Nintendo's original Famicom system finally given the boot

Posted by Mark Raby

Tokyo (Japan) - Nintendo is finally closing the first chapter of its gaming history, as it will no longer answer service calls regarding its very first home video game system, the Famicom.

Western consumers know the Famicom better by its stateside name, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).  The gaming giant stopped producing the consoles in the early 1990s, but continued to repair units that users sent in, usually for around $20.

The Famicom introduced the world to Mario, Zelda, and Dragon Quest for the first time.  The system launched on July 15, 1983 in Japan, and for the past 24 years Nintendo continued to provide full service for owners.

Over 62 million units of the system were sold worldwide.  Its successor, the Super Famicom, sold nearly 50 million units.  Repairs on that system will also be put to a halt.  This is the first time Nintendo has stopped repair services for a standalone home console in Japan.

Nintendo said it made the move because it is running out of spare parts for the vintage consoles.  "Some say it's sad Famicom is leaving, and players are nostalgic," said company spokesperson Ken Toyoda, "but Nintendo's saga has not ended.  We want people to enjoy the Wii now."