The NES was the premier gaming console when I was growing up, and Nintendo Power was the outlet for all of our interest in games for years.
I don’t think it ever crossed anyone’s mind how strange it was that the only source of information was directly from the console maker who also created each issue of the magazine up until 2007 when Future took over.
Not that there weren’t other gaming magazines, but this was pretty much it for many people.
It’s an interesting correlation to today’s in-house corporate media reaching out to their communities. Nintendo’s videos, Sony’s has their Playstationblog and podcast. Microsoft has their Major Nelson, whose podcast I listened to up until he started saying that HDMI wasn’t an improvement over component cables back when the 360 didn’t have an HDMI port.
Archive.org has been hosting incredible collections of random stuff for years. I just found a functioning version of one of my favorite Windows 3.1 games, WinTrek, that is emulated directly in your browser. They have now collected 145 scanned issues of Nintendo Power spanning from 1988 through 2002.
In part one, Ben Heck opened up the Nintendo Playstation prototype, in this part he’s attempting to repair the device. It’s fascinating to watch Ben Heck work through the problems of this old prototype.
Ben Heck met with and interviewed the people who found a prototype of the original Playstation. That was actually going to be a joint project between Sony and Nintendo where Sony would develop the hardware and Nintendo the software for a CD add-on to the Super Nintendo. The partnership didn’t work out between the two companies, which is why we have Sony’s Playstation competing with Nintendo’s consoles today. Heck tears down the Nintendo Playstation prototype in this video, and in the next part he’ll attempt to repair it.
Nintendo announced a very odd product today, the NES Classic Edition is a tiny version of the original NES that is preloaded with 30 games and includes one controller but cannot accept cartridges. They’re also releasing extra controllers, which use the Wii controller accessory port and can connect to wii-motes, for $10 each.
This is a strange product due to a few unanswered questions. What hardware is inside of it? What software will it use to launch the games?
I’m guessing that it is a further cut-down version of the Wii, a product that Nintendo knows how to make cheaply. They could then use the pre-existing NES emulation software, and interface, of the Wii, which already supports the controller interface.
The good thing about the controllers is that, if they’re similar enough, they could be used to refurbish older NES controllers.
The NES Classic Edition will be $60 when the system is released on November the eleventh. Or you could just do what a friend suggested, and buy a Raspberry Pi for $36 today. Load up the pi with all kinds of emulators and use whatever controller you want.
Here’s the list of games included with the NES CE:
John Romero posted this video today to Vimeo in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Commander Keen. it’s the first publicly available footage of the Super Mario Bros. 3 demo that id software pitched to Nintendo. You might have heard about it from the David Kushner’s Masters of Doom book (Amazon, iBooks, Wikipedia) which is well worth reading if you haven’t already.
The Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer bundle will feature an Isabelle-designed (and more compact!) New Nintendo 3DS. It’ll also feature two cover plates, an Amiibo card, and a copy of Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer. This bundle is set to release on September 25 for $219.99.
Those that are willing to wait a few extra weeks can also choose from a new Hyrule Edition New Ninteno 3DS XL. This gold-colored handheld with a Hylian Crest on the front will come with The Legend of Zelda: Tri Force Heroes. It will retail for $199.99 and release on October 23. This, however, will be a GameStop exclusive.
From the videos I’m still not sure what Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer even is, but it’s good that the smaller New Nintendo 3DS will finally be in the U.S.
Balloon Fight was a game I had missed out on when I was younger and wish I had gotten to sooner. The sad news this week was all the encouragement needed to go back and try out the 20-balloon-in-a-row challenge from Game Center CX. Always collect the bubble.
The host of Game Center CX, Arino, normally just gets to play a difficult old game and try to finish it in one sitting. In this clip, Arino was surprised with a special guest, Nintendo’s President, Satoru Iwata.
It’s a great interview that really demonstrates what a different kind of person Iwata is from the cigar-chomping fat cat you might associate with the head of a video game company. Iwata started out as a developer on the original NES, and in this interview even lets us in on why older games were so difficult.
In recent years Mr. Iwata was the one doing the asking in his Iwata Asks series of developer interviews.
Thanks to shacker Serpico74 for the heads-up on the video.