Oh joy! I am elated to hear about Nintendo’s announcement of the NES Mini. As a nostalgia fiend, it checks off all my boxes: its looks are identical to the original console, the controller looks as if it’ll feel like the real thing, and most importantly, it’s mini! There’s something about tiny versions of larger things that make them feel cute.
One of the things I love most about this is that it’s accessible. Collecting retro games has become increasingly difficult due to arbitrary price inflation, and as a Canadian, I am also stuck dealing with a crappy dollar when buying from international sellers. This new tiny console will allow for people looking to dabble in nostalgia to be able to do so without having to break the bank buying up the actual console and cartridges. A quick tabulation of what the games alone might cost if people were going the purist route comes out to well over $400, and Nintendo will be offering this console for $60. I’d like to think that this is Nintendo’s secondary answer to the surge in the retro game market, with the first being the virtual console options for the Wii and WiiU.
Apart from its general appeal and accessibility, I think the most important thing that this little console will do is provide new gamers with the opportunity to experience retro Nintendo games for the first time. Instead of having to buy up a Wii or WiiU and then buy digital copies of all the games they want on the Virtual Console for at least $100, they can get a snapshot of some of the games that made many of us fall in love with Nintendo in the first place. I think there’s a lot of merit to this because there are roots that run pretty deep in gaming’s history that began with Nintendo. I can’t personally imagine experiencing today’s games without having known where everything grew up and out from. Anything that makes retro gaming accessible to everyone is something that I can get behind without question. I also like the fact that the NES Mini will combat game piracy to an extent. I only play emulated games when I’m using websites like retroachievements.org, and even then, I already own copies of the games I’m playing through. Although people will still pirate games, I’m happy that Nintendo is offering an alternative for those that would prefer to buy them rather than resorting to emulation.
As someone that collects retro games, I think this is something I’d still buy for my collection. Although I already own most of the games on the list, the portability of a Plug and Play is very attractive, especially when you’re the one bringing the gaming experience to other people’s houses. Because of its HDMI capability, it’s the kind of thing I could bring to a party easily, or can see myself giving to my younger family members that might some day feign an interest in gaming. Passing on what made my childhood particularly enjoyable is something that I’d love to be able to do!
I hope you’re all enjoying this lovely day. Thanks for reading!