In Japan there are tons of companies making games for the Famicom (the Japanese equivalent of the NES). Nintendo has taken a slow and steady approach in the U.S. to keep the quality control of games arriving for its system high. The NES is in the midst of launching nationally right now, but by Christmas there should be a smattering of third-party games available in stores across the country.
The first two approved and licensed third-parties are Data East and Konami. Veteran arcade players may recognize the names, as they are prevalent makers of coin-op games. Data East has announced that it will bring Tag Team Wrestling, Ring King, and Karate Champ to the NES this fall. Konami has several games in the works, but the only one they’re ready to announce at this time is Gradius. This is a brand new side-scrolling space combat game. It has sold extremely well in Japan and Konami believes it can succeed here as well.
We are hearing that there are many more game publishers lining up to create games for the NES, and Nintendo is eager to sign them on if they have quality software to provide. We will update you as more are announced, and we expect to begin previewing some of the games by September. The lifeblood of any home console is a steady stream of quality games, so it’s encouraging to see Nintendo branch out and include more publishers for its system.