Last year, I was very fortunate to be visiting Nintendo of America at their HQ in Redmond, Washington on the very day that the famed NES Classic was released. My oldest daughter and I were able to purchase the sought-after miniature system from the employee store for MSRP - $59.99. As time would soon show us, it was much more difficult (nearly impossible) for members of the general public to get their hands on a system without paying vastly inflated prices thanks to the secondary market. Adding insult to injury, it was announced earlier this year that the system was done, and that it's being followed-up by the SNES Classic, prompting many to believe that a repeat of last year was shaping up - especially after pre-orders for the SNES sold-out in minutes. Today comes news that Nintendo is planning to make things right.

It was 1991 when THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: A LINK TO THE PAST arrived, the third game in the Zelda series, and first for the recently-launched Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). I came into THE LEGEND OF ZELDA a tad late, our family getting the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) a few years after it came out, but just at the right time (probably 1988 or so) to be really into the Zelda series by the time that THE SUPER MARIO BROS. SUPER SHOW! started airing in syndication the following year, presenting animated episodes of The Legend of Zelda in place of the Mario Bros. each Friday. The reason I cite the third game in the series as a benchmark is because it was a massive game for Nintendo at the time, helping to usher in the era of a new system, and it has a title that perfectly relates to being a parent: As my kids grow to love THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, it is in fact "a link to the past" - my past.

Netflix Stream TeamNintendo is going through a renaissance right now. The Nintendo Switch is an excellent game system and an even better experience, continuing to win fans as The Legend of Zelda and Mario are once again bringing generations together. Last Fall, the NES Mini Classic Edition arrived, fast-becoming a sought-after collectible that was hard to get, yet great to play - a perfect way for kids of my generation to introduce 30 classic games to kids of our own. Though it was quickly discontinued ("never meant to be a long-term item" is the reason), rumors persist that an SNES Classic Edition is lurking down the road. Beyond gaming itself, I've previously written about the deep gaming content available on Netflix, and on July 7, that world expands with the debut of the Netflix Original Series CASTLEVANIA. Thanks to the NES Classic, I've introduced the game to my girls... but now it's time to go bigger into the legend of the Belmont clan, and even the first teaser involves blowing into a classic NES cartridge. Check this out...

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Last month, our oldest daughter, Addie, accompanied me on a special trip to the North American Headquarters of Nintendo, nestled into the wooded Seattle suburb of Redmond, Washington. While Addie loved it and made memories that will last a lifetime, for me the visit rekindled some feelings from the past - a kid who grew up a Nintendo loyalist and had a few different Nintendo Christmases. The original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and it's successor, the Super NES (SNES) were both Christmas gifts... and in 1997, my future wife and I both presented each other with wrapped Nintendo 64 (N64) systems under the tree. This year, nostalgia is mighty, and as Nintendo looks ahead to the 2017 release of their new Switch gaming system, there's much fun to be had, with plenty of Nintendo goodness available right now, and perfect for last-minute gifting. And it all swings back to the beginning...

If you grew up in the 1980s as did I, you blew into a Nintendo Entertainment System cartridge more than a few times. I did, and I still have my non-functioning NES (and a Power Glove!) stored safely away for eventual repair. But did blowing into the cartridge really work to aid in the weird NES start-up glitches? That depends on who you speak with about it, but the one thing I've heard most over the years has been confirmed by Nintendo themselves - that blowing into the cartridge can cause damage by corroding it due to the moisture in your breath. This week, PBS Digital Studios' IT'S OK TO BE SMART looks into the mystery of "Why Did we Blow On Nintendo Games?" Take a look at what they have to say about it...

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