Nintendo Entertainment System

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Not to be confused with Nintendo Switch, abbreviated as NS.
"NES" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Ness.
This article is about the first Nintendo console outside Japan. For the treasure from Wario World, see List of treasures in Wario World#Greenhorn Ruins.
Nintendo Entertainment System
The NES model 1.
Generation Third generation
Release date Nintendo Entertainment System:
USA October 18, 1985
Europe September 1, 1986[citation needed]
India 1987[1]
Australia July 1, 1987[citation needed]
South Korea October 1989[2]
South Africa (1982-1994) 1993[3]
NES Classic Edition:
Australia November 10, 2016[4]
USA November 11, 2016
Europe November 11, 2016
Discontinued USA August 14, 1995
Europe 1995
Ratings NES Classic Edition:
ESRB:E10+ - Everyone 10+
PEGI:7 - Seven years and older
ACB:PG - Parental Guidance
USK:12 - Twelve years and older
Predecessor Color TV-Game
Successor Super Nintendo Entertainment System
“Now you're playing with power!”
Advertisement slogan for the NES
The logo for the Nintendo Entertainment System

The Nintendo Entertainment System (abbreviated as NES) is a third-generation home video game console created by Nintendo as the Western counterpart of the Family Computer (often named Famicom for short). It was released in the United States on October 18, 1985; Europe on September 1, 1986; and Australia and India in 1987; South Korea in 1989; and South Africa in 1993. The South Korean and Indian editions were respectively retitled the Hyundai Comboy and Samurai Electronic TV Game System to circumvent import restrictions in both countries.

The original Nintendo Entertainment System model is a complete redesign of the Famicom, featuring a gray and white color scheme, a covered slot on the front where cartridges are slid into, and detachable controllers. The system and its launch titles contributed to revitalizing the American video game industry following the video game crash of 1983, due to its software quality control through the Official Nintendo Seal of Quality and toy-like peripherals.[5] The Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom sold 61.91 million units combined before being discontinued in 1995.[6][7]

Super Mario Bros. is one of the Nintendo Entertainment System launch titles, and it was frequently packaged with the system, including in the Control Deck, Action Set (as a Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt compilation cartridge), and Power Set (as as a Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt / World Track Class Meet cartridge) bundles. It is credited as being the game that helped the industry recover from the video game crash of 1983. For decades, Super Mario Bros. was the system's best-selling game, let alone video games in general, having sold 40.23 million copies. Eventually, Super Mario Bros. 3 was released in the United States, and it became an instant hit, making 500 million dollars in less than twenty-four hours.[citation needed]

The Nintendo Entertainment System's graphical capabilities, extended RAM, and even sound capabilities can be expanded with the use of memory mappers like the MMC2, MMC3, and MMC5. The only 2 Super 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!!, using MMC2 in particular and also being the only NES game that uses that particular mapper.

An expansion port is located underneath the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is assumed that it would have been used for a Western equivalent of the Famicom Disk System, but it went unused. However, the redesigned NES-101 Top Loader model lacks the expansion port entirely.


NES Controller[edit]

The NES Controller.
NES Dogbone 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 packaged with every Nintendo Entertainment System. It has four buttons and a directional pad on a brick-shaped case. A Button and B Button are stationed on the right, the Start Button and Select Button is in the middle, and the D-pad is on the left of the controller. Nintendo later released a different form of the NES, the NES-101 model, which used a "dog-bone" design instead of the brick design, which looked a lot like Super Nintendo Entertainment System controllers. This design combines elements of the Game Boy and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System controller.

Unlike the Famicom, the NES does not have any audio controls (volume slider and microphone) on the second controller. Instead, the Start Button and Select Button buttons are available on both controllers, making those practically identical. Another difference is that the NES' controllers can be extracted, while the Famicom's cannot.


Main article: R.O.B.

Cleaning Kit[edit]

Nintendo Entertainment System Cleaning Kit
Featuring Mario.

Over time, pins inside the NES and game cartridges would get dirty. Nintendo released an approved cleaning kit to improve the condition of the contacts so games would play without interruption. Mario is on the cover of the NES Cleaning Kit.

NES Classic Edition[edit]

NES Classic Edition
The NES Classic Edition
Main article: Classics § NES Classic Edition

Announced on July 14, 2016, the NES Classic Edition (known as the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe and Australia) is a smaller version of the Nintendo Entertainment System and the first entry to the Classics series. It was released in Australia on November 10, 2016, and in the Americas and Europe on November 11, 2016.[8] Unlike the original NES, the NES Classic Edition does not support cartridges, but rather features 30 games pre-installed, including Super Mario games such as Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, and Dr. Mario. A version for the Japanese Family Computer, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Family Computer, was released in Japan on the same day and includes a slightly different software line-up than the NES Classic Edition.

The NES Classic Edition was discontinued on April 2017,[9] but resumed production in Summer 2018.[10] On June 26, 2017, a successor was announced in the form of the SNES Classic Edition.[11]

Appearances in the Super Mario franchise[edit]

The NES treasure from Wario World
The NES as a Wario World treasure
  • At the beginning of the The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! episode "Mama Mia Mario", as Mario and Luigi are relaxing in front of the TV, Luigi is seen holding an NES controller.
  • The NES appears as one of Wario's treasures in Wario World.
  • 9-Volt has an NES in WarioWare: Twisted!
  • In Super Paper Mario, one of Francis's protected rooms has an NES, along with various other Nintendo consoles.
  • In Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, the design on the carpet in the Genius Girl's room is based on the NES controller.
  • Though the console itself does not appear in Super Mario Odyssey, one of the filters that are available for use in Snapshot Mode is the graphics style of the NES.
  • LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System, a LEGO version of the system created as part of the LEGO Super Mario partnership, was released on August 1, 2020. The set also features a Super Mario Bros. cartridge as well as a television "playing" the game and is compatible with the Mario figure from the Mario Starter Course set.[12]
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Mario owns an NES in his apartment and is seen playing Kid Icarus on the console. The Toad at the antique store asks about an NES cartridge, to which the clerk tells them to blow into it, referencing a popular urban legend claiming that doing to would remove dust within the cartridge and allow it to work properly (in reality, blowing into the cartridge could risk causing further damage due to airborne saliva droplets corroding the copper connectors).




Super Mario games[edit]

This gallery does not include Family Computer games.


Names in other languages[edit]

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


Korean 현대 컴보이
Hyeondae Keomboi
Hyundai Comboy

Spanish (NOA) Nintendo Entertainment System
Spanish (NOE) Sistema de Entretenimiento de Nintendo
Nintendo Entertainment System


  1. ^ Desai, Sameer (September 16, 2008). "Nintendo Wii and DS to launch in India on September 30". Rediff News. Retrieved March 23, 2024. (Archived September 29, 2022, 14:05:16 UTC via Wayback Machine.)
  2. ^ Derboo, Sam (June 6, 2010). "A History of Korean Gaming". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved March 23, 2024. (Archived June 16, 2010, 21:53:33 UTC via Wayback Machine.)
  3. ^ Rogers, Joshua Alexander (April 16, 2020). LinkedIn. Retrieved March 23, 2024. (Archived September 25, 2022, 15:36:58 UTC via Wayback Machine.)
  4. ^ Nintendo AU NZ (July 14, 2016). "Nintendo Classic Mini announcement". X. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  5. ^ Gardner, Matt (October 18, 2020). "It’s Been 35 Years Since Nintendo Changed Western Gaming Forever". Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^ Nintendo. (July 14, 2016). Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System. Nintendo UK. Retrieved July 14, 2016.
  9. ^ Otero, Jose (April 13, 2017). Nintendo Discontinues the NES Classic Edition. IGN. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  10. ^ McFerran, Damien (September 12, 2017). Nintendo Is Resurrecting The NES Classic Mini And Increasing SNES Classic Inventory. Nintendo Life. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  11. ^ Nintendo. Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic Edition. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  12. ^ Nintendo (July 14, 2020). "LEGO Nintendo Entertainment System: Now you're playing with power...and bricks". YouTube. Retrieved July 14, 2020.