Nintendo shocked the gaming world today by unveiling its new console – and no, it's not the NX. It's the NES.
Yes, that NES – the same classic Nintendo Entertainment System from the mid-80s, only now shrunken down to palm-sized shape and with 30 blockbuster games built right into the thing. And the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System (a.k.a. the NES Classic Edition in the States) is cheap, too, with a holidays-friendly release coming on 11 November.
Call it a nostalgia grab, but it's one that appears to be done incredibly well, with all the tiny details perfected, a blistering selection of classic games, and a price point that can't be beat. It even has those classic, boxy NES controllers – and no, those haven't been miniaturized.
When it comes to mining nostalgia, especially the games and hardware many of us experienced for the first time as kids, it's essential to honor the source material. Calling it the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System and then popping it into any other design would have been a huge misstep.
Luckily, it looks like Nintendo nailed the landing here. At a glance, the Nintendo Classic Mini truly is the original NES (seen above), although now you can hold it up in your hand. True, the controller ports a little different and the cartridge slot probably doesn't open - or if it does, it won't take your old games - but the retro look still warms our hearts.
And that's not all: check out the packaging below. By maintaining the classic appearance of the box on store shelves, Nintendo set this console up to bring back those decades-old memories of craving the thing every time we went shopping with mum. But this time around, we have a little something called disposable income. Hooray for adulthood.
Portable and primed
Not only does the smaller frame make for what's surely a cheaper console to produce and purchase, but it also makes the Nintendo Classic Mini ultra-portable. You can pop it in a bag and bring it to a mate's house or a hotel when traveling, or quickly transport it around your flat with minimal hassle. It just uses an HDMI cable to plug into your TV and a USB cable for power (adapter sold separately, unfortunately).
And since the games are all built into the box, you don't need to worry about crating around loads of dusty old cartridges – or blowing into the slot when they don't work. True, it would be nice to run your treasured carts, but that would make for a much more expensive device here. The Nintendo Classic Mini hits the ideal balance of price and functionality.
The device comes with one of the new NES controllers, plus you can use a Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro from the Wii if you prefer (or for the second player). And additional NES gamepads will be available for just US$10 (about S$13), amazingly, so your total spend here for a two-player experience won't be far off from a single new Xbox One or PS4 boxed game.