January Releases Delayed Until Late Spring
Back in November we reported that Nintendo had plans to release ten more Game Paks for the NES in January. Well, January is almost over and done with and there’s no sign of any new games hitting store shelves any time soon. We haven’t gotten an official word as to why the games were pushed back, but we are being told not to expect them until late spring to mid-year.
With the New York test market being a success, it appears that Nintendo is concentrating on a nationwide launch of the console. Revitalizing the video game industry isn’t an easy job, after all. Trying to get major national retailers to carry the product and its games has proven to be difficult, but it looks like progress is being made. Restocking New York with more NES control decks and the existing library of games is one priority. Another is prepping the launch of the system in the next territory, which we are hearing will be Los Angeles and the surrounding areas. This staggered rollout is expected to continue through the first half of the year, with a nationwide presence expected by October of 1986.
Those that have had the NES since its October 18, 1985 launch are probably itching to get some new Game Paks and are no doubt wondering what’s on the horizon. We know what the next batch of games is supposed to be and will be covering them in previews over the next few months. Many of them will be ports of classic Nintendo arcade games, with a few original ones to boot. Here’s what to expect come June:
- Donkey Kong
- Donkey Kong 3
- Donkey Kong Jr.
- Donkey Kong Jr. Math
- Mach Rider
- Mario Bros.
- Urban Championship
- Balloon Fight
It looks like gamers will have plenty of Donkey Kong to go around this summer! It also appears that Nintendo is working on getting some third party companies on board to create games for the NES. In Japan this is already the case with the Famicom, so it’s only natural to see it happen over here. Assuming the system can find a footing as it rolls out across the country, expect more companies to hop on board and provide software. No word yet on which companies might sign on, but we’ll know more soon.
Until then, continue to play with the games already available. There are some great ones, like Super Mario Bros., Ice Climber, and Excitebike, to name a few. If you’re one of the many who are itching to get a NES, but don’t live anywhere near New York, then you might want to give F.A.O. Schwarz a call in New York to inquire about mail order delivery.
Craig has been covering the video game industry since 1995. His work has been published across a wide spectrum of media sites. He’s currently the Editor-In-Chief of Nintendo Times and contributes to Gaming Age.