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Old 10-13-2010, 01:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Marking the NES's Launch in Video, Audio, and Text Form

So far as we can tell -- and Frank Cifaldi has been researching this matter with startling diligence -- Nintendo officially launched the Nintendo Entertainment System in America, in limited quantities, 25 years ago next Monday. There's some dispute over the actual date, but I think we've ultimately decided to go with the official date Nintendo itself uses: October 18, 1985. Even if that date is a convenient lie.

THE POINT IS: As of sometime this month, the NES is 25 years old, and failing to commemorate the occasion with some kind of Retronauts thing or another -- well, that would be unthinkable. Unconscionable, really. Luckily for you we've been planning this for months and plan to carpet-bomb you with NES content for the next week or so.

For starters, there's the 25th anniversary retrospective that went live with the shiny new site redesign Sunday. "Oh god, not another NES retrospective," you moan. And I can understand why you might complain! Ever little detail of the NES launch and its subsequent industry dominance have been mulled, recorded, rehashed, and basically hammered into a rote that you could recite in your sleep, I bet. And we published a great historical retrospective five years ago. None of the facts covered in Jess' 2005 article have changed. Everything that had happened 20 years prior to five years ago still happened 25 years prior to now. That's how the past works, you know?

Rather than simply recap those facts again, we decided to take a more personal approach by polling 1UP editors and readers alike on their NES memories. There's even a hint of authorial voice from time to time. The result is a much more intimate and sincere retrospective than I've ever read on a site like 1UP. We've also drafted a piece exploring the staff and readers' 25 favorite NES games. And of course, in case you missed it, we recorded a tremendously lengthy episode of Retronauts a few weeks ago on the subject of the NES.

Complementing this NES feature is episode 2-1 of the new Retronauts video format, which (I've been informed repeatedly) everyone in the world hates. I guess you'll just have to deal with it.

Episode 2-1 marks a bit of a rethinking of how the video program will work. Rather than attempting to publish quick bits of video for people to enjoy every day, we're going to try publishing slightly larger pieces every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with a Saturday video that lumps them all into one. (We're starting this group on Wednesday because there were some minor hiccups involving the site relaunch.) Today's video is much longer than any of the Metroid pieces from a few weeks back. Tomorrow's will be considerably shorter than this. Basically, we'll be playing it by ear, which is a nice way of saying we're just making things up as we go along. The format will probably change again in a few weeks.

Anyway, I really had fun editing today's Retronauts and working with Richard Li and Scott Weber to pull it together. But I've had my time to bask in the glow of having created something I'm proud of. Now it's time to let go of our new baby and let you, our loyal readers, tell us why it's terrible. Have at you.

But the important thing, really, is that the NES was great and we all love it. Right? Right.
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