8-bit Game Console - Dismantled for reference and curiosity
Initially released to Japan as the Famicom in 1983, the console was later offered to consumers in North America in 1985 as the 'Nintendo Entertainment System' or NES.
It was much later before distribution to Europe and Australia began through Mattel in 1986 and '87 respectively.
After the predominantly North American computer game industry crash in 1983, Nintendo waded in with their shiny new game console injecting much needed enthusiasm into the market. This unexpectedly laid the groundwork for the most bitter war of the 1980 and 90s.... Were you a SEGA or Nintendo kid?
Using tried and true ROM cartridges for program storage and distribution the NES quickly became the new Atari 2600 for many homes.
In fact it almost was Atari that released the NES in the US but some seemingly shortsighted bitterness relating to Nintendo having released a version of Donkey Kong for Atari's competitor Coleco's Colecovision sunk the deal.
Wanting to avoid poor public interest from gamers and parents recently burnt by discontinued consoles and game lines, Nintendo remodeled their existing console so the NES looked like something new. This was especially true of the front loading, video recorder-like cartridge port.
Okay technically the front loader design had been used in the Fairchild 'Channel F' and possibly other low distribution, unloved consoles, however it was new enough to seem new.
It's worth noting that the program cartridges ('Game Paks') released everywhere bar Japan were physically quite a lot larger and have seventy two connector pins opposed to the Famicom's sixty. Famicom cartridges were also made in a variety of coloured plastics opposed to those released elsewhere for the NES that are predominantly grey.
The NES can display a total of six shades of grey and forty eight colours. Primary colours can be displayed in darker shades using a bit of tricky coding; presumably making them rapidly flick between say red and black or red and white at a certain speed. A total of twenty five colours can be displayed simultaneously and it outputs at a resolution of 256h x 240v pixels. A total of sixty four sprites can be display on screen at once in either 8x8 pixel or 8x16 pixel sizes. This is a global size value locking all sprites to this size.
The NES outdid most game consoles of the day by offering five sound channels that allow for games to be created with surprisingly complex and lively music. Some have become so iconic as to inspire a broad range of derivative works and impressive covers.