After its successful trial launch in New York this past holiday, Nintendo pushed forward with plans to distribute its NES and lineup of Game Paks nationally. A number of factors have slowed down the rollout, most notably supply constraints and retailer buy-in. If the past few years have taught retailers anything, it’s to be cautious when signing on to carry new products, especially video games. Many still have a rotten taste in their mouths after the industry crashed and burned at the tail end of 1983 and throughout 1984. Nintendo has gone on the offensive, courting one retail chain at a time to convince them that video games weren’t just a fad, and that this time will be different.
This strategy worked perfectly in New York, and with many national retailers now on board to carry the NES, it’s just a matter of time before it shows up on store shelves near you. We’ve gotten word that they should start appearing in the Los Angeles area late this week. It might take time for stores to allocate space and properly display the new systems and games, but by mid-March the west coast will finally have the hottest gaming console on the market.
If you’re curious as to what Game Paks to purchase alongside the system, we heartily suggest Super Mario Bros., as it’s one of the best games we’ve ever played and a must-have for all owners of the NES. For reviews of some of the other titles, check out our review page. If you spot one in the wild, let us know where you found it in the comments below. Good luck!