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What is the Nintendo Classic Mini NES? Everything you need to know about this nostalgic NES revival

The Nintendo Classic Mini NES is coming to the UK in November 2016, delivering a nostalgic NES experience in a more compact form. But how does it work, what old NES games can it play, how does it compare with the original console and what’s the UK release date and asking price? Here’s all you need to know about the Classic Mini NES from Nintendo.

What is the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System?

The Nintendo Classic Mini is basically a compact version of the original NES console, Nintendo’s first home gaming machine. Like the original NES, the Classic Mini hooks up to your TV and allows you to play a selection of 30 games from Nintendo’s back catalogue. These games come pre-installed, and there’s no cartridge slot for playing original NES titles.

What’s the difference between the Nintendo Classic Mini and the original NES?

There are actually quite a few differences between the Classic Mini and the original Nintendo Entertainment System, some of them pretty major.

First off, the Classic Mini is of course smaller than the old NES. It’s dinky enough to fit on your palm now, making it easy to carry off on holidays or to a friend’s house.

Second, you can’t actually stick game cartridges into the Classic Mini. Instead, the console comes with 30 games pre-installed (see below).

The graphics have also been boosted to 60Hz and cleaned up for the Classic Mini, so those old NES titles will look better than ever.

And the Classic Mini uses HDMI to connect to your telly, to bring it bang up to date.

Finally, the Classic Mini allows you to save your progress at any time using the new ‘suspend points’ feature, and even supports up to four different save slots per game, so the whole family can get involved. No more completing Mario in one long sitting.

What games can you play on the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System?

The following 30 games come pre-installed on the Classic Mini NES:

Super Mario Bros

Super Mario Bros 2

Super Mario Bros 3

Mario Bros

The Legend of Zelda

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link

Donkey Kong


Kirby’s Adventure

Dr Mario


Balloon Fight

Donkey Kong Jr


Kid Icarus

Ice Climber


Bubble Bobble

Final Fantasy




Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest


Mega Man 2

Super C

Ghosts n’ Goblins

Ninja Gaiden

Tecmo Bowl

Double Dragon II: The Revenge

Can you download new games onto the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System?

Sadly, there’s no way to add more NES games to the Nintendo Classic Mini. That cartridge slot is just for show and the console doesn’t connect to the internet, so you’re stuck with the 30 pre-installed titles.

What are the ports and specs of the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System?

The Classic Mini NES connects to your TV via an HDMI port, on the back of the console. No SCART sockets or anything like that, thankfully. For power it uses micro USB.

You can play games in 60Hz, an upgrade over the original NES’s graphics, with a 4:3 aspect ratio. If you want to get really nostalgic you can activate a special ‘CRT filter’ which adds those annoying lines to the screen – or you can play them with clean, modern graphics instead.

What do you get bundled with the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System?

The Nintendo Classic Mini comes with everything you’ll need to get playing, right there in the box. As well as the console itself, you get a wired controller (an exact replica of the original NES controller), an HDMI cable and a USB power cable. However you don’t get an AC adapter in the box, so you’ll need to provide your own, cheekily.

Can you play two-player on the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System?

Yes, two-player NES games can be played with a buddy on the Classic Mini, although there’s no online multiplayer (just like the original NES). However, as you only get one controller bundled with the Classic Mini, you’ll need to buy a second controller separately. In the US, these controllers cost $9.99. Word is the UK controllers will cost £7.99.

Alternatively, you can also use a Wii Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro with the Classic Mini, if you have one.

Nintendo Classic Mini: Hands-on unboxing and review

Check out our complete unboxing video and hands-on review video below.

Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System UK price and release date

Here in the UK, the Nintendo Classic Mini NES will cost £49.99. It’ll be available to buy from Nintendo and select UK retailers from November 11, 2016.

Stay tuned for our full Nintendo Classic Mini review.


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