Gaming portal takes you to the Nintendo Entertainment System
In the late 1970s, Nintendo, then an experienced maker of electronic games, noticed the success of programmable video game consoles as well as the huge success of the ColecoVision in 1982 with one of their own games, Donkey Kong, being the pack-in with the console. They decided to get involved in this success, first by exclusively distributing Magnavox Odyssey consoles in Japan, then by making their own console, the Family Computer, or Famicom. This console was intentionally made to look like a toy and was released strictly in Japan only. It took 60 pin cartridges.
Nintendo CEO at the time, Hiroshi Yamauchi, initially wanted a machine created that could out-do the many other electronic games on the market. He gave this task to Masayuki Uemura, saying he would like a console with a 16-bit processor and disk drive while still being affordable (about US$75). Unfortunately, including these features would have costed far too much, so instead they went with an 8-bit processor and the disk drive came later as an add-on called the Famicom Disk System.
The Famicom was released in Japan in July 1983 at a price of US$100. The first games released were Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr and Popeye but by the end of 1983 they had made enhanced versions of Donkey Kong Jr and Popeye that allowed 2 players, and they had released Baseball and Mario Bros as well as a Go game and an adult title.
In its first year of release, the Famicom was often found to be quite an unreliable console with numerous bugs and freezing problems. Yamauchi did not want this system's future to be threatened and so he recalled all sold systems and stopped further production until the problems were fixed. Famicom was re-released with a new motherboard but the same familiar design.