One of the most revolutionary products of all time turn 35 today, the Nintendo Entertainment System. Initially released in North America on October 18th 1985 in approximately 500 stores across New York City and New Jersey. I personally want to just talk about the NES and how it saved gaming and changed the lives of millions including me, and also the history and my opinions on it.
Personally, I think this is consoles' release was one of the most important dates and releases in world history. I know there are far more serious and important moments in history such as wars and reform that drastically changed the way we live and make an influence between life and death. However, I still believe the release of the NES is up there as one of the most life-changing and influential moments in our modern history, the NES is a major reason why hundreds of millions worldwide play video games and dedicate so much of our time towards video games, without Nintendo our lives could've been potentially entirely different, we may have not been as dedicated towards gaming or maybe even never play video games. We could be dedicating our time towards watching movies or reading if the NES didn't save the industry worldwide. Our lives would likely be more boring without Nintendo & the NES. The NES is one of the primary reasons why I'm so passionate about video games and I dedicate whole essays to write about them. Who knows where we would be right now if it wasn't for the NES's success.
I am incredibly thankful for Nintendo and what they've done to help the video game industry flourish worldwide with the NES, I want to say Thank You to Nintendo for making the lives of millions, directly or indirectly, better and more enjoyable.
I know some people may argue that the NES didn't save gaming. However, you have to admit that gaming worldwide would be no where near as big. Nintendo was the one to make gaming BIG in Japan with the Famicom when before it was mostly a niche market and Nintendo clearly saved it in NA. While Europe was still playing games on PC, without the NES becoming big, Playstation wouldn't exist, which we all know Playstation is huge in Europe and made gaming even bigger in Europe with the PS1. In other regions such as China, South America, clone NES consoles were extremely popular in those regions. If you guys want to see me elaborate more on why the NES saved gaming and debunking common arguments against the NES check out the first post in this thread:
It wasn't easy for Nintendo to save gaming with the NES, Nintendo had to overcome a bunch of obstacles and take an insane amount of risks to save gaming with the NES.
Firstly, Yamauchi took a huge risk by guaranteeing he'll order 3,000,000 chipsets from the company Riccoh over a two year period for the Famicom/NES. Yamauchi did this to make the Famicom/NES as powerful as possible while being as cheap as possible, as Yamauchi aimed to release a console that would be so technically advanced from anything else that was in the market that no other console would surpass it for at least a year. People thought Yamauchi was crazy for making a deal of 3,000,000 orders of NES chipsets over 2 years, since consoles in Japan wouldn't even surpass 100,000 in sales, if the Famicom didn't suceed as well as it did it could've been the end of Nintendo. However, Yamauchi was so confident in the Famicom he took the huge risk, and it payed off as the Famicom was the first real system in Japan that was a major hit as it stood out so much from everyone else while being affordable.
Another huge risk Nintendo took was attempting to release a console in the dead NA market after the 1983 crash, literally no one in NA didn't want anything to do with video games anymore and many thought it was a passing fad. When Nintendo was attempting to market the NES in NA, no one was interested and thought it would be a massive failure, retailers refused to stock the NES. Here are some of the things people said to Nintendo around 1985 with Nintendo attempting to market the NES:
No one had faith in Nintendo, Nintendo of America President Minoru Arakawa began to doubt the NES and was thinking about giving up on trying to sell the NES in NA after all the negative criticism they've received. He talked to Yamauchi about giving up on the NES. However Yamauchi refused to give up on the North America market. He believed they must get the NES in the hands of the customer first before even considering giving up. Yamauchi believed that if Japanese customers were falling in love with the NES, Americans would too.
So Minoru Arakawa went right back to work trying to market the NES in NA. it literally took Nintendo to make a MAJOR gamble where they allowed retailers to stock the NES for free and that Nintendo would buy back all unsold inventory, retailers thought Nintendo was crazy, but they finally placed orders to receive NES systems for the 1985 holiday season since it was little to no risk for them.
During that Holiday season, sales weren't crazy high but were promising, as Nintendo sold about 50,000-90,000 of the 100,000 shipped to NY/NJ retailers. Showing there was still interest in video games. The NES would than release nationwide on September 1986 and the rest is history, Nintendo revitalized the gaming industry.
Had the NES failed in NA, not only could've it been the end of NOA, but maybe Nintendo and video games as a whole. Yamauchi gave Arakwawa a hefty 50M$ (Equivalent to 120M$ in 2020) to market the NES in NYC.
I like to give a shoutout to Hiroshi Yamauchi, he doesn't get talked about as much as the likes of Miyamoto or Iwata. But what he did for the industry was nothing short of revolutionary, he had faith in video games and the NES when nobody else did and he essentially was the driving force to help save the industry. R.I.P
Thank you NES for changing the lives of millions. Happy 35th.