15 things that the Japanese loved about the Famicom (NES)

With the advent of the internet and hardware specs similar to computers, video game consoles have changed quite  a bit since the humble cartridge-based days. Without a doubt, the 8-bit console that forever changed how kids play was Nintendo’s Family Computer, or Famicom for short (Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, elsewhere).

Here are the top 15 things that Japanese gamers especially liked about the king of 8-bit:

  1. Many games had simpler gameplay
  2. It was easier to learn how to play since there were less buttons
  3. You could get playing faster since all you had to do was insert the cassette
  4. There were great games that are even fun to play today
  5. At the time, it was the system that could play the legendary Super Mario Bros.
  6. The simplistic music and sound effects were pleasant to listen to
  7. It was fun exploiting bugs in the game
  8. Since it was before the Internet and there was little info before launch, buying new a new game was a thrilling experience
  9. 2D sprite graphics had charm
  10. There were some awful games that are actually interesting if you play it now
  11. At the time, it was the only system that could play the legendary Final Fantasy series
  12. Since it was before the Internet and walkthroughs didn’t exist, getting far in the game made you popular at school
  13. The hardware rarely broke down
  14. Was able to play games that were similar to the ones at the arcade
  15. A lot of attention was paid to the game’s packaging, and were very distinct

I think they forgot the significance of the directional pad that the Famicom pioneered, but it just shows how natural it is that everyone forgets about it.

Also, did you know that the Famicom was a lot smaller than the NES? The controllers were permanently attached to the console.


Below is a comparison of Super Mario Bros. cartridges in the revised NES. Believing that bigger is better, the game cartridges were  doubled in size outside of Japan. You’d be surprised how much wasted space is in there!

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