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Released in the United States on October 18th, 1985, the Nintendo Entertainment System revitalized the flagging video game market. Years of low quality software shoveled into a saturated market had left many retailes with stockrooms, if not warehouses full of inventory that they couldn't move without taking substantial losses. Nintendo's deal with select retailers included the offer to buy back any unsold consoles helped ease the apprehension of a once-bitten market, further speeding Nintendo's stranglehold of the arena. Of course, with dozens of quality games being released right out of the gate, Nintendo didn't have to work too hard to seize control.

TECH
Nintendo Entertainment System
Manufacturer: Nintendo
Model: NES-001
Type: TV game console


Processor: Ricoh 2A03 @ 1.79 MHz
Memory: 2 kB work RAM + 2 kB VRAM
Dimensions: 25.4 x 20.32 x 8.89 cm


Third party publishers, straining under the virtual chokehold that was Nintendo's exclusivity contracts, stymied Sega's attempts to carve out their own piece of the pie. Of course Tonka's lukewarm marketing and distribution of the Sega Master System didn't help to unseat Nintendo, or at least make it take its feet off of the rest of the bench.

SPEC
Display: 256x240 (256x224 viewable area)
54 color palette
25 colors from a palette of the 54 may be displayed per scanline
Sprites: 3 colors per sprite, from four palettes
Maximum of 64 sprites per screen without screen draw interruption
Maximum of 8 sprites per scanline

Audio: 5 channel monophonic sound
Channels may be pulse 1, pulse 2, triangle, DPCM samples, or noise


Despite Nintendo standing on the necks of publishers, dozens upon dozens of amazing games have been produced, with some Japanese games even using specialized chips to add extra memory, and even extra audio channels. Too bad almost none of those enhancements have come over to the NES side of the Pacific. Still, it's not impossible to just import a Famicom, or better, an AV Famicom, to play some of the more amazing games, provided your Japanese reading skills are up to the task.

Running for over a decade (counting the Nintendo Family Computer), the NES was only discontinued right before the release of Windows 95, almost a year after the release of the Sony PlayStation in Japan. With ROMhacks existing, I don't believe it would be too far of a stretch of the imagination to expect wholly original, player-created games in the future. Since Chinese factories can already make bootleg Famicom cartridges, it stands to reason that making legitimate NES games shouldn't be impossible. The future's so bright, I've got to wear 3D glasses.





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