If there is a company that knows how to milk a cash cow for all it is worth, Nintendo would be one of them. After all, they have mastered the art of selling the very same console to you many times over, simply because each "new" iteration arrives in a design or livery that catches your fancy. Never mind the fact that the hardware remains the same underneath the hood -- it is all about the looks that matter. How many Game Boys have you purchased over the years, or Nintendo DS versions? Nintendo is all about rolling back the clock many generations over with the latest NES Classic Edition.
The name itself would give the game away: This is no modern day gaming console that will be able to churn out Full HD graphics or even 4K graphics without breaking a sweat. We are talking about the golden era of gaming back in the 1980s, where simple 8-bit graphics and repetitive ditties as soundtracks, coupled with your imagination managed to deliver the most absorbing of gaming experiences in the living room over a fat, chunky CRT TV.
The NES Classic Edition will bring you back to the good old days, where it is basically the far smaller version of the classic Nintendo Entertainment System. Needless to say, the Japanese firm could have shrunk it down even further with the kind of computing power we have at our disposal these days, but I suppose there is a limit to the size in order to maintain the "kawaii" look.
The NES Classic Edition is set to launch in stores this coming November 11, and you will have to fork out $59.99 for an 8-bit machine. Sounds like daylight robbery? You are correct, but that price point will surely not deter folks who grew up on Mario in a 2D world, subsequently migrating to Mario in a Mode 7 environment on the SNES before Mario went full blown 3D on the Nintendo 64.
The graphics on the NES Classic Edition might remain stuck in the 1980s, but you will find that the hardware has been given a boost where necessary in order to keep up with the times. For instance, it will feature a HDMI port so that you can plug it straight into a High Definition TV (HDTV) via the included HDMI cable. You do not have to ransack through the attic to look for those carefully packed cartridges, nor do you have to trawl through eBay for copies of Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda, as the NES Classic Edition will arrive with 30 NES games built in.
We do feel that it is rather stingy of Nintendo to include just one NES Classic Controller which looks similar to the original NES controller. Couldn't they have just thrown in a couple? It is not as though they forked out a huge amount of R&D for a recycled controller design, right?
Last but not least, the full list of NES classics that will accompany the NES Classic Edition include 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, and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.
Those who want a second NES Classic Controller will have to contribute another $9.99 to Nintendo's bulging coffers.