Nintendo Entertainment System

third-generation home video game console by Nintendo

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) is the first video game console made by Nintendo in Japan, Europe, the United States. It came out in 1985 in the United States and was very popular.

Nintendo Entertainment System

Official Nintendo Entertainment System logo
Family Computer logo

Nintendo Entertainment System with controller
Nintendo Family Computer

Top: North American/European NES control deck with controller, similar to the South Korean Comboy.
Bottom: Japanese/Taiwanese/Hong Kong Family Computer ("Famicom") main unit (with the hardwired controllers).
Also known asFamily Computer/Famicom (Japan)
Hyundai Comboy (Korea)
DeveloperNintendo R&D2
TypeHome video game console
GenerationThird generation
Release date
  • JP: July 15, 1983 (1983-07-15) (Famicom)
  • NA: October 18, 1985 (1985-10-18)[1]
  • EU: September 1, 1986 (1986-09-01)a[›]
  • EU/AU: 1987
Lifespan1983–2003 (Famicom)[2]
1985–1995 (NES)
Introductory price¥14,800 (Japan)
$179 (US Deluxe Set)[3]
  • NA: August 14, 1995 (1995-08-14) (NES)[5][6]
  • JP: September 25, 2003 (September 25, 2003) (Famicom)[4]
Units soldWorldwide: 61.91 million
Japan: 19.35 million
America: 34.00 million
Other: 8.56 million[7]
MediaROM cartridge ("Game Pak")b[›]
CPURicoh 2A03 8-bit processor (MOS Technology 6502 core)
Controller input2 controller portsc[›]
1 expansion slot
Best-selling game
PredecessorColor TV-Game series
SuccessorSuper Nintendo Entertainment System
Related articlesFamicom Disk System, Famicom 3D System

The controller for the NES was different from the joysticks that older consoles had. It had a D-pad button, that could go up, down, left, or right. It also had A, B, Select, and Start buttons. The NES could use up to two controllers for multiplayer games. There were also other types of controllers that could be used with the NES.

Some famous games for the NES are Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Mega Man, Castlevania, Donkey Kong, and Final Fantasy. There have been many sequels made to these games and they are still enjoyed today. Nintendo discontinued (stopped making and selling) the NES in 1995.

Technical detailsEdit

The CPU (Central Processing Unit) in the NES is called MOS 6502 and is an 8-bit CPU. The chip that contains the CPU also contains other electronics that generate sound for games and help with some other things. There are two different versions of the chip called 2A03 and 2A07 that are used in different regions of the world (2A03 works with NTSC TVs, 2A07 with PAL TVs). It was made by a company called Ricoh.

The NES uses a chip called the PPU (Picture Processing Unit) to draw graphics on the TV. It has two different versions called 2C02 (for NTSC TVs) and 2C07 (for PAL TVs). It was also made by Ricoh.

Related pagesEdit


  1. "Oct. 18, 1985: Nintendo Entertainment System Launches". WIRED. October 18, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2015.
  2. "Nintendo Co., Ltd. : Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" (PDF). Retrieved August 8, 2018.
  3. Levin, Martin (November 20, 1985). "New components add some Zap to video games". San Bernardino County Sun. p. A-4.
  4. Nintendo to end Famicom and Super Famicom production. (May 30, 2003). Retrieved on August 23, 2013.
  5. "Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) – 1985–1995". Classic Gaming. IGN. Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2010-07-19.
  6. L'Histoire de Nintendo volume 3 p. 113 (Ed. Pix'n Love, 2011)
  7. "Consolidated Sales Transition by Region" (PDF). First console by Nintendo. January 27, 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 14, 2010. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
  8. Stuart, Keith (September 13, 2010). "Super Mario Bros: 25 Mario facts for the 25th anniversary". the Guardian. Retrieved November 2, 2018.
  9. "Super Mario Bros voted greatest computer game ever". The Daily Telegraph. July 27, 2008. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
  10. Goss, Patrick. "The games that sold consoles". MSN. Archived from the original on March 9, 2008. Retrieved September 24, 2011.