R.O.B., or Robotic Operating Buddy, was an accessory of the Nintendo Entrateiment System (NES) developed in the mid-80s. Nowadays, it lives on as an icon of Tool-Assisted Speedruns (TAS) and as a fighter in the Super Smash Bros franchise.Know more
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R.O.B or Robotic Operating Buddy was a project spearheaded by Nintendo after the video games crash of 1983. As trust in the industry plummeted following a barrage of low-quality games for home consoles. There was a clear threat that the industry would not recover. At the time, Atari had a massive hold in the North American market, and with its open development approach, it saw the majority of these shovelware game waves. Nintendo then saw an opportunity. They had seen a lot of success with their Famicon console in Japan and began working on a version for the States. That would eventually become the iconic Nintendo Entertainment System, NES.
One of the aftermarket accessories for the Famicon also made its way to the West. Originally under the name of The Famicon Computer Robot, what would eventually become R.O.B, received a new coat of paint to match that of the NES and released in the US on October 18rd, and in the EU on September 1st. Its futuristic look and the general glamor of robotic toys propelled R.O.B to stardom, with many children wanting the NES console just for the playing companion. Alas, even with that much hype, R.O.B only officially supported two games. Stack-up and Gyromite. But R.O.B had completed its mission, to recategorize the NES from a videogames console, which at the time was seen as a failing industry due to the recent crash, to an electronic toy. Finding a place in toy stores alongside other iconic 80s toys like Transformers and Lazer Tag.
Nowadays, R.O.B enjoys a nice retirement pension from Nintendo and its fans. With cameos and appearances throughout the Nintendo ecosystem. The speedrunning community has also liked the robot, particularly the Tool-Assisted Speedrunning (TAS) community, which develops using various software and hardware solutions. In Super Smash Bros ultimate R.O.B is viewed as a zoner character. With decent mobility and great aerial potential. But as a heavy character with a big hitbox, R.O.B players certainly wish to keep their distance.