Nintendo’s mini-sized classic console

(One of the hottest tech gifts of 2016 may be a throwback to 1985.)

Nintendo's mini-sized classic console


Nintendo has put out a new console.  The thing is that it isn’t a new console at all, it is a new version of the old Nintendo Entertainment System.  Complete with square controllers and all.  And the best thing is that if you are looking for a tech gift this holiday season you probably couldn’t do a lot better than this throwback to over 30 years ago.

Of course there are some updates to be made.  For starters this was made to attach to modern televisions.  So you can now have 8 bit graphics beautifully displayed on your 55 inch high definition TV via HDMI cable.  Also the controllers while looking the same have been changed to a USB connection rather than the older systemvideo.  Additionally the whole device has slimmed down, a mere 5x4x1.6 inches.  This slick little device will either take you back to those great memories of the mid-80s or let you experience the foundation that modern game systems are built on.

This system doesn’t go with the old cartridge system (sorry, but you won’t need to blow on it to get it working correctly).  Instead the device comes loaded with 30 games from Nintendo’s stable of 8 bit classics.  But that does bring up a question.  With the hundreds of games that were available with the NES was out and the new hotness, how do you bring that list down to 30.  Surely some peoples favorites will be left out, but there is some gold in the list.  You’ll find classics like the Mario Bros, Legend of Zelda, Castlevania and Pac-Man.Nintendo's mini-sized classic console (One of the hottest tech gifts of 2016 may be a throwback to 1985.)

There are a few spots in this system that leave a little to be desired.  The cord is a bit short and since it still has wired controllers you may not be able to sit back on the couch to play your games.  But as I think back to my youth playing the NES we normally would sit on the floor anyway.  Also the only way to swap out games is to go back to the main menu and start from there.  The way to get there is the reset button on the console, you can’t seem to get back just with the buttons on the controller.  So that wired controller that is keeping you close to the device might not be that bad.  The biggest problem is that there is no way to connect the device to the internet.  This means that there is no way for Nintendo to push out new games to the system.

Even with its faults this is still a great system to pick up.  If you wanted to play any of these games you would have to hunt down a working NES, this would run about $100 on ebay.  Then you’ll need to find the game you want to play, while it means you can play any game made for the system you’ll have to find it and hope it works.  All that blowing has led to a lot of games with corroded pins that no longer function properly.  But this little mini-system gets around all of that and for a much lower price tag.

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