The Nintendo Entertainment System (commonly abbreviated as NES) was the first Nintendo home console released in America. It is Nintendo's third generation home console. It plays 8-bit cartridge type games on a TV. It is considered to have been advanced for its time, compared to the Atari 2600. It proved popular, selling 61.91 million units as of 12 Aug 2021.

It was originally going to be a 16-bit console with floppy disks as media storage, but this was changed later.

One of the first games released was Super Mario Bros. This is the system that made Mario popular, and the first major step towards Nintendo's rise in the gaming market. The NES is also the origin of a number of Nintendo's other main franchises, including The Legend of Zelda and Metroid series. Its sequel is the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.


Main article: Family Computer

The original Famicom.

In Japan, the Famicom (Family Computer) was released before the NES. Its functionality is essentially the same since it's basically the same system in a different shell, but it has extra features, including microphones built into the controllers.

The Famicom Disk System is an add-on for the Famicom, released exclusively in Japan, where games are sold and stored on rewritable floppy discs. Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels was released as Super Mario Bros. 2 in this format.


NES Controller

This is the main controller for the NES. It is brick-shaped and has a directional pad and 4 buttons: Start and Select in the middle, and B/A buttons on the right.

There were some variations of the NES controller, such as the NES-101 Controller. It has a "dogbone" shape and slightly different placing of the B and A buttons.

NES Zapper

The NES Zapper was a light gun controller used for a small amount of games, notably Duck Hunt. The first color for the NES Zapper was gray, but a soldier mistook it for a real gun. Nintendo then rereleased it with an orange color.


In 2016, a classic edition was released, with 30 games released in the 1980s and early 1990s set with it. This includes Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Dr. Mario, Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3.