History of Super Mario (1985 - 2020)

Summary history of NES up Super Mario Bros.

Nintendo, after harvesting several successes in the Arcade Salons at the beginning of the 80s, commissioned Masayuki in the design of a new system. A console that worked with cartridges. The initial intentions pointed towards an advanced 16-bit microcomputer with floppy disks and keyboard. Hiroshi Yamauchi rejected the proposal. Yamauchi, he considered that the keyboard and discs would intimidate non-technophilics. Finally, it was opted for a console, also of cartridges, but cheaper. They began working with a prototype test in 1982, the functionality of its hardware was verified and began to operate on their programming tools. The console CPU had never been used and all software was elaborated from scratch. The first games were written in a system that ran on a NEC-8001 NEC-8001 computer and a grid to design the graphics with a digitizer.

The name of the project was Gamecom. The suggestion of the woman of Masyuki Uesmura, who considered that it was best to sell it as a family computer, ended up deciding his baptism as Famicom. After contemplating an advertising fence of the Japanese manufacturer of DX Antenna antenna, Yamauchi decided that it would be white and red. Famicom had a huge and renowned influence by elemium of collection, which had been the great competitor of Atari 2600 in the United States. Takao Sawano, head of the project, was impressed by the quality of the console graphics regarding Atari’s model. They lacked flashes and deceleration, so common in Atari games.

At first, they thought about cartridges of the size of a cassette, but they ended up being twice as much. Nintendo’s experience in the Arcades did redouble efforts in the design of connectors for cartridges, parts that usually decoupled or were defective. The system needed 60 connection lines and Nintendo decided to develop its own connectors. The controllers did not connect to the console by connectors to reduce costs, and were imported directly from the Game & Watch. The design team wanted to use joysticks as in the Arcades, but it was dismissed by the doubts that raised its durability. Katsuyah Nakawaka incorporated a Game & Watch to Famicom and decided it was the best. Although a 15-pin port was finally added to attach the arcade control as peripheral. Gunpei Yokoi suggested adding an expulsion lever to consider that it would call the care of children. UEMURA decided to incorporate it, as well as a micro to reproduce voices on the TV.

The machine had an 8-bit microprocessor produced by Ricoh, which worked at 1.79 MHz and was based on the MOS Technology 6502 nucleus. It incorporated a hardware sound standard and a DMA controller on-die. It had 2 KB of RAM, which could be increased via cartridges, and a 48-color palette and 5 gray. It could show 52 colors and 64 sprites on screen, of 8 × 8 or 8 × 16 sizes, and its resolution Alcazaba 256 × 240 tables. The controllers, or controls, had an oblong brick form and counted on the crosshead designed by Yokoi, or pad, and four buttons. “A”, “B”, “START” and “SELECT”.

Famicom was launched in Japan on July 15, 1983 along with three company Successful Arcades of the company: Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr. and Popeye. The beginnings were not easy. A remembrance of defective chips forced Nintendo to withdraw the product to put a new motherboard. Once the problem has been resolved, Famicom became the best-selling console in Japan at the end of 1984 and its popularity shot. Nintendo had not made his console to sell it alone in Japan. He began negotiations with Atari to launch the console in the North American market with the name Advanced Video Game System. The agreement was due to the Summer Consumer Electronic Show of 1983, but collected showed Donkey Kong running on his system at the event, which he violated the exclusivity agreement that Atari would have with Nintendo’s products. The CEO of Atari was ceased the following month, and Nintendo decided to take over his product in the region.

At the beginning of 1985, 2.5 million famicom had already been sold in Japan, and Nintendo announced its plans to launch its system in North America that same year. With the industry recovering from the collapse of 83, the press had serious doubts about the product’s success in the region. The March issue of the 85 of Electronic Games magazine talked about “Nintendo’s calculation error, because the videogame market had practically disappeared in the United States.” In the CES of that same year, Nintendo presented the American version of Famicom, with a new design that included a slot for the cartridges. He opted for the space for cartridges on the front instead of in the superior to look like a cassette recorder, very popular in 85, and that he would distinguish the console from all the previous ones. In addition, Nintendo engineers considered that a design with cartridge front slot would be safer for children before static charges that could occur in the driest states of the United States. The NES was born (Nintendo Entertainment System).

Its release supposed a new way of raising the business of videogames, whose domestic market was strongly damaged. The little confidence of consumers and retailers caused by the dubious and notably marketing techniques, led to the crisis of 83. Prior to NES, the images in game were retouched without contemplations. Nintendo was marked as a goal to recover the confidence of retailers and players, with a system of features and defined qualities that did not need to be falsified to attract attention. To distance himself from what a market had been offering yet with the stigma of problematic, Nintendo changed the nomenclature of his products and established a railroad and licenses. It was not a “videogame system”, it was an “entertainment system”, with cartridges like “game packages”, instead of “video games”. Instead of console, the system was called “control cover”.

These measures were well received at all toy stores. To avoid the production of unauthorized games and piracy, Nintendo created a blocking chip that acted as a key and lock on each console and cartridge. The genre of each game would be indicated in its box, reliable images of the game would be shown and the Nintendo quality seal would be included. «This seal is your guarantee that Nintendo has approved and guaranteed the quality of this product». This text was then changed to the official seal of quality of Nintendo.

Nintendo of America marketed the console by directing it mainly to the children, contrary to what he did with Famicom in Japan, and established a strict censorship policy for sexual, political or religious content, which would not leave until 1994. NES was marketed with peripherals as Robotic Operation Buddy, a robot that was part of the marketing strategy that helped to position NES as a sophisticated and novel technology that distanced himself from what was seen in previous consoles and defined as a toy. Initially, the American audience did not excite the console, but the peripherals like the robot and the Nintendo Zapper, a light gun, caught a lot of attention.

Nintendo launched a limited strip of NES units in New York on October 18, and in the rest of the country in February 86. The final launch would occur in September of that same year, with 17 games selected by the Tester Howard Philips, some with famicom chips to adapt the Japanese versions to North American consoles. The following Nintendo plans never materialized. A famicom with keyboard for North America, a cassette recorder, a Basic cartridge or a wireless joystick. The console would end up selling 60 million units around the world. The game pack with which it was presented in the United States included: 10-Yard Fight, Baseball, Clu Clu Land, Excitebike, Golf, Hogan’s Alley, Ice Climber, Kung Fu, Soccer, Stack-up, Tennis, Wild Gunman, Wrecking Crew… and Super Mario Bros.