Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

The Nintendo Entertainment System – or 'NES' for short – may not have sold as many units as the PlayStation or Wii, but it remains one of the most influential consoles of all time.

Not only did it resurrect the console sector in North America – arguably the world's biggest market for video games – it also birthed some of the most popular franchises of all time, including Super Mario Bros., Zelda, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Castlevania, Fire Emblem and Metroid.

Of course, we know that the console was released under a different name in Japan – Family Computer (often shortened to Famicom) – but did you know that (arguably) the coolest name given to the 8-bit system was in India?

As highlighted by NicMcC83, the system launched in the country under the name 'Samurai', named after the company that sold it, Samurai Electronics. Unlike a lot of NES clones, this wasn't some cheap, unofficial release (at least not in the beginning, anyway) – it was backed by Nintendo itself and used genuine components, hence the Japanese company's logo being used on the console and packaging.

There's a lengthy forum thread here which not only includes photos of the Samurai system (including one variant which was literally a NES with a 'Samurai' sticker on the cartridge slot) but also digs into the history of Samurai's involvement with Nintendo – including reports that, struggling to make headway by taking the legit route, Samurai would later adopt the same tactics as its rivals and release cheap, 'pirate' products (like the Micro Genius shown in the video below). Samurai also produced a Mega Drive clone for India called the Samurai MG-16.

It's well worth a read if you're looking to educate yourself on the history of Nintendo – and video gaming in general – in India.

[source, via]