Super Nintendo is poised for action in June

May 02, 1991|By Jeff Guinn | Jeff Guinn,Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"I don't like this," says Kathy Blackmon, a 32-year-old mother of two boys in Fort Worth, Texas.

She knows there's a time coming this summer or early fall when she'll have to do battle with sons Justin, 12, and Ryan, 7.

The fight, likely to be repeated in millions of other households across the nation, will start sometime around June 1.

That's the day Super Nintendo will be announced to the world.

Blackmon's sons have been avid Nintendo video game players for four years. They've got roughly $1,000 invested in their game deck and electronic game cartridges.

After June 1, it's obsolete.

Super Nintendo, you see, is a new game deck to be produced by the leader in the home video game business. The new deck will be twice as powerful as the Nintendo machines now in 28 million homes across America.

"We've already got 15 or 20 games for the old machine," Blackmon says. "Justin and Ryan are going to want this new one, and I'm just not going to buy it for them. Not at first, anyway. I mean it."

Strong words. Fit for a battle between generations.

"If my parents won't get me the new deck," said her son Justin, "I'll probably sell my old deck and games to get the money to buy the new one."

Rumored to be on the way for almost 18 months, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System -- Super NES in kid lingo -- will be priced at $190 for the basic game system. The old game deck cost $99.

It's not yet known how much the game cartridges for the new deck will cost. But -- you guessed it, didn't you -- the cartridges from the old machine, which cost $35 to $50 apiece, won't work on the new one.

Since 1985, when it first introduced its machine to America, Japan-based Nintendo has proved adroit at selling its products in the U.S. home video game market.

Estimates by toy industry trade journals indicate 50 percent of households with kids 18 or younger have become Nintendo territory.

Nintendo is keeping mum about almost every aspect of the new system until it's unveiled June 1 in Chicago at the summer Consumer Electronics Show. Until then, no information is forthcoming about what the new game deck looks like,

Nintendo's initial goal is to sell 2 million new systems in America between Sept. 1, when the game is expected to reach retail shelves, and the end of the year.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.