Gamers and collectors of all ages rejoiced this past summer when Nintendo announced they were reintroducing the 1985 household favorite as the NES Classic Edition: a mini version of the original gaming console. The NES Classic ($59.99) officially launched on November 11th and has received rave reviews ever since for its ease of use and nostalgic appearance.
While the console is a throwback in design, it does come with some modern conveniences, like an HDMI cable, adapter and four save slots for each game. The NES Classic also comes complete with one controller modeled after the original and works seamlessly with a modern digital TV. Simply plug in the power, connect NES Classic to your TV’s HDMI port and press the power button to begin playing 30 pre-loaded retro classics such as Super Mario Bros, Donkey Kong and The Legend of Zelda.
Gamers also have the option to choose between three displays which can enhance their gaming experience. The CRT filter adds a scan-line effect; the 4:3 ratio maintains the original aspect ratio; and, the Pixel Perfect turns every pixel into a perfect square. While each display option offers a different advantage — gamers agree that, as a whole, this NES Classic makes games look better and brighter than ever before.
Classic Gameplay without the wires or the hassle
While this console has been hailed one of the “best gift for 2016” — its controller, quite simply, has fallen short. Literally. With cables that only extend to 2.5 feet in length, gaming at a comfortable distance is not really possible. It also lacks a home button which means getting up every time you want to reset the console. Thankfully, there are solutions to overcome this. Gamers can purchase a long HDMI cable or a third-party wireless controller.
The MiniBoss controller from Nyko ($24.99) or the NES30 from 8bitdo ($39.99) are two great options. The MiniBoss allows gamers to play from up to 30 feet away and looks similar to the original NES controller. However, some gamers have cited that it doesn’t have the right feel, and the directional pad can be a bit sticky and unresponsive.
If you’re willing to spring for it, the NES30 is may be a better option based on industry reviews. This controller not only has a good feel, it’s also compatible with plenty of other platforms! While it does have a couple of extra buttons, the addition of a home button means gamers don’t have to continuously get up to switch games.
Despite these very minor controller annoyances, the NES Classic is still an amazing console, combining 1980s/90s nostalgia with the incredible ease of a plug-and-play emulator system. It’s also worth noting that while the game selection is fixed, a lack of internet connection means there’ll never be system or game updates. This also means there’ll never be compatibility or connection issues in the future.
Should you want to give the gift of a NES Classic this holiday season, you’re in luck! Best Buy will reportedly have new units for purchase in store only on December 20. But make sure to get in line early – as it’s sure to sell out fast and will be limited in stock.
If you’re unable to snag an NES Classic before the holidays, don’t despair. They are sure to restock again soon. And, in the meantime, we have great alternative holiday tech gift recommendations in our holiday gift guides for all ages!