Nintendo Entertainment System

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"NES" redirects here. It is not to be confused with Ness.
Nintendo Entertainment System

A Nintendo Entertainment System with a controller connected to it
Also known as NES
Developer(s) Nintendo R&D2
Manufacturer(s) Nintendo
Type(s) Home console
Generation Third generation
Release date USA October 18, 1985
Europe 1986
Australia 1986
Introductory price $199 (equivalent to $510 in 2022)[1]
Discontinued August 14, 1995[2]
Units sold 42.56 million[3]
Media Cartridge
Input 2 controller ports
1 expansion slot
CPU Ricoh 2A03 8-bit processor (MOS Technology 6502 core)
Best-selling game Super Mario Bros. (pack-in),
40.24 million (as of 2010)
Super Mario Bros. 3,
18 million (as of July 2008)
Predecessor Color TV Game
Successor Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Template:Quote2 The Nintendo Entertainment System, often abbreviated as NES or simply Nintendo, is an 8-bit third-generation video game console created by Nintendo. It is the western counterpart of the Family Computer, which only released in Japan. The Nintendo Entertainment System first released in North America in 1985. Unlike the Famicom, the Nintendo Entertainment System has removable controllers. Games are inserted by opening a door, sliding the game in, and pushing the panel down. A second model named the NES-101 was released in North America in 1993.

Announced on July 14, 2016, the NES Classic Edition (known as the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System in Europe and Australia) is a smaller version of the Nintendo Entertainment System and the first entry to the Classics series. It was released in Australia on November 10, 2016, and in the Americas and Europe on November 11, 2016.[4] Unlike the original NES, the NES Classic Edition does not support cartridges, but rather features 30 games pre-installed. A version for the Japanese Family Computer, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Family Computer, was released in Japan on the same day and includes a slightly different software line-up than the NES Classic Edition.


The Nintendo Entertainment System was originally supposed to be a 16-bit system with floppy disks as media storage, but then-president Hiroshi Yamauchi wanted the console to have a broader appeal, so it ended up as a cheaper 8-bit console with cartridges as media.[citation needed]

Upon its release, Nintendo Entertainment System revived the video game industry after the video game crash of 1983. It rivaled against the Sega Master System and the Atari 7800. For a while, the Nintendo Entertainment System was rivaled by the Sega Genesis until the release of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES sold over 60.91 million units worldwide during its lifetime and was discontinued in 1995.[5] The console set the standard for subsequent consoles in everything from game design to controller layout.

The Nintendo Entertainment System was bundled with Super Mario Bros., resulting in it being the console's most successful game. For decades, Super Mario Bros. was the highest-selling video game of its time, with over 40 million copies sold, until Nintendo packaged Wii Sports with the Wii.


The NES's Ricoh 2A03 (top) and a regular stock MOS 6502 (bottom). The NES uses a 6502 based processor
The NES's Picture Processing Unit video processor

The NES/Famicom hardware consists of 2 kilobytes of onboard RAM, a custom second source MOS Technology 6502 based processor (called the Ricoh 2A03 in NTSC regions and the 2A07 in the PAL regions) which has a built-in sound generator on-chip and is used as the main processor. The Ricoh 2A03/2A07 contains 5 channels of sound: 1 triangle channel, 2 square wave channels, 1 noise channel, and 1 DPCM channel for playing samples from memory. The Ricoh 2A03/2A07 is essentially the same as a regular 6502, but with the binary code decimal mode removed.

The video generator hardware is the Picture Processing Unit (PPU) (Ricoh 2C02 "NTSC"/Ricoh 2C07 "PAL") which is responsible for generating the sprites and background images onscreen. Graphical capabilities, extended RAM, and even sound capabilities can be expanded with the use of memory mappers like the MMC2, 3, 4, 5, and Konami VRC6 among other mappers. For instance, the MMC5 adds 2 extra pulse wave channels and another Raw PCM channel in addition to the main 2A03/2A07 channels; the Konami VRC6 adds a sawtooth wave channel and 2 extra square waves and the VRC7 adds FM Synthesis capabilities which are based on the Yamaha YM2413 OPLL FM Synthesizer and are a derivative of the OPLL chip.


Nintendo Entertainment System Controller[edit]

Main article: Nintendo Entertainment System Controller

The NES controller is the basic controller that comes with the console. It has four buttons and and a directional pad on a brick shaped case. A Button and B Button are stationed on the right with the Start Button and Select Button in the middle. The D-pad, first used on the Game & Watch to replace bulky joysticks, are on the left of the controller.

NES Zapper[edit]

Main article: NES Zapper

The NES Zapper is a light gun accessory used for only a small number of games, the most notable one being Duck Hunt. The first version of the Zapper to release was the gray one, but since a soldier mistook it for a real gun, Nintendo re-released it in orange.[6]

Power Glove[edit]

Main article: Power Glove

The Power Glove was a handheld glove controller that used hand movements as a controller via conductive ink. It also had a keypad that defaulted certain buttons to certain hand movements. Under it featured the normal buttons on the NES controller. It sold poorly and was criticized for being imprecise.


Main article: R.O.B.

R.O.B. is an accessory released alongside the Nintendo Entertainment System to help advertise the console as a toy. He functions by translating flashes of information on the television screen into physical actions to assist players in compatible games, and was only used for the games Gyromite and Stack-Up.

NES Cleaning Kit[edit]

Main article: NES Cleaning Kit

Over time, pins inside the NES and game cartridges would get dirty. Nintendo released an approved cleaning kit to improve the condition of the contacts so games would play without interruption.



Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Spanish (NOA) Nintendo Entertainment System
Spanish (NOE) Sistema de Entretenimiento de Nintendo
Nintendo Entertainment System


  • Wario's Woods is the only Nintendo Entertainment System game to have an ESRB rating, due to being released late in the console's run.
  • Biederman Design Labs Research & Development was working on a handheld NES console called the Nintendo Express, but it never got released. On the source video's comment section, a YouTuber by the name of Rick Gordon said he worked with Paul Biederman on occasion. He also said there was a version that had a crosspad. He went on to say that Paul went directly to Nintendo, who would not approve of the system, due to the upcoming Game Boy. He lastly said that because of this, Biederman Design Labs went to Galoob who looked at it, but the toy company did not want to enter another legal fight with Nintendo.[7]


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