Nintendo Announces Mini Collector's Edition NES
July 14, 2016

Take out your old NES deck and blow the dust off it. Plug it in, possibly using an adapter because your new TV only has HDMI and maybe component inputs. Insert the cartridge. Power the unit on, and be treated to pure bliss in the form of... a blinking screen.

Sometimes, retro gaming can suck. It's worth the trouble, absolutely, but sometimes it really can suck. Fortunately, there are solutions. Nintendo has made Virtual Console available on the Wii and Wii U, for instance, opening up a library of great games from yesteryear without the need to blow out dusty contacts (which actually can damage your precious cartridges, over time) and browse sketchy pawn shops. And now, Nintendo has taken things one convenient step further with the introduction of the Mini Collector's Edition NES.

You can see it in the picture at the top of this post, and I'll be honest: the first time I saw the photo on social media, I thought it was modded hardware that some dedicated fan created. This isn't something like Nintendo has done before: a plug-and-play system.

The way it works is that you plug the system into your TV, using an available HDMI slot, and you plug it into the wall. You also hook up the included NES Classic Controller, which connects (not by coincidence) to a slot that looks like one end of the Wii Remote controller. Then you pick one of 30 games and start playing. And if you have to quit in the middle of your session, you can take advantage of multiple save state slots for each included title. The library of included software is surprisingly good, I think. Here it is:

  • Balloon Fight

  • Bubble Bobble

  • Castlevania

  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

  • Donkey Kong

  • Donkey Kong Jr.

  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge

  • Dr. Mario

  • Excitebike

  • Final Fantasy

  • Galaga

  • Ghosts 'N Goblins

  • Gradius

  • Ice Climber

  • Kid Icarus

  • Kirby’s Adventure

  • Mario Bros.

  • Mega Man 2

  • Metroid

  • Ninja Gaiden

  • Pac-Man

  • Punch-Out!! Featuring Mr. Dream

  • StarTropics

  • Super C

  • Super Mario Bros.

  • Super Mario Bros. 2

  • Super Mario Bros. 3

  • Tecmo Bowl

  • The Legend of Zelda

  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

That's a solid list, including third-party stuff from Square Enix, Bandai Namco, Konami, Capcom and Koei Tecmo. A lot of people who grew up playing the NES will have experienced some or even most of the games on the list, maybe even all of them.

Nintendo notes that the hardware includes a single classic NES controller, and that you can buy additional ones for an MSRP of $9.99. They're modeled after the original NES controller, and you can also plug them into your exiting Wii Remotes and use them to play classic NES titles on the Wii U.

Now, keep in mind that these games go for $4.99 a pop if you download them on Virtual Console, which works out to almost $150 if you want them all. And in this case, you're getting hardware. It will play yesteryear's classic games, and it's a great way to decide whether you still enjoy that sort of thing. Then you can buy a Wii U if you like, and access dozens of additional titles at the higher rate. And use your spiffy classic controller to play them as you bathe in nostalgia.

This is a sweet deal, I think, and I expect it to do very well for Nintendo when it ships this November. The unit will carry an MSRP of $59.99, which means it costs about twice as much as a lot of other plug-and-play systems on the marketplace, but it also comes with a lot more games, of higher quality. I already have the titles on Virtual Console (and own cartridges for a lot of them, too), but I still want the Mini Collector's Edition NES. Do you?

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pickhut pickhut - July 14, 2016 (01:17 PM)
That's pretty neat, especially for the price. I'm actually surprised by the third-party inclusions, which really helps round out the selection. I'm just glad Nintendo didn't decide to include Urban Champion.
joseph_valencia joseph_valencia - July 14, 2016 (11:54 PM)
Like with Pokémon Go, I'm really not the audience for this. I think the 3DS is a much better option for playing old NES games because it's portable. This mini-NES might be interesting if you could buy and download new games for it.

Personally, I think a classic Game Boy reproduction would be more novel, especially if it could read actual carts. Still got my GB Pocket, but the poor thing has screen cancer.
joseph_valencia joseph_valencia - July 14, 2016 (11:55 PM)
To clarify, I mean downloading VC games beyond what's included with the machine, not literal new NES games. That's just crazy.
StarryPS StarryPS - July 15, 2016 (04:41 AM)
This is something I'm definitely interested in buying! Like you said, buying this is waaay cheaper than buying every game off the VC, and I believe you can even use the Classic Controller Pro for playing the games (which is cool for those who aren't fans of the NES controller.), so unless you're really serious about getting some MyNintendo points, there's almost no reason to not get the NES Mini. Here's hoping they release one for the SNES, as well!
hastypixels hastypixels - October 02, 2016 (06:18 PM)
Popular classic NES games in an HDMI capable piece of hardware with loads of nostalgia AND compatible with the controllers I'm not using?

SOLD. My K101+ will be so jealous!

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