Nintendo’s first video game system was so wildly popular in the ‘80s that, for a time, “Nintendo” was a synonym for video games. Since then, other companies have come and gone in the industry, but Nintendo is still around.
The soon-to-be released NES Classic Edition looks just like the original NES, but instead of being the size of a VCR, it’s now just a little bit bigger than a deck of cards. It has an HDMI port so it can connect easily to newer TVs, and comes with a brand new NES controller - manufactured for the first time in more than 20 years.
The system doesn’t have a slot for games, but instead has 30 original NES games built-in, and I’m surprised at how good the selection is. Of course all three of the Super Mario Bros games are available, as well as both Zelda games and Kirby’s Adventure. But also there are some notable third-party games like Castlevania and Castlevania II, Super Contra, and the original Final Fantasy. Most surprising, though, is StarTropics - an old Nintendo-developed RPG that I thought nobody else even remembered.
As an added bonus, the new controllers have a new connector on them, that will let you use it with a Wii or Wii U, so you can play any NES Virtual Console games with the proper controller.
Not to be outdone by their former arch-nemesis, Sega has announced their own shrunken version of their most well-known console. The Mini Genesis has 80 games built-in, and unlike the NES Classic, it has a cartridge slot, so you can play any older Genesis games you might have laying around. However, it doesn’t have an HDMI port, so it won’t look quite as good on modern TVs.
Because I’m a sucker for nostalgia, I’ll probably end up buying both of these, which will each cost about the same as a single new game for a current console.