Gaming History 101

Know Your Roots

Dissecting Nintendo’s Famicom Classic Edition (Mini) Differences

with 9 comments


This week, Nintendo announced the Eastern component to the NES Classic Edition (or NES Mini) that most of us knew were coming.  Nintendo did allow some hands on time and offer new information on the NES Classic that will probably apply to the Famicom Classic as well, so check that link above if you haven’t already.  The delightful Famicom Mini is officially called the “Family Computer Classic Edition” and it appears to be quite similar to the Western version save for the obvious aesthetic difference, but also with some details and games.  Like the NES Classic Edition it will contain 30 games, it does not accept cartridges, and it will retail for ¥5980 (which at time of writing is literally $59.80).  Those of you already hoping to import should expect international shipping to be approximately $20-$30 depending on the speed of shipment and retailer.  I’ve already checked and no one currently has it on pre-order, although some bigger import sites do have pages for it, but I suspect it will not have a supply problem as the price point for these consoles suggests it needs to sell a large quantity.

Now there are some notable differences that you should be aware of.  Of course the games will all be the Japanese counterpart and contain the Japanese versions, but the universal HDMI out means that any HDTV worldwide should easily support either console.  On the other hand the USB power supply is not included in the Family Computer Classic Edition and can be purchased for ¥1000 ($10) if needed.  Those picking up both versions can most likely use the included NES Classic Edition cable and it’s probably the common micro-USB plug type.  Also the Famicom Mini, like the original Famicom, has two controllers wired directly into the console and are not removable.  As for games, 8 titles are unique to each region, so 22 of these titles are on both consoles.  Here’s a quick list of those and you can expect a video of these region specific titles coming soon.

The titles exclusive to the NES Classic Edition (Western release) are:

  • Bubble Bobble
  • Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
  • Donkey Kong Jr.
  • Final Fantasy
  • Kid Icarus
  • Punch-Out!! Starring Mr. Dream (identical to Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! with a sprite swap)
  • Star Tropics
  • Tecmo Bowl

The titles exclusive to the Famicom Classic Edition (Easter release are:

  • Atlantis No Nazo
  • Downtown Nikketsu Monogatari (River City Ransom in the West)
  • Downtown Nekketsu March Soreyuke (never released in the West, athletic events title)
  • Final Fantasy III (the Western FFIII is actually FFVI, we never got this one on NES)
  • Mario Open Golf (NES Open Tournament Golf in the West)
  • Solomon no Kagi (Solomon’s Key in the West)
  • Tsuppari Oozumou (Bumping Sumo in English)
  • Yie Ar Kung-Fu

These are some interesting but not surprising differences, especially if you consider no licensed games and a large number of publishers from that era are now defunct.  If you live in the West, you probably find the list for the NES Classic Edition much more enticing.  That’s the idea and Nintendo has always done a decent job at appropriating regional differences.  I’m sure some of you are already pointing out that Zelda no Densetsu (Legend of Zelda) has different music and sound effects, as does Metroid, and a handful of other Famicom Disk System titles.  Heck, Linku no Boken (Adventure of Link) has drastic differences to the gameplay that make it even more brutal than the US version that almost no one completed.  All in all, both provide a strong package for their given regions.  Here’s the official Japanese trailer from Nintendo.

9 Responses

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  1. Still don’t understand the purpose of a new version of a console that only play a small percentage of the catalog.


    October 2, 2016 at 6:41 pm

    • It’s to grab money from nostalgic people and hipsters! 😀


      October 3, 2016 at 8:34 am

  2. Yeah this is a stocking stuffer for people who either don’t have time for video games or haven’t picked one up in about 10-20 years. Sure, there will be retro enthusiasts who will also grab it, but that’s mostly because the cost of this item is about the same as the cost for Super Mario Bros. 2 and 3 in cart form these days.

    Fred Rojas

    October 4, 2016 at 9:32 am

  3. I just realized, it is only a matter of time before people crack it and make a mod that accepts flash carts.


    October 5, 2016 at 12:44 am

  4. I’m curious if the controllers are going to be small. Looking at them they seem to extend to the same place on the unit (the power switch) as they do on my normal Famicom. this is concerning as that would make the controllers tiny (less than 50% the size) as the unit is so much smaller than the Famicom (again less than 50% of the size). Also if they are built in like the real Famicom then they can’t be used to play virtual console games or used as a classic controller on the wiimote and an 8bitdo Retro Receiver on a real NES/modified Famicom. If they are removeable then does the second controller have a start and select button so both controllers are fully useable on other platforms like those I mentioned?

    I was on board to order both but the more I think about the problems the less appealing the FCCM looks if the answers to these questions are not ideal.


    October 11, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    • A couple of things I can tell you from what I’ve seen and discovered. People are saying the controllers look small, but I’m not sure they are any smaller than the traditional Famicom controllers are, but I can’t be sure until I get my hands on a console, which no one has. I can also tell you that both the Famicom and NES Classic Editions have short, approx 3 foot, cords on the controllers. I can also tell you that the Famicom Classic Edition does not allow you to unhook the controllers, much like a real Famicom, so the virtual console option and different controllers is limited to the NES Classic Edition. This also removes the problem with controller 2 not having the necessary buttons. I also would guess port 2 would have a microphone like the Famicom, but I can’t be sure. It had better though, especially since Zelda no Densetsu is in there and that’s necessary for the Pols Voice enemy.

      Fred Rojas

      October 11, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      • Small controllers: Not sure how there is any way around it. For them to be the same relative size to the unit they must surely be smaller as the unit is smaller.

        Hard wired: This is exactly what I was afraid of. It makes the NES mini 100x more useful of a purchase than the FC Mini.

        Missing buttons: Acceptable if someone wants to buy a hard wired tiny cabled limited library mini console with (apparently) undersized controllers.

        No mic: Zelda no Densetsu on everything but FDS had an option to kill pols voices using the select button. It’s funny that us westerners NEVER got an option to kill pols voices so easily we have always had to use arrows. 😛 Aren’t we the ones who need our games made easier? 😛


        October 12, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      • This whole deal seems to be “Americans bitch about their products while Japanese people will simply say ‘shoganai'”. They are shitting on their eastern customers and import customers by saying “You get what you get, how dare you want to have a better controller for your Wii/WiiU emulators?” and catering to their western non import customers by giving them an experience tailored to them. “Want a controller that is NES proper on your Wii/WiiU? Why the frack not?!?!”


        October 12, 2016 at 3:40 pm

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