Nintendo Famicom turns 30 years old today

Nintendo’s Famicom, specifically model number SG-1000, has turned 30 years old today.

First launching in Japan on 7/15/1983, it was an incredibly innovative game system that introduced the directional pad, heightened quality control, and introduced still-popular franchises like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, Final Fantasy, Castlevania, Metroid, and of course Dragon Quest.

The Famicom is also the system with the longest production run, spanning 20 years from July 1983 to September 2003. They even repaired Famicom consoles until 2007, only because they ran out of replacement parts.

Today the legendary games are enjoyable in more forms than before with Virtual Console, Nintendo’s digital download service available on Wii, Wii U and 3DS. There are also countless new unlicensed devices that can play Famicom games, cleverly called Famiclones outside Japan, that can play original cartridges if your system ever breaks down.

Happy birthday, Famicom! We’ll celebrate the NES in two years (yes, it took that long).

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