Thursday, November 17, 2016

Like Classic MINI NES, Classic MINI FAMICOM Big in JAPAN

Well it’s the month of November and from the look of things video game-wise North America, and Europe have been going on a super 80s retro trip with the release of the Nintendo Classic Mini NES, a miniaturized version of the venerable Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game console that transformed the home video gaming experience for many. We’ve covered the features of this updated throwback in past articles: HDMI TV connection, Netflix-like main menu to select any of 30 pre-loaded popular NES games, suspend save slots, peripherals, et cetera. And I suppose it doesn’t take much speculation to know that these things are going fast at sold-out levels the month before Christmas.

But don’t think it’s only the western market that’s getting this little slice of electronic entertainment nostalgia. Nintendo’s a Japanese company after all, so it’s only expected that they’ll have their own sendup to those wonderful years of gaming. In fact, they got to experience it at least a day before the US and Europe did, with their own release of the Nintendo Classic Mini Family Computer, or the Famicom Mini for short.

For those who never got the distinction, the old NES and Famicom are the same game system encased in starkly different product packaging. The Famicom was a red-white machine with attached controllers (and a microphone on Player 2) that slot into the sides of the console when not in use. It had looked too toy-like for Nintendo of America, which cooked up a black-grey- red box casing similar to appliances like the VCR and having detachable boxy controllers. The Famicom Mini then, like the NES mini, is a scaled-down version of the original console, but with the same basic features as its western counterpart. Due to having preloaded games however, the cartridge slot and eject switch on the console are superficial facsimiles, like the ornamental mike on controller 2.

Aside from having attached controllers, the Famicom Mini also has a slightly different game library. Of the 30 total, only 22 titles are shared between NES and Famicom. The Japanese now get another old Squaresoft RPG in “Final Fantasy III”, the prototypical fighting game “Yie Ar Kung Fu”, and the action beat-them- up game “Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari” (“River City Ransom” stateside) among others. Take note however that the Famicom Mini doesn’t come with an AC adaptor for its USB power cable.

Now here’s a parting shot courtesy of Forbes: In Japan the Famicom Mini has sold just as quickly as its NES Mini cousin. Ever since it’s November 10 launch a total of 262,961 units were snapped up by eager buyers. To compare with the Sony PlayStation 4, considered a top-seller, within the same release period as the NES Mini it only sold 32,041. It could be the price, or it could be the nostalgia.

Photo Credit to NDTV


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