The NES launched on October 18 in the New York market as a test to see if video games could still sell after the nuclear fallout of the gaming crash of 1983/1984. Nintendo had an uphill battle convincing retailers to carry its new console, but for those that agreed, it appears to have been a massive holiday hit. Exact numbers are hard to pin down and Nintendo aren’t revealing how many systems actually sold, but they are saying it was a smashing success with many retailers sold out leading up to Christmas. According to Nintendo, approximately 90% of its initial stock was sold.
So, what does this mean for the rest of the U.S., and when can you expect to see the NES at your local stores? Good questions, but Nintendo aren’t quite ready to answer just yet. They are focused on replenishing stock in the trial market and no doubt feverishly inking deals with more retailers to expand the distribution of hardware and software. We were told to expect a tiered rollout, meaning the major metropolitan markets will likely see the systems first. No word on when this will happen, but the good news is that it appears video games are from dead.