Nintendo's shock of announcing a miniature NES with 30 games built-in a few weeks before I wrote this article seems to have been met with mixed feelings. With all of the clone systems on the market based on the original NES, that perform well but might have mistakes here and there like a few colors wrong or sounds not quite right, it makes one wonder why Nintendo didn't think of it sooner. After all, Atari, ColecoVision, Intellivision, and Sega, have had remakes of their consoles on the market for a while now. So, with so much love for the NES by the people that remember it, enjoy it, treasure it, why the mixed feelings?
For the most part the NES Classic has been getting positive feedback already. However no one has seen the thing in action yet so I can only imagine what others are thinking. Is it possible that Nintendo would go out of their way to produce a product that is not 100% accurate in what it is trying to mimic? I really don't think so. Nintendo's reputation will be on the line with this product as the NES remains one of the most popular consoles today. The NES still has a rather large fan base and for good reason as many of its games were revolutionary and a step forward from the games Atari, Mattel, and Coleco were bringing to the console market. Mega Man, Castlevania, Mario Bros., and Zelda have continued on for many generations long after their initial NES debut. And that only touches all the game titles the NES is famous for.
If one plays those games long enough it becomes common to build expectations of what the game is "suppose" to do. Mario should change to a red and white outfit when he picks up a fire flower. What would happen if that color scheme was off? Or try this...hum a few bars of the Super Mario Bros. theme. Go on ahead...I'll wait. . . . . . OK, time's up. Now imagine that same theme that is played too fast or too slow. Basically, place a 45 RPM record on a turntable and play it at 33 RPM or 78 RPM. Yea...some emulators have been known not to be 100% accurate in this department when emulating the NES hardware. It's also been true with the flashback consoles made by ATGames.
One thing to realize is that, no matter how well received a Nintendo product has been received, Nintendo has always put quality in their hardware. And since the introduction of the GameCube Nintendo has been revamping the NES games slowly like Metroid on Metroid Prime as an example. So if any company has had experience in emulating their own products it would have to be Nintendo. And it is possible that the NES Classic is going to be emulated but it might also be using real hardware or the same virtual console found on the Wii and Wii U.
Just for the games alone the Nintendo NES Classic is worth the $60 price tag. If a collector, gamer, what have you, were to hunt down those games in their original cartridge form, just the carts, any two of the games in the 30-game list would easily cost $60 depending on where you looked. Mega Man 2 alone can fetch $40 or more. And only the most popular NES games seemed to make the list, too. So you have literally hours upon hours of gaming, good, wholesome, quality gaming, in one little package.
Once again, though, if anything is even slightly off, it can ruin the whole deal. So I really hope that Nintendo does the original NES and the 30 games they have included justice. As for now the NES Classic is scheduled for a November 11th release and I am excited for it. I already have money set aside to pick one up on release date and will do another review on it once I get it. In the meantime I'd like to hear your thoughts on Nintendo's surprise console.
(Image used: http://www.nintendo.com/nes-classic )