Recap: NES Classic Launch Party at Nintendo New York

Nintendo New York celebrated the NES Classic edition launch on November 10 through hosting an 80’s bash that lasted through the night. Attendees comprised of the first 250 guests to the flagship store, where they were greeted to choose any iconic item from the decade: neon sunglasses, headbands, slap bracelets, Rubik’s cubes and more. Light refreshments were served, followed by a photo opportunity with 80s signs and inflatables taken with a Fujifilm’s Instax camera–similar to a Polaroid camera, giving off a nostalgic feel.

Throughout the evening, there were breakdancing performances by professional dancers, an open dance floor with 80s music, demo stations featuring NES titles, and an overall casual atmosphere. There was also an 80s inspired costume contest where the crowd acted as judges. Participants dressed up as a wide range of Nintendo mascots, including Mario, Peach, Fire Mario, Captain N, Boo, Pokémon Trainer, Little Mac and Luigi.

Click on each photo below for the slideshow and more details.

Additionally, a special video presentation was released for the first time during the commemorative event. This presentation began with Nintendo trailers from the 80s, followed by a brief history of the NES, narrated by Don James, Nintendo of America’s Executive Vice President of Operations, a dedicated member that began and is still with Nintendo today. What began as an Advanced Video System (AVS), with the hopes of taking the Famicom from Japan and introducing it to the United States, was too expensive and was not well received by retailers. This product ambitiously had a music keyboard, two controllers, a joystick, a zapper, and more.

nes-deluxe-set-displayThe AVS was revamped into what we know now as the NES. The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was previewed at the consumer electronics show in the summer of 1985 and received a positive response. It was decided that the NES was going to be introduced to a limited NY market on a shoestring budget in a small warehouse in Hackensack, NJ–a decision that would eventually revive the video game market. NES deluxe display sets were built and delivered for 3 months during the holiday season in order to introduce and market the NES in New York. Various retailers did not have a video game or electronics section, so the NES display set was installed in clothing departments. With the advent of the NES Classic edition, the games that forged Nintendo into the company they are today are back again for a new generation of players.

Nintendo New York’s famed historical display has been updated with NES memorabilia, games and even one-of-a-kind prototypes such as the AVS, related accessories and the marketing brochure entitled, The Evolution of a Species is Now Complete.


The Advance Video System, or AVS, was the prototype of the popular Nintendo Entertainment System. The AVS was shown publicly only once, in 1985 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The AVS was revolutionary for its day. The system included a keyboard, handheld joystick, light wand/gun, music keyboard, and a data storage unit, that were all infrared wireless. The revolutionary controllers were also wireless, and could be stored in the front of the main unit, or control deck when not in use. The AVS combined many features found in computers of the day and included innovative functions such as game editing and storage, music composition, light wand-TV game interaction (you could shoot at the TV), and never before seen 8-bit video game graphics.

The evening ended at midnight with fans being able to purchase the NES Classic Edition, with a double-sided poster as a gift with purchase while supplies last, an extra NES Classic controller, a NES Classic t-shirt, and the hardcover collector’s edition strategy guide, Playing With Power: Nintendo NES Classics.nny-nes-classic

KirbyGCN17’s event footage of the NES Classic Edition launch event:

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