Nintendo confirms correct way to pronounce NES

Avatar By Le Williams | 2 years ago

After a generation and decades of debates involving the accurate pronunciation of “NES”, Nintendo casually lays the dispute to rest this week, based on a newly discovered museum find.

As originally reported by Twitter user Kyle McLain, Nintendo has formally decided on “ness,” with respect to pronouncing NES.

Since the relevant caption on the picture is written in Japanese, those unfamiliar with the language may be skeptical that the display is indeed confirmation of Nintendo’s opinion on the matter. In response, Eurogamer dug into the weeds to get a definitive answer.

Calling on the Japanese-fluent John Linneman, from Digital Foundry, Eurogamer was able to confirm that the text as written in the slide would be pronounced “nesu,” which would directly translate to “ness” in English.

“If it had a dakuten – the little dots that change the sound of Japanese characters – it could be “ne zu” instead. In conclusion, “it’s an S sound, not a Z,” the article reads.

As it goes with most arbitrary debates, both sides of the argument have merit. Proving that either Nintendo changed their mind at some point or more likely, that they just don’t really care, Twitter user LeoTheCollector replied to McLain’s tweet with an 80s-era Nintendo commercial where it’s pronounced “en-nee-ess.”

The 30-plus year commercial for Kirby’s Dream Land on NES ends with a voice clearly pronouncing each individual letter in the acronym for Nintendo Entertainment System, specifically “Kirby’s Dream Land, only on N.E.S.”

Whether it’s “en-nee-ess” or “ness” doesn’t seem to affect the iconic console’s persistent popularity, as seen in the NES Classic’s dominating sales figures.