Early Commercials for 10 Best-Selling Game Systems

1. Atari 2600, 1977

This is probably the first Atari 2600 commercial to air in the U.S., just before Christmas 1977. Poor George leaves empty-handed, but we’re willing to bet he got his hands on an Atari eventually: 30 million other people did.

2. Nintendo Game & Watch, 1981

“Neentendo” illustrates an early version of the cinematic game trailer here; when your graphics don’t hold up, just hire animators. The Game & Watch kept 43 million kids occupied through the 80s and early 90s.

3. ColecoVision, 1982

Coleco released just over two million of the “most advanced video game system you can buy” into the world in the early 80s.

4. Nintendo Entertainment System, 1985

In these kids’ defense, Legend of Zelda was pretty rad. The NES sold just over 61 million units during its lifetime.

5. Sega Genesis, 1990

Sega’s marketing plan wasn’t subtle. The Genesis (or Mega Drive for everyone outside of the US) sold about 40 million units.

6. Super NES, 1990

Nintendo’s response was a bit more civilized. It paid off eventually: the SNES made its way into 49 million homes.

7. Game Boy, 1990

Nintendo one-upped itself by sending the Game & Watch packing to make room for Game Boy, which would release in color the next year. Nearly 120 million handheld systems flooded the market and school buses.

8. Game Gear, 1991

Sega’s plan to (obliquely) talk smack about Game Boy’s lack of color ended up being a bad idea. When the Game Boy Color released, Game Gear’s edge was gone. Regardless, it still ended up being one of the best-selling early portable systems; whether or not those 11 million kids actually wanted a Game Boy is debatable.

9. PlayStation, 1994

We’re not sure if humiliation was the driving force for sales or just a perk, but Sony’s PlayStation went gangbusters, totaling more than 102 million consoles sold.

10. Xbox, 2001

Right from the start, Xbox commercials were weird. But Microsoft did well for themselves, though: the original Xbox now resides in 24 million attics.

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The NES Classic Edition Is Returning to Stores June 29

It wasn’t easy to land an NES Classic Edition when Nintendo released it in November 2016. In fact, it was nearly impossible. Stores were selling through their (extremely limited) stock within hours of hitting shelves, and soon enough, the only way to actually get one was to pay well above the MSRP on eBay or through a scalper.

Nintendo is now giving people another shot to satisfy their 8-bit nostalgia as the company announced that the NES Classic Edition will be hitting stores yet again starting June 29. Best Buy has already gotten out in front of it, announcing that they will be using a ticketing system for the console similar to how they treat Black Friday—and both in-store and online orders will be limited to just one per customer.

Chances are, many major retailers that got shipments in 2016 will get new stock on Friday, but no one knows how many each store will get, exactly. Thrillist got in touch with stores like ThinkGeek—which said "We do know it will be similar to last time. So, people will have to act fast."—and GameStop, where some stores may just see 10 units overall on Friday. If you want to make sure you're not wasting your time, call ahead.

This all may sound like more gloom and doom from Nintendo, but in a Facebook post about the release, the company did say both the NES and SNES Classic Editions will be available through the end of the year, meaning that while you might not score one on the 29th, you could still get one with a little patience.

The NES Classic hitting stores on June 29 will be the same one released in 2016, with 30 pre-loaded games, like Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Legend of Zelda, retailing at $59.99. The company's renewed interest in the Classic Edition isn't just a U.S. thing; on July 7, gamers in Japan will be able to pick up a special gold Famicom Mini loaded with 20 games based on popular manga series like Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, and Fist of the North Star. Don't expect that one to make its way stateside, though.

A New Stranger Things Video Game Is in the Works

The world of Stranger Things is ready to get the proper video game treatment. TechRadar exclusively revealed that the hit sci-fi series from Netflix will be coming to consoles, courtesy of Telltale Games. Though details are scarce, this seems to be the beginning of a working relationship between the two companies as it was also announced that Telltale’s popular Minecraft: Story Mode game will soon be brought to Netflix as a “5-episode interactive narrative series,” according to the site.

Though Minecraft will be experienced through Netflix itself, the Stranger Things game will be a traditional console/computer release. If you’re unfamiliar with Telltale, its brand of games tends to favor a branching narrative experience that emphasizes player choice over button mashing. These point-and-click adventures usually don’t have a standard release schedule, either; instead, they’re split up into parts and distributed episodically for download. The games are usually released on consoles, including the Nintendo Switch, as well as PC, Android, and iOS.

While the highlight of Telltale’s work is widely considered to be its Walking Dead adaptations, they’ve also found success with other blockbuster franchises like Game of Thrones, Guardians of the Galaxy, and its latest effort, Batman: The Enemy Within. There’s no word on whether or not the Stranger Things cast will be involved in the game, or if it will follow the established Telltale formula. In a statement to TechRadar, a spokesperson for the developer said, “we're excited to reveal details on these projects later in the year.”

This might not be the end of Netflix’s foray into the video game world. While the company has no plans to enter the market itself, TechRadar did find a job listing at Netflix for a Manager of Interactive Licensing who will "use games as a marketing tactic to capture demand and delight our member community (ex: Stranger Things: The Game)." May your dreams of a Narcos economic simulator game be realized.


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