30 years ago this week, the US was introduced to the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES for short. This was Nintendo’s first home console, and as we all know, it was a game-changer. The console launched with 18 games, and supported two controllers, a light gun, and a loveable robot named R.O.B.
When Nintendo launches a new console these days, it’s pretty much assumed that it will be at least a decent success. But back in 1985, the video game industry was in a much different place. In fact, just two years prior was the great video game crash of ’83. This was the same year that Atari, one of the most successful video game companies at the time, was burying up to 700,000 copies of E.T. in a New Mexico landfill.
It took a bit of time to get off the ground, but by 1986, Nintendo was dominating the video gaming market. By then, the NES and its titles accounted for nearly ¾ of all industry sales. Competition might be more stiff these days, with Sony and Microsoft dominating the home console market, but no one can deny that the NES launched some of the most iconic franchises in gaming history. These include The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and everyone’s favorite plumber duo, Super Mario Bros.
Nintendo has been doing a few things to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their first home console in North America this year. The biggest has been the release of Super Mario Maker on the Wii U.
The game lets you use assets from 30 years of Super Mario games to create your own interesting and challenging levels. You can also head over to Nintendo’s site and have a look through the history of Super Mario Bros. games.