Nintendo's NES Classic Edition includes old-school filters, new save system
Nintendo has finally provided some more details about its upcoming console. Unfortunately though, we're not talking about the NX, which the big N must be getting close to unveiling, given its fast-approaching release date of March 2017. Instead, we now know a little more about the NES Classic Edition, the miniaturized rerelease of the 1985 console that started it all, including its display mode options, online original manuals and a modern save-anywhere system.
Announced back in July and slated for release next month, the NES Classic Edition comes with 30 games pre-installed, including the Super Mario Bros trilogy, and the original games that spawned three decade-long franchises like Donkey Kong, Metroid, Kirby and The Legend of Zelda. The blocky shape and shades-of-grey color scheme still scream mid-80s, although there's significant shrinkage and modern conveniences like HDMI output.
If playing 8-bit games on a 60 inch HD TV doesn't quite capture the nostalgia of sitting cross-legged in front of a boxy old boob tube, Nintendo has added the option of a CRT filter which lays a scan line effect over the screen. There's also a 4:3 mode that maintains the original aspect ratio, while Pixel Perfect shows each and every pixel as a perfect square, resulting in what the company calls the most accurate representation of the games.
Nowadays most games teach players the rules through in-game tutorials, but old-timers will have fond memories of thumbing through physical game manuals for tips. Throwing in 30 paperbacks isn't practical, but Nintendo has included a digital version of each and every game's booklet, accessible online or on a smart device by scanning a QR code in the home menu.
Perhaps the most important new detail is the save system. Due to limited memory, the challenge of the original games was often about trying to beat a game in one sitting, or writing down passwords to skip to the level you were up to. While there's nothing stopping purists playing the games as nature intended, gamers accustomed to more forgiving, modern save systems can now use Suspend Points.
Pressing the Reset button on the console lets you save and jump back in from any point, and up to four can be stored for each game. It's a feature that unofficial emulators like Hyperkin's Retron line have been using for years, so it's nice to see Nintendo taking notes.
The NES Classic Edition is due for release November 11, for US$60. Check out the new trailer below.