The Nintendo entertainment system is a video game console released by Nintendo in 1985. The 8-bit video console was released as the Family computer or the Famicon computer and record has it that it was the best-selling gaming console of its time. With the NES, Nintendo developed a software for the third party developers that was based on a now-standard business model. Nintendo has launched several versions of the gaming console across the globe with Japan being the first place where it was launched. In North America, the NES was released in two different configurations or bundles. The console was manufactured in such a way that each bundle had its own game packs and accessories.
The Control Deck included the console itself along with two game controllers and were sometimes packaged with the Super Mario Bros. Game pak, while the Deluxe Set consisted of the console, an R.O.B. accessory, 2 game parts: Duck Hunt and Gyromite and an NES Zapper. Later Nintendo oftentimes repackaged the console in new and different configurations in order to draw advantages on popular game titles and newer accessories.
The Japanese Famicom and NES versions of North America and Europe have fundamentally the same hardware except for certain key differences between the systems:
The NES utilized 72-pin cartridge design while the original Famicom as well as the re-released AV Family Computer utilized 60-pin cartridge design. Quite a number of games in the infancy period in North America had Famicom Cartridges that were attached to an adapter so as to allow them to fit within the NES hardware. This was done so that the costs were reduced along with inventory by using essentially the same cartridge board in North America and Japan.
The Famicom boasted a top-loading cartridge slot and a 15-pin expansion port situated on the front panel for the comfort of accessories along with a red and white scheme while the NES boasted a front-loading cartridge slot and a gray, black and red colour scheme.
The Family Computer Disk System had two cartridge pins that let them to provide external sound enhancements. They were designated to facilitate the disk system’s external sound chip. These cartridge pins were removed from the NES’s cartridge port and resettled to the bottom expansion port.
The original design of Famicom is serene of hardwired and non-removable controllers. The second controller boasted an internal microphone that could come into use in some games and was without the SELECT and START buttons. Both these controllers were removed and taken over in favour of two seven-pin controller ports that were placed on the front panel of the NES.
The Famicom original design did not have a lockout hardware, which made it apparent for unlicensed cartridges to do rounds throughout Japan and the Far East. The original NES contained the 10NES lockout chip, which increased the challenges faced by the unlicensed developers. The NES consoles sold in one country was different from the one sold in another, so the games marketed in one region would not work on consoles from a different region.
The Famicom boasted an RF modulator plug for both audio as well as video output, while the NES boasted an RF modulator along with RCA composite output cables. The AV Famicom sported only the RCA composite output while the top-loading NES 2 featured only the RF modulator output.
A total number of six companies in Japan manufactured cartridges for Famicom and this allowed them to evolve their own customized chips for specific reasons.
The game controllers that were used for both the NES as well as Famicom sported an oblong brick-like design that comprised of a four-button layout. These buttons read, “A”, “B”, “SELECT”, “START” respectively. They also featured a small microphone.
Lately, the original NES controllers have become symbols of authenticity and recognition. However, Nintendo has mimed the appearance of the controller in various products released recently.
An NES based unit exclusively designed and developed for testing various games, NES hardware and games was launched by the name of NES Test Station. It boasted a Game Pak slot as well as connectors for the testing of various components at the front by using a knob selector in the center in order to select the component to undergo the test. The various knob selections are as follows: