Today marks the thirtieth birthday of something that was a fixture in many homes for years: The Nintendo Entertainment System.
Kotaku marks today as the NES's thirtieth, although it came out in Japan sooner than that.
The NES revolutionized gaming, and mainstreamed it in a way that the wildly popular Atari consoles never managed to do. For a while, there was always the cool kid in town who had a video game console. After a while, it became standard for most of your friends...and that was in large part due to Nintendo's appeal, ease of access, price point and more.
The NES, which helped revive the flailing gaming market after a massive crash in 1983, remains the best-selling console of all time and generally tops lists of the greatest gaming consoles ever made.
Kotaku notes that the systems had a hard time coming to market in the U.S.; retailers, still skittish from the crash, didn't want to stock them at all but early adopters were essentially allowed to do so on consignment, stocking the units for free and only paying Nintendo for the ones that managed to sell.