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The history of Dendy, the most popular and affordable 8-bit console in the '90s

Every schoolboy or older person in the early '90s remembers the elephant-headed Dendy console that was on store shelves and caused a sensation among kids at the time. The name Dendy itself - this is only one of the most publicized variations of the clone of the console NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), the other options were not a few, such as Lifa, Subor, Kanga, Panther, Hongda, and others. All are clones of the famous NES, and Dendy was the most publicized, and therefore had a slightly higher cost, although the quality is not different for the better, but even the opposite, many clones have been more convenient joystick, and the case consoles nicer consoles. Speaking about cloning, Dendy took its entire body from the Famicom, only joysticks were changed, which were equipped with two more buttons.

The Dendy Junior case is a replica of the Famicom case, but there were also models like the Dendy steepler or Dendy Classic, which had a different, more square case. The case changed shapes over the years and the Dendy Classic 2 looked quite different, although no global changes were made to the stuffing.

And it all started with the Famicom console, which was first introduced in Japan in 1983 and a little later in the US and Europe, under the name NES (Nintendo Entertainment System). The console was also sold in a number of other countries, under other names. For example, in India it was introduced as Samurai, and in South Korea as Hyundai Comboy. All these names belonged to the same game console and were officially sold in other countries, under copyright control. For the USSR, and later Russia and the former CIS countries, such a miracle was not available, both physically due to the lack of official supplies, and financially, because by our standards, the cost of the original console at the time was close to the cost of a Soviet car.

One enterprising Taiwanese company started producing NES (Famicom) clones in the late 1980s and selling them under the Micro Genius brand name. In 1992, when the country already had a lot of opportunities in both good and bad ways, the Russian company "Stippler" approached the Taiwanese "Micro Genius" with a proposal to supply their set-top boxes to the Russian market under the brand "Dendy". The proposal was met positively and this is how the first 8-bit video game console appeared in Russia and former CIS countries. Though expensive, it was more affordable for local consumers than the original. The rest of clones came from China, they were developed on the same board as Dendy, just had a variety of forms of casings and gamepads, as well as cost a lot cheaper than the hyped brand.

The market for Dendy games was just as quickly filled with Chinese cartridges, which, unlike the branded Dendy, contained collections of games, but were not infrequently defective, but were almost twice as cheap. Dendy cartridges usually, like the original NES, contained one game, rarely 3-4. Chinese clones were not only ashamed to stick sticker games that did not correspond to reality, but also renamed even well-known games into some obscure names. Usually out of the announced 90 games on the cartridge there were 10-15, which were just repeated.

Despite such a non-standard layout of the appearance of the first gaming consoles, it's worth noting that if we hadn't had clones, it's unlikely we would have known about the wide gaming industry at all in those years, it would have just passed us by.

In the mid-90s, the popularity of Dendy, and the NES itself, declined significantly, due to the emergence of more modern, 16-bit consoles on the market. Progress was not static and by the end of the 90s the era of 8-bit consoles and arcade games had faded into oblivion.

In the mid-90s, the popularity of Dendy and the NES itself waned considerably, due to the emergence of modern 16-bit consoles.