The console gaming world is in an uncertain state, with Sony and Microsoft betting big on launching new, souped-up versions of their PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles significantly earlier than many had expected, and high-profile game franchises being plagued by delays, audience fatigue and generally uncertain futures - all while the specter of whether or not the emergent (but still expensive) VR technology is finally ready for its moment in the sun after several false starts in years past.
Among the most surprising decisions, however, was Nintendo opting to delay its hotly-anticipated next-generation console, the NX, to 2017 - leaving the gaming giant without a console for Holiday 2016. Or so we thought. A breaking announcement from Nintendo has revealed that the House That Mario Built will in fact have a new console hitting stores this November - sort of.
Revealed early Thursday morning and quickly becoming a social-media trend, Nintendo has revealed a new product called the Mini NES Classic Edition for release in U.S. stores on November 11, 2016. Designed to resemble a miniaturized version of the iconic original Nintendo Entertainment System console, the device comes pre-loaded with 30 classic NES-era titles, connects to televisions via HDMI and utilizes new classic-style NES Controllers (which can be purchased separately) which are also compatible with the Wii and Wii U consoles. The base unit will retail for $59.99 US.
Said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime:
"We wanted to give fans of all ages the opportunity to revisit Nintendo's original system and rediscover why they fell in love with Nintendo in the first place. The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is ideal for anyone who remembers playing the NES, or who wants to pass on those nostalgic memories to the next generation of gamers."
While not as elaborate as other HDMI-ready "retro-revival" consoles (like Hyperkin's popular "Retron" clone-console line) that often play original cartridges from multiple consoles and have value-added features, the Mini NES is clearly aimed at consumers who enjoyed the system in their youth but didn't necessarily save theirs or keep up with the collectors market - or at nostalgic gamers (especially parents) looking for an affordable way to share their own memories with a younger generation. That, plus the timing, indicates that the old school gaming stalwart is eyeing the device as a hot item for the 2016 holiday gift-giving season. The company's most recent big game-release, the mobile app Pokemon GO developed by Niantic, this week became one of the biggest mobile sellers in history.
Of note, the 30 games pre-loaded into the console (which does not appear to support adding additional games) cover a wide range of genres and franchises from the classic NES library and - surprisingly - are not limited to only games made by Nintendo or to well-known hits. Along with expected appearances by the first three Super Mario Bros games, the first two Legend of Zeldas and Metroid, the library includes Capcom's Mega Man 2, Square's original Final Fantasy and the cult-classic Star Tropics. The full list is as follows:
Balloon Fight, Bubble Bobble, Castlevania, Castlevania II: Simon's Quest, Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Dr. Mario, Excitebike, Final Fantasy, Galaga, Ghosts 'N Goblins, Gradius, Ice Climber, Kid Icarus, Kirby's Adventure, Mario Bros., Mega Man 2, Metroid, Ninja Gaiden, Pac-Man, Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream, StarTropics, Super C, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario Bros. 3, Tecmo Bowl, The Legend of Zelda, Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
The NES Classic Edition is scheduled to hit stores on 11/11.
Source: Nintendo Life