While Nintendo’s prodigal plumber may have reached his 25th anniversary recently, which saw plenty of special edition toys announced, we can’t forget the system that not only saw plenty of Mario titles, but also launched plenty of other great video games that will forever live on in the minds of gamers everywhere. The Nintendo Entertainment System, better known as the NES, is finally 25 today.
On October 18th, 1985, the NES was officially born in the United States. The initial launch may have been segregated to a test market in New York City, but the launch was felt all around the world. It’s said that nearly half of all of the Nintendo of America employees, which were originally headquartered in Seattle, relocated to an abandoned warehouse in New Jersey specifically for the launch. Their efforts included running all over the city, setting up displays, tearing them down, and trying to preach the awesomeness that was the NES. Nintendo of America followed the New York City test market with one in Los Angeles in February. It wasn’t until almost the end of 1986 that the NES would see a nationwide launch.
According to Gail Tilden, Nintendo’s Advertising Manager at the time and who was at the launch event in New York City, she watched as the very first NES went through the check-out process, which was accompanied by all of the 15 launch titles, to one Japanese gentleman. It was later revealed that the purchaser was actually from a Japanese competitor. The NES is 25, and now we’re in a whole new generation of gaming, especially for the video game market. But, while some titles in today’s day may just pass through the memory, titles like Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and Excitebike will probably live on, well into the future.