The history behind the NES is as interesting as the history of video games itself. When Nintendo first completed their new 'entertainment system', video games as a popular trend were dead. Back then, many people thought of video games as just a fad, no different from hoola-hoops or CB radios. In fact, that's why Nintendo chose to call it an 'entertainment system', and not a video game system. At the time, Nintendo was a relatively small company so they actually approached Atari to help them market and distribute their new system. But Atari's executives balked. They felt the NES had no real future. As fate would have it, the NES single-handedly brought the whole video game industry back, Atari went bankrupt and we've never looked back. Powered by many great games (Super Mario Bros, Double Dribble, Legend of Zelda and Mike Tyson's Punchout) the NES is perhaps the most popular console system of all-time.
As the 1990s began, Nintendo found itself threatened by next-generation 16-bit consoles like the TurboGrafx-16(PC-Engine) and the Genesis(MegaDrive), but the NES was still the best selling system on the market. Regardless, the NES was beginning to show its age, so in 1991 Nintendo announced that the Super NES would be released that September. Unfortunately, the SNES would not be compatible with the NES and NES owners began to wonder how much support their system would receive after the SNES was released. Fortunately, Nintendo didn't drop support for the 8-bit system completely, which was a smart move considering the SNES's slow start.
Strangely, the SNES and the NES had only a $10 price difference throughout 1992. This encouraged people to buy the SNES, since it was only $10 more.
Nintendo officially discontinued the NES in 1995.
In the end, the NES had sold over 62 million systems and over 500 million games, making it the most popular videogame system in history, up to that time.
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