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20 Years of NES 333

Posted by Zonk
from the now-you're-playing-with-power dept.
Twenty years ago, the NES changed the face of U.S. gaming. All this week, 1up.com has a series of features celebrating the anniversary of the Nintendo Entertainment System. From the site: "When the NES launched, America hated videogames. Well, sort of. The Atari 2600 had upset folks by flooding the market with bad software and, at first, retailers were reluctant to sell another system. But the NES was a hit, controlling a healthy 90 percent of the U.S. home videogame industry at the peak of its popularity."
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20 Years of NES

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  • by conJunk (779958) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:28PM (#13884328)
    Is it just me, or was the target of the link devoid of anything except ads?

    I thought I'd found the path to the rest of the story when I got to this sentance:

    And take a minute this week to unpack your dusty NES from its storage closet and go for a run-and-jump trip down memory lane.

    there was link on "memory" (which has since disappeared) that went to dell.com's RAM catalog. Ugh.
  • by jandrese (485) * <kensama@vt.edu> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:34PM (#13884382) Homepage Journal
    Uh, the "Seal of Quality" was just a measure to stop pirates, it was by no means an actual indication of a game's quality. There was plenty of crap out there with the Nintendo Seal of Quality on it.
  • by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann.slashdot@NOspam.gmail.com> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:38PM (#13884412) Homepage Journal
    Monday [1up.com] - The comeback kid: Commemorating 20 years of playing with power
    Tuesday [1up.com] - NES turns 20: EGM celebrates two decades of NES Mania
    Wednesday [1up.com] - Solid Gold: You picked 'em, we praise 'em. 1UP's top 15 NES games.

    And for the bandwidth savvy:

    Monday [nyud.net] Tuesday [nyud.net] Wednesday [nyud.net]
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:40PM (#13884430) Homepage

    The Atari 2600 had upset folks by flooding the market with bad software

    What? I had an Atari 2600 and I don't remember being "upset at bad software" at all. Was everyone else upset and I just somehow missed it?
  • "Adult Gamers" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kevin_conaway (585204) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:41PM (#13884438) Homepage
    I think the influx of high quality sports games attracted a whole new class of people to gaming, the "Adult Gamers." These are the folks that have money to spend but only play games casually with their friends.

    Whichever system had the best NBA 2K or Madden game won the pack. The others followed suit.

  • Re:Boo. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FidelCatsro (861135) * <fidelcatsro@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:42PM (#13884444) Journal
    Main difference is that Nintendo did it 15 years ago and now don't do it .
    Microsoft still are doing it .
  • User base? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:45PM (#13884460) Homepage Journal

    Frankly, Nintendo did more to destroy proper homebrew gaming than a thousand Ataris helped to establish it. I look forward to their doom thanks to the GamePark open handheld gaming platform.

    Where can I buy GP2X at retail in Fort Wayne, Indiana (pop 200K)? How many hundred thousand GP2X units will be sold in North America? Is it worth it to port a game to GP2X given the system's expected small user base?

  • by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:48PM (#13884497) Homepage Journal
    PacMan was prior to the Video Game Crash. After the Video Game Crash, all the people who'd spent MegaBucks on Atari, Intellivison, and Coleco systems were left out in the cold with highly expensive hardware and no software to buy. A LOT of consumers became rather despondant over this, thus the line "Americans hated video games." It was so bad that Nintendo called the console an "Entertainment System" and marketed a Robot with it to keep people from thinking of it as Another Video Game Console(TM).

    Originally, Nintendo was also going to market a disk drive (which was available for the Fanicom in Japan) so that people could use it as a home PC. As it turned out, the market accepted the Nintendo well enough that they eventually ditched the whole "home computer" idea.
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:53PM (#13884537) Homepage Journal
    2600 games didn't have to be like the arcade because our expectations were not yet so damned high. I had great fun playing the 2600 versions of frogger, missile command, pac-man, river raid, jungle hunt, and others.
  • Re:Antitrust (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:55PM (#13884550) Homepage
    Dude, nice troll, but they did get nailed in anti-trust action.

    As always, the reason they got nailed was not because they were a monopoly, but because they abused that position to eliminate competition.
  • Re:Boo. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Agilus (471376) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:56PM (#13884556) Homepage
    Maybe if Microsoft reformed, these people would be happy to support them, too.

    There's nothing wrong with liking someone who was once a criminal, and has since reformed (I won't get into the merits of punishment). It's also silly to say that I should blame one person for another's crimes, i.e. the reformed person, because "he did it first!"
  • Hated? What hate? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SpiceWare (3438) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @04:59PM (#13884575)
    Nobody stopped gaming, they just changed where they gamed. The early to mid 80s was when home computers first became affordable. Everybody I knew turned off their Atari/Coleco/Intellivision game console and started gaming on their Atari/Commodore/TRS-80 computer system instead.
  • by grungebox (578982) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:02PM (#13884610) Homepage
    This gets brought up all the time, and it's an incredibly myopic statement to make. I mean, you have this horribly inaccurate view of NES as this rosy, wonderful system that didn't have any crap on there. Like with most things, time has filtered most of the shit out of memory. Here are some horrible games that are off the top of my head: Adventures of Lolo, Kid Niki: Radical Warrior, Bayou Billy, Commando, Trojan Warrior, Snake's Revenge, TMNT 1, Baseball Stars 2, Mach Rider, Athena, Bobsled, Any sports game that was "Pro [x]", x being a sport, X-Men. Are there more games that realistically depict blood today? Yes, of course. Welcome to technology and the lack of censorship. You know, plenty of game makers wanted blood in those old NES games, it's just that Nintendo censored them or the tech limited them. That was almost worse. Instead of seeing an enemy bleed and die gruesomely in Bayou Billy, he just hopped back, made a "bloop!" and vanished. Hey, guns make people invisible, kids! In the Nintendo era you had the violence without the bloodshed, the real crime without the real result. Of course, this also makes the assumption that a game which features blood is inherently bad. If, for example, you are playing a murder mystery game like Indigo Prophecy, would you not expect to see blood when your character has stabbed a guy? I'm guessing from your post that these aren't your type of game, which doesn't mean that games are worse now, just that you have a particular taste. Now, to counter the argument that there are no longer any quality, "fun" games since the NES era...Here are some off the top of my head, none of which feature a shred of blood or gore beyond what could be found in the NES era: Mario 64, Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Katamari Damacy, Smash Bros Melee, Super Monkey Ball, Final Fantasy V/VI/VIII/IX, Final Fantasy Tactics (not Advance, though), DDR, Donkey Konga, NFL2Kwhatever, Advance Wars, Marvel v. Capcom and its variants, Worms, Megaman 8, Ico, Beyond Good and Evil, Animal Crossing, Harvest Moon, the list goes on. And on. So, in conclusion, get off the nostalgia train, man! The next stop isn't "reality", it's "middle-aged curmudgeon-ville." You're one cane and rocking chair away from being Crazy Ol' Man Pete at the corner that the kids are told to avoid. The games aren't any less or more fun, it's just that we have a lot more options. In fact, go ahead and go through the list of all 576 NES games or whatever and write which ones are great and truly "fun" to you. I'll bet there have been way more in the current generation, let alone the SNES and PSX generations.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:04PM (#13884621)
    "It's foolish, revisionist history to say that Americans hated videogames. Does anyone remember Pac Man fever?"

    You named everything that had to do with Pac-Man other than the 2600 port, and it was that game that helped America to learn to hate video games.

    Pac-Man for the 2600 sucked long hard pixelated bars.
  • by Guppy06 (410832) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:15PM (#13884704)
    "why do I recall playing Tengen games on the NES that weren't liscensed by Nintendo."

    Lawyers. Tengen (among others) reverse-engineered the lock-out chip and then fought Nintendo in court until they were able to use their work-around.

  • US Copyrights (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cpu_fusion (705735) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @05:43PM (#13884923)
    Isn't it wonderful that 20 years later, those low res, obsolete games which many of would want to play as a trip down memory lane are STILL COPYRIGHTED, and will be for another 100 years or so?

    Intellectual property laws: they work so you don't have to.
  • Re:Boo. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jdog1016 (703094) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @06:26PM (#13885237)
    You know, regardless of whether or not thats true, maybe try finding an actual source to backup your claims, and perhaps even LINK to it. Wikipedia does not count.
  • Re:Boo. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Iron Clad Burrito (231521) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @06:30PM (#13885263)
    Nah, that's typical kneejerk /. "M$" bashing. Happens ANY time Microsoft is mentioned. Most of them didn't read the article... jsut the summary,a nd started in with "blue screen" "crash" "insecure" "open sores rules" "just use linux!"

    These people will eventually die off from inbreeding, and if/when MS ever gets their act together, all will be forgiven.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Vellmont (569020) on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @06:30PM (#13885264) Homepage

    The conventional wisdom (I am not sure if it is true) is that Atari made a huge mistake in letting almost any third-party release games for the 2600. There were hundreds of bad games.

    Yah, I know there were tons of bad games available, but blaming that for the crash is just nonsense. There's thousands of terrible games available for the PC. I recall terrible games being available for the C64. I don't recall either of these game platforms dying.

    All these platforms (including the 2600) suceeded because of the great games available for it. I remember playing a game at a friends house or in a store and knowing if it sucked or not. Word of good games travels fast. I don't know why the videogame industry crashed, but it didn't have anything to do with only sucky games being available. If I were to guess I think it was just out-competed by the games availble on personal computers at the time like the C64 or even the Apple II.
  • Re:Not the same (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 26, 2005 @06:33PM (#13885284) Homepage Journal
    Every console manufacturer wants exclusive developers. Many of them have had them. Some of them have gone so far as to purchase the best developers and put them to work developing titles for their console alone. This will probably never change.

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