This November will see Mario, Mega-Man and Link fans partying like it’s the mid-1980s all over again with the arrival of the Nintendo Classic Mini NES to the UK just in time for the Christmas play-fest. Retro gaming has always had a pretty strong following with so many legendary games in the back catalogue, but the new piece of tech should see it getting a little more mainstream appeal.
Nintendo has had a lot to celebrate recently with the success of Pokémon Go and the hype that is starting to mount for the upcoming release of its next big console, the Nintendo NX. The old-school gaming gadget may not be as innovative or cutting edge technology as the rest of its activity, but it’s definitely got the capabilities to add to the resurgence for the Japanese gaming giant following the genius, but limited sales of the Wii U.
UK release date and price
The Nintendo Classic Mini NES has a UK release date of the 11th November 2016, with the same release date in North America and the rest of Europe. It’s priced at just under £50, so it’s a bit of a bargain when you take into account the fact that it comes loaded with thirty classic NES games (see details below).
It comes boxed with one classic NES controller, a HDMI cable and a USB cable to power the system. One thing to take into account is that it doesn’t come with an AC adapter for the USB cable that powers the unit, so you’ll either need to buy one of these or use the USB port on your TV. If you’re super fancy and have a USB port built into your power plugs then you can use one of these also.
The good news for anyone looking forward to some two-player action – and let’s be fair, who isn’t – Nintendo will also be selling Classic Mini NES controllers at the bargain price of £7.99. You’ll also be able to use the controllers for the Wii U to play Virtual Console NES games by connecting them up to the Wii Remote controller. If you’ve go a spare Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro, then these can act as your second controller for the Mini NES system too, connecting up with the same jack, in a move of infinite genius from Nintendo.
Nintendo Classic Mini NES games
The retro throwback console reboot will feature most of the greatest games to grace the Nintendo Entertainment System. Sadly, the Light Gun and Duck Hunt, along with Duck Tales, Contra, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Chip ‘N’ Dale Rescue Rangers aren’t in the list, but there’s Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, Kirby and Kid Icarus to cheer you up.
Games included on the console:
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
Donkey Kong Jr.
Double Dragon II: The Revenge
Ghosts ‘N Goblins
Mega Man 2
Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream
Super Mario Bros.
Super Mario Bros. 2
Super Mario Bros. 3
The Legend of Zelda
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
If you’re wondering whether or not you’ll be able to save your place in the games available, it’s a resounding yes from Nintendo, so it’s going to be a race against the clock to see how quickly you can rack up mid-point plays in every one of the 30 games included on the console. Check out the trailer below to see a few of them in action.
What about the tech spec for the Nintendo Classic Mini NES?
Unfortunately, Nintendo haven’t deemed it necessary to release any of the tech spec behind the mini console. What we do know for sure is that the original CPU – the 2A03 8-bit processor (MOS Technology 6502 core) – made by Ricoh (now famous for their impressive 360 degree video camera, the Ricoh Theta S) will not be the driving force behind the classic games this time around, so it’s a case of looking the part if not having the parts of the original.
The console is essentially a miniature version of the NES and while you can’t use the old school cartridges to boost the games roster, it comes replete with a pretty epic roster for the price of a single Xbox ONE game. There is no internet connection, so you won’t be able to add games that way either, so it’s definitely a case of what you see is what you get from day one.
One piece of tech spec info that is freely available, and worth mentioning, is that the games will be HD versions of their previous selves, so they should be as slick as they’re ever going to be, short of a remake. There’s undoubtedly going to be a few purists our there that will miss the original scratchy TV visuals, we’re looking forward to seeing them as they’re level best on the Classic Mini NES.
As a child of the 80s, it’s hard not to be incredibly excited about the prospect of the Nintendo Classic Mini NES. We’ve always had the Virtual Console to tap into the nostalgia, but it’s never really been the same as having the console and the games on tap, which is a sentiment that has been echoed by the likes of ArsTechnica.
The new retro console looks set to change all of that. There are a few more games we wish Nintendo had included on the device, but on the whole it looks like it’s going to be a gem. If the arrival of classic Nintendo characters on Vans trainers wasn’t enough to get 8-bit giddy about, then the Mini Nintendo Entertainment System should push us over the edge. The question is whether or not it will be enough to boost Nintendo’s sales figures enough this year to compensate for the first quarter loss it’s experienced, according to the BBC, as a result of slumping Wii U sales and the delay of the launch of the Pokémon Go Pro. With the Nintendo NX not due for release until 2017, the Classic could well be its last best hope for a strong 2016.
According to the International Business Times, the Nintendo 64 is a popular favourite for the next mini console effort from the Japanese computer games gurus, but we’d be more hopeful for the SNES to arrive before it; not just because it would be chronologically more accurate, but because of the wonder of Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World, The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past and Super Streetfighter II. If the Mini NES is the runaway success it’s looking likely to be, then surely it’s just a matter of time before we see more miniature adventures in gaming nostalgia glory.