‘80s nostalgia at its finest. Meet the Nintendo Classic

The Nintendo Classic popped out if nowhere earlier on this year during Nintendo’s renaissance period in which the company confounded skeptics by releasing one of the most popular mobile games of all time – Pokemon Go!

The Nintendo Classic is, as the name suggests, a re-release of the console that started it all – the Nintendo NES, an 8-bit gaming console which I spent many an hour playing during my very early days.

The original Nintendo NES landed during the mid-1980s and went on to become one of the most important consumer electronics releases in history. It cemented the idea of gaming in many households, turning kids from all walks of life, onto gaming from the comfort of their own homes and not, as was previously the case, inside arcades.

“Following a series of arcade game successes in the early 1980s,” says Wikipedia, “Nintendo made plans to create a cartridge-based console called the Famicom, which is short for Family Computer. Masayuki Uemura designed the system. Original plans called for an advanced 16-bit system which would function as a full-fledged computer with a keyboard and floppy disk drive, but Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi rejected this and instead decided to go for a cheaper, more conventional cartridge-based game console as he felt that features such as keyboards and disks were intimidating to non-technophiles.”

Nintendo sold A LOT of NES consoles as well:

Worldwide: 61.91 million
Japan: 19.35 million
Americas: 34.00 million
Other: 8.56 million

And in 2016, Nintendo confirmed it would be re-releasing the system just in time for Christmas 2016 creating, in one genius stroke of marketing, the perfect Christmas present for self-confessed geeks that were of gaming age during the late-80s and early-90s.

Here’s what you need to know about the console re-release everybody is talking about:

Nintendo Classic Mini: What is it?
It’s a remake of the very first Nintendo Entertainment System that was all the rage in the 1980s. However, the Nintendo Classic Mini is a bit different than the NES in a few ways. First, the Nintendo Classic Mini does not use cartridge games like the original NES did. For those of you not alive in the 1980s, cartridges were big bulky storage disks that games use to come on. You’d insert a cartridge into the NES in order for the system to load it up.

Instead of cartridges, the Nintendo Classic Mini will have onboard storage where the games are held and loaded from. Another big difference with the Nintendo Classic Mini from the NES, as the name suggests, is that the Nintendo Classic Mini is smaller than the original. Other than that, it looks like an exact replica.

Nintendo Classic Mini: What games does it include?
The Nintendo Classic Mini comes with 30 games pre-installed:

Balloon Fight
Bubble Bobble
Castlevania
Castlevania II: Simon's Quest
Donkey Kong
Donkey Kong Jr.
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Dr. Mario
Excitebike
Final Fantasy
Galaga
Ghosts'N Goblins
Gradius
Ice Climber
Kid Icarus
Kirby's Adventure
Mario Bros.
Mega Man 2
Metroid
Ninja Gaiden
Pac-Man
Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
StarTropics
Super C
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3
Tecmo Bowl
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
Nintendo Classic Mini: Can I add more games?
This is unknown at the moment, but it looks doubtful. As far as anyone knows the Nintendo Classic Mini doesn’t have any kind of internet connectivity, so that would make downloading new games impossible. Also, the Nintendo Classic Mini doesn’t have any kind of ports that would allow for installing new games.

Nintendo Classic Mini: What’s the controller like?
The Nintendo Classic Mini controller will be almost an exact replica of the original NES controller. Yep, the rectangular thing with the D pad, A and B button, and start and select button. Even the connection cord interface is the same. Each Nintendo Classic Mini will come with one classic controller and another controller can be bought separately and plugged into the Nintendo Classic Mini for dual gameplay. A Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro for the Wii console can also be used on the Nintendo Classic Mini. Bonus: The Nintendo Classic Mini: NES Controller can also be used to play Virtual Console NES games on a Wii U or Wii console.

Nintendo Classic Mini: Are the games exactly the same as the originals?
Yep, except for one modern feature: the 30 games no support save points so you never need to worry about losing your progress in an NES game ever again.

Nintendo Classic Mini: Will it work with modern TVs?
Yes. That’s the other change with the Nintendo Classic Mini–it comes with an HDMI cable and interface so it can be plugged into modern televisions. It lacks the original RCA interface and cables, so it cannot be used with old televisions from the 1980s, however.

Five Games We WISHED The Nintendo Classic Featured
The Nintendo Classic ships with 30 pre-installed games. That’s quite a lot of action and hours of gameplay. The Classic is also reasonably priced too; after all, Nintendo could have been seriously gung-ho in this regard and charged a fortune. Thankfully, they didn’t.

However, after the announcement, we took a trip down memory lane, and wondered about all those games we played back in the day that DIDN’T make the cut this time around, because there were quite a few classics that weren’t included — classics like Duck Hunt, Pro Wrestling, R.C. Pro-Am, Double Dribble and the MIGHTY Contra!

All of these games are solid, fun-to-play titles. I don’t know why they weren’t included, but I am sad I won’t be able to play them once I have my Nintendo Classic set-up in my office.

Nintendo Classic Mini: Price and release date
The Nintendo Classic Mini will be released worldwide on November 11, 2016. Only the U.S. price has been announced for now: that’s $59.99. That’s about £45.00.