The Nintendo Famicom was anything but cheap

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famicom

Time for a history lesson! We’re all more than familiar with the Super Famicom console. Call it a Teevee garmez machine, or a Golden China console, pretty much everyone here grew up with it. And chances are, that your console was an off-white machine with a hint of go-faster red slapped on it. Was that colour scheme because of cheap plastics being chosen? Nope! It was actually the opposite.

Speaking to Weekly Playboy via Kotaku, former Nintendo Hardware Designer Masayuki Uemura says that the vintage console came with the vanilla Kit Kat colours because it would have been better in the long run, not cheaper.

Famicom Carts

“Originally, the inexpensive steel body we planned to use was too fragile,” Uemura explained. “So we changed it to a highly durable plastic.” So what was the deal then with the red plastic? IT Media, a Japanese site, claimed in 2010 that Nintendo used that material because it was cheaper than your mom.

Not true, said Uemura:

The reason why we used the dark red was simply due to an order from the company’s president (Hiroshi Yamauchi). Our President often wore a scarf that was a similar dark red color, with the reason being this was a color he liked.

Personally, I never had the white and red Famicom. Mine was hipster blue, no matter how much I pleaded with my parents that I wanted to be mainstream. I still see plenty of the Famicoms in junk shops and at flea markets, which is a testament to just how well they were actually made. No red rings of death ever graced my machine, I’ll tell ya that much.

Last Updated: May 2, 2013

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