The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is an 8-bit third-generation home video game console produced, released, and marketed by Nintendo. It is a remodelled export version of the company’s Family Computer platform in Japan, commonly known as the Famicom, which was launched on July 15, 1983. The NES was launched in a test market of New York City on October 18, 1985, followed by Los Angeles as a second test market in February 1986, followed by Chicago and San Francisco, then other top 12 American markets, followed by a full launch across North America and some countries in Europe in September 1986, followed by Australia and other countries in Europe in 1987. Brazil saw only unlicensed clones until the official local release in 1993. The console’s South Korean release was packaged as the Hyundai Comboy and distributed by Hyundai Electronics (now SK Hynix).
As one of the best-selling gaming consoles of its time, the NES helped revitalise the US video game industry following the video game crash of 1983. With the NES, Nintendo introduced a now-standard business model of licensing third-party developers, authorising them to produce and distribute games for Nintendo’s platform. It had been preceded by Nintendo’s first home video game console, the Color TV-Game, and was succeeded by the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).
- Developer – Nintendo R&D2
- Manufacturer – Nintendo
- Type – Home video game console
- Generation – Third generation
- Lifespan 1983–2003 (Famicom), 1985–1995 (NES)
- Discontinued – NA: August 14, 1995 (NES), JP: September 25, 2003 (Famicom)
- Units sold – Worldwide: 61.91 million, Japan: 19.35 million, America: 34.00 million, Other: 8.56 million
- Media – ROM cartridge (“Game Pak”)
- CPU – Ricoh 2A03 8-bit processor (MOS Technology 6502 core)
- Controller input – 2 controller ports, 1 expansion slot
- Predecessor – Color TV-Game series
- Successor – Super Nintendo Entertainment System