14 Facts About Famicom


Early Famicom games were written on a system that ran on an NEC PC-8001 computer and LEDs on a grid were used with a digitizer to design graphics as no software design tools for this purpose existed at that time.

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Famicom was influenced by the ColecoVision, Coleco's competition against the Atari 2600 in the United States; the ColecoVision's top-seller was a port of Nintendo's Donkey Kong.

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The Famicom was slow to gather success; a bad chip set caused the early revisions to crash.

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Subsequent plans for the Nintendo Advanced Video System likewise never materialized: a North American repackaged Famicom console featuring a keyboard, cassette data recorder, wireless joystick controller, and a special BASIC cartridge.

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The original Famicom's design is predominantly white plastic, with dark red trim; it featured a top-loading cartridge slot, grooves on both sides of the deck in which the hardwired game controllers could be placed when not in use, and a 15-pin expansion port located on the unit's front panel for accessories.

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Conversely, the redesigned Famicom offered such output while introducing detachable game controllers, though the microphone functionality was omitted as a result.

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One variant was a television set with an integrated Famicom; originally released in 1983 as the My Computer TV in 14-inch and 19-inch models, it was later released in the United States in 1989 as a 19-inch model named the Video Game Television.

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Famicom as released in Japan contains no lockout hardware, which led to unlicensed cartridges becoming extremely common throughout Japan and East Asia.

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The earliest produced Famicom units have square A and B buttons; issues with them getting stuck when pressed down led Nintendo to change their shape to a circular design in subsequent units following the console's recall.

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The original Famicom has a deepened DA-15 expansion port on the front of the unit to accommodate them.

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Famicom Modem connected a Famicom to a now defunct proprietary network in Japan which provided content such as financial services.

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Unlike NES games, official Famicom cartridges were produced in many colors of plastic.

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Famicom attempted to reverse engineer the lockout chip to develop its own "Rabbit" chip.

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The final licensed Famicom game released in Japan is Takahashi Meijin no Boken Jima IV, in North America is Wario's Woods, and in Europe is The Lion King in 1995.

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