Availability: July 15th, 1983
Price: ¥14,800 ($186) $432.15 including inflation
In the early 1980’s Nintendo had a very successful arcade line of games including among others Popeye, Mario Bros and of course the Donkey Kong games. Nintendo had produced other home gaming consoles in the late 1970’s as part of their TV Game systems which were essentially Pong clones. It was because of the success of the arcade games that Nintendo decided to port many of their arcade hits to the home consumer market, and in doing so created the Nintendo Famicom.
The Nintendo Famicom (named meaning “Family Computer”) was released on July 15th, 1983 and retailed for ¥14,800 or $186 USD. Initially when the Famicom was released sales were very slow, and many of the consoles had a faulty chip in them. Nintendo soon recalled the first batch of Famicoms and quickly addressed the issue. Shortly thereafter, the Famicom became the best-selling game console in Japan in 1984. It was because of the success of the Famicom in Japan that Nintendo decided to export the system to North America and the rest of the word, and re-brand it as the “Nintendo Entertainment System”, better known as the NES.
The Famicom was designed by Masayuki Uemura and varies significantly from the NES counterpart. The Famicom is cream white in color with a dark red boarder, eject button, and power and reset buttons.
The Famicom isn’t region locked per say, however both the Famicom and NES had different pin sizes for the cartridges, so you can’t play each games on the other without an adapter. The Famicom has a 60 pin cartridge design, while the NES has a 72 pin cartridge design. Since the Famicom only has a 60 pin cartridge design, the games are much smaller, approximately half of the size of the NES game cartridges.
The Famicom also features a cartridge slot at the top of the console where the cartridges plug into, unlike the NES “Toaster” models where the games slide in from the front of the console. Also, unlike the NES the Famicom doesn’t feature the 10NES lockout chip. The 10NES lockout chip was built into the NES to avoid third party companies from making pirated games.
The original Famicom features an RF cord, however later on Nintendo released the redesigned AV Famicom console (looks a lot like the NES model 2 top loader) that featured AV cables.
Similar to the NES controller, the Famicom Controllers feature a “B” and “A” button, a directional pad, and “select” and “start” buttons in the middle. The controllers are dark red with a gold plate finish, and unlike the NES, are hardwired into the console. The player 1 controller has a very unique built in mic that can be used in games including The Legend of Zelda when a player yells into the controller.
The Famicom featured some very unique peripherals that weren’t released for the NES. The most famous being the Family Computer Disk System (review coming soon). Nintendo also released a MODEM for the Famicom, 3D glasses, as well as a Family Network System among others.
Top 10 Famicom Games:
1) Dragon Quest 3
2) Super Mario Bros
3) Super Mario 3
4) Final Fantasy 3
5) Dragon Quest 4
6) Dragon Quest 2
7) Dragon Quest
8) Legend of Zelda
10) Mario Bros
The first wave of NES games that were produced for the North American market actually featured the Famicom 60pin board with adapter built inside the cartridge. The way to know if you have one of these original games is to look at the back and see if there are five screws. If there are five screws, then you can unscrew it and use the adapter for other Famicom games to play on your NES!
What games you like for the Nintendo Famicom?
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