Today's Tech News and Reviews

Review: NES (Nintendo) Classic Edition


I have been putting this review off for a couple of weeks. Not because I didn’t like the new/old Nintendo reboot, but because I have been playing it so much.  Then, of course, we had to spend the week of January 3-8 at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. A great, productive week meeting old friends, interviews with great product showcases as well as making great new friends, and looking at what’s been showing up in the research lab since the show ended.  So let’s look forward to starting 2017 watching the great and interesting videos the team from Poc Network brings out in the coming days.

Today I have the time to talk about what Santa put under my tree. To be honest, I was pretty sure I was getting this system, so my wife left it out from under the tree. At the end of presents, I was sad faced, and not saying anything because I never saw anyone open a NES Classic Edition.  Especially not me.  My wife left the room and laughed as she handed me the package. “Did you miss something under the tree, Honey?”  That’s how I was one of the lucky few who had a Nintendo NES Classic Edition show up at my home for the Holidays. Let me tell you: If you grew up with the original 8 bit system, or if you played it when your Dad was sleeping, this is the best reissue I have seen. It’s got the best games, it’s got the look, it’s got the old school feel, and it’s got a 2 ft long control cable!  Hopefully in the new year Nintendo ships a lot more of these systems to Amazon so everyone who wants one can play old school 8 bit Nintendo.  Let’s get down to the details.

This unit is Nintendo’s offering in the Retro System barrage we had in 2016. As someone who owned a few of the original 8 bit NES systems, I was really looking forward to playing the games which really made the original Nintendo a popular home system in the early 1990s on a screen bigger than a 19 inch CRT tube. The much smaller box has the familiar Nintendo graphics along with a pic of the ubiquitous unit and the retro controller pad.  In the box is the NES Classic Edition, a USB Cable and Power block, an HDMI cable, some My Nintendo paperwork, a nice wall poster, and the Classic Controller with a 2 FOOT CORD.  The game system is smaller than the original NES 8 bit Cartridges and is a duplication of the original look. It’s got a red led on the front panel which is on when you are playing. To the right of the led is the power button and then the reset button. As many have noted in their various articles, the cartridge door does not open, and the controller slots are the Wii controller cable type connection. The necessary but not included 10 ft extension cable is available at any place which sells Nintendo gear or the knockoffs. The back of the NES has a micro USB port for power, and the HDMI output. It’s very simple to set up, just plug the HDMI cable into any open port in your flatscreen or AV receiver, get some ac Power for the USB power bloc, connect both cables to the back of the system, and you are ready to play.

The Classic Edition is an all in one emulator which comes bundled with what are arguably 30 of the top 8 Bit Nintendo games, although there will always be those they missed, and those they could have left out. Some are single player games, and others are 2 player games. The only issue I had with the system was the included single controller. When playing 2 player games, when the second player’s turn comes up, one has to quickly pull the first controller and plug it into the player 2 connection slot and vice versa. The original 8 bit system also came with only one controller, however: when the player changed, the single player controller could be handed off without needing to unplug/replug.  Since the additional NES Classic Edition controller is as hard to find online or in brick and mortar stores as the system, I am hoping to get one by March.

Here’s the list of the games included:

  • Balloon Fight
  • Bubble Bobble
  • Castlevania
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Double Dragon II: The Revenge
  • Dr. Mario
  • Excitebike
  • Final Fantasy
  • Galaga
  • Ghosts’n Goblins
  • Gradius
  • Ice Climber
  • Kid Icarus
  • Kirby’s Adventure
  • Mario Bros.
  • Mega Man 2
  • Metroid
  • Ninja Gaiden
  • Pac-Man
  • Punch-Out! Featuring Mr. Dream
  • StarTropics
  • Super C
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Tecmo Bowl
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

There are 3 Video Modes so you can set up your game in Pixel Perfect, which is a square in the middle of your TV, 4:3 which stretches it out, or CRT mode so the games look like you are still playing in your mom’s basement. The game system has 4 save slots per game, and to save you push the reset button on the system, not the start or select buttons on the controller.  You can save any game at any place and go back later to start up. The menu is really clear and easy to navigate, the game graphics are the original box covers to express even more nostalgia to the original gamers.

So, 60 bux, 30 games and one controller. Is it worth the wait? Is it worth paying crazy prices on the internet?  Yes, and no. The games play great. The controller feels so much like the original it’s like riding a bike. Each of the games included would have cost 49.99 USD each when new, and the system was 99.00 USD when bundled with Super Mario Bros. I only had about 1/3 of these games, and rented a few more. Even if you just bought the same games on the Wii U it would be 5 bucks each, with no mini console stand alone unit, so wait for the NES Classic Edition. It’s well worth it for the money.  I spent the first two days after Christmas day going back and forth for hours between Super Mario and Zelda, which to me have always been the best anchors in the Nintendo playhouse.  I actually liked revisiting the arcade games like Donkey Kong, Mario, and Galaga. Those games have inspired me to create a future project man cave Arcade using this system as the core and adding on two arcade style controllers which are slowly becoming available from other gaming manufacturers.


Our Conclusion

Many people are hoping that Nintendo continues to re release the classic NES systems in these smaller all-in-one versions over the next couple of years. I know I’d buy a mini Super NES Classic Edition, or N 64 Classic Edition as long as they keep slotting in 30 games and keep the price at $59.99 USD. I found this a great update to a great and innovative original video game system. The short Control cable, and having to goof with the cables for two players, as well as Nintendo’s under supply for the Holiday season are why I won’t give this one a “TEN”.  Thanks Nintendo for bringing my first love back. Now if i can get some sleep.



Our Rating

9 / 10 stars           

Average Price*


*Average price is based on the time this article was published

Additional Images:


Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.



About Author

Mike E

An audio specialist with over 20 years of audio engineering experience. When not sitting behind a sound board, he enjoys spending time with his family, including his two youngest sons, as well as rock/mountain scrambling, rappelling and taking his Jeep into hard to find areas (until it has to be dug back out from the dirt).

Comments are closed.