Nintendo Entertainment System

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Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo Entertainment System.jpg
Released Japan July 15, 1983
USA October 18, 1985
South Korea October 18, 1985
Europe September 1, 1986
Australia July 1, 1987
Discontinued USA August 14, 1995
Japan September 25, 2003
Predecessor Color TV Game
Successor Famicom Disk System
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Not to be confused with Ness.
This article is about the first Nintendo console. For information about the treasure from Wario World, see here.

“Now you're playing with power!”
Advertisement slogan for the NES

NES Logo.png

The Nintendo Entertainment System (known as the NES for short) is a video game console created by Nintendo. It is the western version of the Famicom and has controllers that can be removed (unlike the Famicom). Games are inserted by opening a door and sliding the game in, then pushing a panel down.

It was the system that revived the video game industry after the Video Game Crash of 1983. It rivaled against the Sega Master System and the Atari 7800 until the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System ushered in the next generation of video game consoles. The NES sold over 60.91 million units worldwide during its lifetime and was discontinued in 1995.[1]

The Nintendo Entertainment System was bundled with Super Mario Bros., resulting in it being the console's most successful game. For decades, Super Mario Bros. was the highest-selling video game ever, with 40.23 million copies sold, until Nintendo packaged Wii Sports with the Wii. Eventually, Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in the USA, and it became an instant hit, making five hundred million dollars in less than twenty-four hours. It soon became the second most purchased game in the gaming world with over 18 million copies sold.

Due to the lack of security, many NES games have become pirated, creating games such as 999-in-1, but due to better security, these games have seemingly slowed down.

In America, the NES was sold in three packages:

  • Control Deck: Contained the console, two controllers and the needed connections.
  • Action Set: This set included the console, two controllers, the Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt cartridge, the Zapper, and the connections.
  • Power Set: The most complete package, it contained the console, two controllers, a Super Mario Bros./Duck Hunt/World Class Track Meet cartridge, the Zapper, the Power Pad, and the connections.


The NES's Ricoh 2A03 (top) and a regular stock MOS 6502 (bottom). The NES uses a 6502 based processor
The NES's Picture Processing Unit video processor.

The NES/Famicom hardware consists of 2 kilobytes of onboard RAM, a custom second source MOS Technology 6502 based processor (called the Ricoh 2A03 in NTSC regions and the 2A07 in the PAL regions) which has a built in sound generator on chip and is used as the main processor. The Ricoh 2A03/2A07 contains 6 channels of sound: 1 square wave, 1 triangle channel, 2 pulse wave channels, 1 noise channel and 1 DPCM channel for playing samples from memory. The Ricoh 2A03/2A07 is essentially the same as a regular 6502 but with the binary code decimal mode removed.

The video generator hardware is the Picture Processing Unit (PPU) (Ricoh 2C02 "NTSC"/Ricoh 2C07 "PAL") which is responsible for generating the sprites and background images onscreen. Graphical capabilities,extended RAM and even sound capabilities can be expanded with the use of memory mappers like the MMC2, 3, 4, 5 and Konami VRC6 among other mappers. For instance the MMC5 adds 2 extra pulse wave channels and another Raw PCM channel in addition to the main 2A03/2A07 channels; the Konami VRC6 adds a sawtooth wave channel and 2 extra square waves and the VRC7 adds FM Synthesis capabilities which is based on the Yamaha YM2413 OPLL FM Synthesizer and is a derivative of the OPLL chip.

The only 2 Mario games that use memory mappers are Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3 with the MMC3 mapper being used. The only Mario cameo appearance that uses memory mappers is Mike Tyson's Punch Out with the MMC2 being used which is also the only NES game that uses that particular mapper.


It has been requested that this article be rewritten.

NES Controller[edit]

The NES Controller.
The later "dogbone" version of the NES controller which is included with the NES-101 Top Loader models.

The NES Controller is the basic controller that comes with the console. It has the A Button and B Button Buttons along with the Start Button and Select Button buttons and the +Control Pad. The scheme of the NES controller is the base for all of the newer controllers: the +Control Pad on the left, buttons in the right, and the Start Button and Select Button buttons in the middle. There are two versions of the NES Controller: the orginal "brick" design and the "dog bone" controller. The original controller has a brick design whereas the later controller which is included with the NES-101 Top Loader model has a dog bone design similar to the SNES controller.

Power Glove[edit]

The NES Power Glove.

The Power Glove is a glove like accessory for the NES. It uses hand movements to communicate with NES games.

Game Gallery[edit]

Please note that this gallery also includes Japan-only Famicom and Famicom Disk System games.

Appearances in the Mario series[edit]

Name in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ファミリーコンピュータ
Famirī Konpyūta
Family Computer

Spanish (NOA) Nintendo Entertainment System
Spanish (NOE) Sistema de Entretenimiento de Nintendo Literal translation.
Russian Де́нди
Korean 현대 컴보이
Hyeondae Keomboi
Hyundai Comboy


The error showing Mario Party: Island Tour to be an NES game.
  • An NES controller appears as one of the tokens in the 2006 and 2007 version of Nintendo Monopoly.
  • This console is in the 1st spot of IGN's Top 25 Game Consoles.
  • A large NES controller appears in Wreck-It Ralph as a door leading to the coding of the game Sugar Rush.
  • An expansion port is located underneath the console. However, no accessories were used for it. Although the Famicom Disk System was planned for a North American release and if released it would have used the Expansion Port. However, the redesigned NES-101 Top Loader model lacks the expansion port entirely.
  • For a time the Nintendo 3DS eShop mistakenly stated Mario Party: Island Tour to be a title on the Nintendo Entertainment System.

External links[edit]


  1. ^