, were very tough and could survive a lot of abuse.
- The system's PPU (picture processing unit) was designed very well and provided some of the best graphic abilities of the day.
- The APU (audio processing unit) built into the CPU was was the best audio for a home console at the time. While it featured the typical 3 pulse wave/1 noise channel design, Nintendo wisely changed one of the pulse waves into a triangle wave giving it a more robust sound. They also added a DPCM channel for digital sound effects, voice, and even sample-based music.
- Allowing cartridges to include additional chips for additional functionality was a fantastic idea which greatly extended the life of the platform.
- Nintendo of America wisely created an official magazine to help direct buyers toward the best games.
- Despite Nintendo's strong control over the platform, far too many horrible games were made for the system, which led to the market becoming over-saturated with crappy games.
- The available color palette of the PPU is pretty awful.
- The system is not very ascetically pleasing to look at.
- In order to eliminate competition, Nintendo prevented those developers who initially released their games on the NES from releasing them on any other console.
- The spring-loaded toaster design was a serious engineering flaw that caused most systems to stop working properly after only a couple months, and Nintendo didn't accept responsibility and fix them.
- The lock-out chip was also a major contributor to games not working properly.
Top Secret Passwords - Nintendo Player's Guide.
NES Game Atlas - Nintendo Player's Guide.
Toys "R" Us ad with a Master System.
An early prototype called the Advanced Video System. Include tape-recorder for data read/write, a keyboard, and a BASIC interpreter. First quarter of 1985.
- youtube.com/watch?v=gVgWaIAiOBY - Boundary Break.
- youtube.com/watch?v=ZWQ0591PAxM - Fitting a game into 40 KB.
- youtube.com/watch?v=vD_xsYCCawE - 8-Bit Guy, NES clones.
- tasvideos.org/EmulatorResources/NESAccuracyTests.html - Accuracy tests of NES emulators.