Twenty-five years ago today, a certain Japanese company released what was to become the greatest gaming console of all time, the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Today marks a quarter century since the iconic system first went on sale in the United States, becoming the best-selling system of its time while setting the standard by which all future systems would be judged. I’ll admit that I was weaned on the Genesis, but it is the NES we have to thank for single-handedly saving the suffering medium after the infamous Video Game Crash of 1983, which almost destroyed home videogame consoles in their infancy.
Fun fact about the crash, which was caused by a market flooded with crappy games on equally crappy systems – it’s also known as the Atari Debacle, because one of the main factors in the crash was the the epic fail known as ET the Extra-Terrestrial on the Atari 2600. Atari spent absolutely ludicrous amounts of money advertising the game, which was cobbled together in some dank developer sweat shop in less than six weeks, only to end up burying thousands of unsold cartridges in a New Mexico landfill. I’d like to think that makes it the only videogame to hold the tri-fold distinction of being one of the worst games ever released, one of the biggest commercial failures ever recorded, and one of the main building blocks in several tasteful adobe-style homes dotting the New Mexico desert.