Nintendo celebrated the twentieth anniversary of the original Famicom system in Japan in 2004 with the limited edition Famicom Mini line of Game Boy Advance games. For ¥2000 each, Japanese gamers can collect original Famicom classics that have been ported to the Game Boy Advance and run under emulation. There's no Super Mario Advance-style upgrades here; the games run exactly as they did all those years ago, original graphics and sounds included, plus each game pak includes a tiny bit of memory with which to save high scores, passwords, etc. Even each game pak's box art is identical to the original artwork with the inclusion of red and white borders, the colors of the original Famicom unit. Gamers can engage in multiplayer play by sharing a single Game Boy Advance or via linking two Game Boy Advances together or by using the new wireless adapter (note that the only simultaneous two-player game in the set is Ice Climbers and to do so requires two units). The Famicom Mini collection consists of the following ten games, listed in order of release:

Gamers who purchase all ten games in the set can register them at Nintendo of Japan's website to send away for a special commemorative storage case that is loaded with classic Famicom character artwork. If you want to go all the way with the Famicom theme, there's even a special red-and-white Game Boy Advance SP. A special bonus limited edition rare Famicom game, Mobile Suit Gundam: Z Gundam Hot Scramble, is the eleventh game in the set and is only available as a contest prize from Bandai. As it is so rare, its registration is not required with Nintendo to receive the special carrying case. In fact, the case doesn't even have the space for this eleventh game.

Nintendo of America was hesitant to jump on board the Famicom Mini train and refrained from announcing plans to bring the series to America. Importers and eBayers took note of this, as the online auction service is full of people auctioning off Famicom Mini games for $35 each or $250 for the complete set of ten games, a major markup from the off-the-shelf-in-Japan price. In late March 2004 it was announced that the series would come to America in June 2004 as the Classic NES Series, but would not include Mappy, Star Soldier, or Mobile Suit Gundam: Z Gundam Hot Scramble. A special Nintendo Entertainment System-themed Game Boy Advance SP is also part of this set.

Nostalgic gamers demanded more, however, so in May 2004 Nintendo planned a Japanese release of ten more titles for the Famicom Mini collection:

And if all of that wasn't enough, ten more games were announced in July 2004 for release on August 10, 2004.

Two more collector's cases were issued with each phase as well.


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