There’s a room at Nintendo’s HQ that’s just for preserving classic hardware

nintendo kyoto hq hardware collection famicom stack
Nintendo is currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Japanese release of the original The Legend of Zelda, and the firm is using the opportunity to take a look back into company history. This week’s installment of anniversary coverage offered up a fascinating glimpse behind closed doors at Nintendo headquarters in Kyoto.

There’s a room at the company’s HQ that is devoted to preserving old pieces of hardware for posterity. Inside, there are treasures dating back decades — and now collectors can plan their heist more diligently (just kidding) thanks to a photo set published to the Nintendo of Japan website.

Unlike in the United States, The Legend of Zelda originally released in Japan for the Famicom Disk System. At the time, this add-on was still very new, and Nintendo used the game to encourage consumers to adopt the new hardware.

Housed away in the storeroom are piles of unopened systems dating back to the 1980s. One image depicts shelves stacked with boxed Famicom Disk Systems from 1986, while another image shows six original Famicom consoles sitting sealed and largely unblemished — and there are even rarer pieces of hardware present, too.

A Famicom Disk System Writer kiosk sits in the corner of the storeroom, inactive but presumably still in working condition. This innovative concept allowed people to overwrite their unwanted games with brand new titles, which was less expensive than buying new releases on disk, according to a report from Nintendo Life.

Nintendo isn’t the only globally recognizable brand that devotes part of its HQ to the preservation of retired products. The 2015 documentary The Secret World of Lego lifted the lid on a similar corner of the building block brand’s home base in Billund, Denmark, where unopened examples of each set from the company’s history are kept.


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