A Tribute to Nintendo’s Famicom – The Console that Helped Save the Gaming Industry
The year is 1983 and it was a very rough time for game developers everywhere. Atari first started the trend. Now every electronic company is making their own gaming console to cash in as well. The Atari 2600 is a very simple console that allowed players to enjoy a simple game of Pong. The console was a resounding success. This encouraged other electronic companies like Coleco, Commodore, and Texas Instruments began working on their very own home gaming computers.
At this time, people were no longer alien to the concept of a personal computer. However, a personal computer for gaming purposes is something that people find strange back then. With too many home gaming consoles in the market with ridiculous price tags, the market became saturated. No one wanted to buy these machines because they were either too expensive or people just didn’t care about gaming that much.
The Rise of Nintendo
Then came 1985. At this time, everyone was certain that the end of home gaming consoles has come. All of a sudden, Nintendo, a Japanese gaming company, released the Nintendo Entertainment System. A few years prior to the release of the one video game console that saved home gaming, Nintendo launched a prototype version of the NES. This was called Family Computer or Famicom in the United States. The success of the Famicom in the Japanese and Asian market gave Nintendo the confidence to remodel and market the NES to the North American audience. And the rest is history.
The Famicom: The NES’ twin brother in Japan
Today, we’re not going to talk about the NES. We’re going to talk about the Famicom, Nintendo Japan’s first ever game console and the father (or more like twin brother) of the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was a very simple gaming console that featured two controllers that are wired directly to the console. The console has ports that let you connect to the television through the old audio/video connector. The Famicom has a top loader cartridge system, which is different from the NES. In any case, this video game console would be so popular in Japan and Asia that until now, video game collectors are searching for this wonderful little console in junk shops as part of their gaming collection.
My love affair with the Famicom
I grew up playing the Famicom when I was a little kid. I owned a NES back then and in where I used to live, trying to buy a game for the NES was extra difficult. The games that were sold in the malls and video game shops were designed for the Famicom, so if ever I wanted to play my favorite titles on the Famicom, I’ll just borrow the cartridge and play it at a friend’s house. I was immediately shocked to see how clear the graphics are for the Famicom. It was on a whole different level compared to the old Atari 2600 video games. It was with the Famicom that I beat my favorite video games of all time. Both Contra and Super Mario Brothers would become the predecessors for the rest of the computer games that were being developed during the late 80s and early 90s.
Sega vs Nintendo
By 1990, every kid in the neighborhood now owns either a Famicom or the Sega Master System. During this time, it was also clear that Sega had no plans of backing down and were already advertising the Sega Genesis. Nintendo also responded with the Super Nintendo. And even until now, the console wars are still ongoing.
And back then, it was really clear who was the true winner after the video game crash of 1983. The Famicom will always be a treasured gem in the hearts of Nintendo fans everywhere.