A quarter of a century ago, a Japanese company called Nintendo released the Nintendo Entertainment System, a squarish, gray, video game console. The NES launch was a small, understated affair – at first, the system was only available at FAO Schwartz, in Manhattan, in a limited run. The next year – 1986 – the NES went into wide release. The rest, as they say, is history.
So hey – happy birthday, Nintendo! On a personal note, this particular Horizons blogger grew up on the NES, and has fond memories of skipping a few school days to battle through the final levels of Super Mario Bros. (Which may, in retrospect, explain a whole lot.) But we're not alone: across the Web today, tech writes are posting plenty of birthday messages for the NES. (Wired magazine even has a full run-down of the early history of the NES.)
Vintage video game aficionados will remember that in May, in honor of the 30th anniversary of the original Pac-Man, Google changed its homepage logo to an interactive doodle. "Pac-Man seems like a natural fit for the Google homepage," the designer of the doodle wrote at the time. "They’re both deceptively straightforward, carefully hiding their complexity under the hood. There’s a light-hearted, human touch to both of them."
But we decided we could think of a few games that might make even better Google homepage doodles. Among them: Street Fighter II, Asteroids, and yes – Donkey Kong and Super Mario Bros, both of which appeared on the original NES system. Google guys, are you listening? You've still got a few hours remaining to gin up a nice little homepage design (possibly an interactive one), in homage to everyone's favorite little video game console. (Have you heard how many copies it sold?)
We'll be waiting. In the meantime, if you've got some favorite memories about the NES, by all means send them in our direction. (We'd especially prize a few good Duck Hunt stories.) If we pile up enough reminiscences, we'll publish them in a subsequent post. We ask only – as always – that you keep the language family-friendly.