All About Japan

NES Gets First New Cartridge in 21 Years

Gaming Music

This December, Nintendo’s 8-bit Famicom, the Japanese version of the NES, is getting its first commercial cartridge release in more than two decades.

Many gamers have had their skills dulled by the more forgiving nature of contemporary titles, but there’s no need to worry about the upcoming Famicom release being brutally difficult. That’s because it’s not actually a game, but an album of chiptunes. 8Bit Music Power, as the cartridge is titled, is a collection of 12 tracks that you stick into your Famicom to listen to, much like putting a cassette into a tape player or disc into a CD player (kids, if you don’t know what any of those things are, ask your mom and dad).

You can use the Famicom controller to switch tracks, and the music is accompanied by some impressive visual effects for Nintendo’s venerable console.

Contributing to the album are a number of noted composers who made names for themselves before CD sound became the industry standard. In 8Bit Music Power’s roughly 44-minute runtime, you’ll hear tracks from Yuriko Keino (composer for classic Namco shooter Xevious), Takeaki Kunimoto (Star Solider)
Masahiro Kajihara (Valis), and Nobuyuki Shioda (Summer Carnival ’92 Recca). Also represented in the cartridge are Hiroaki Sano, known for the music heard in the anime Sekirei and Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, along with Keishi Yonao, Omodaka, Saitone, Prof. Sakamoto, Tappy, and Hally.

8Bit Music Power is scheduled for a December 2015 release, and will be available from retro-gaming peripheral retailer Columbus Circle.

Read full story: