Nintendo Reveals How to Pronounce NES

The great NES debate has, hopefully, been resolved by Nintendo.

Have you ever wondered what the proper way to pronounce NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) is? If not, we bet you’re thinking about it now. Is it “N-E-S”, do you just roll the letters into the cleanly pronounced “NES” (said like “Ness), or do you go with the increasingly popular pronunciation of “Nez?” Well, Nintendo has finally stepped in to end the debate once and for all. 

In the recently released Nintendo 3DS game Wario Ware Gold, you’ll find a museum section that showcases various pieces of Nintendo history. As some Twitter users, including Kyle McLain, have pointed out, the Japanese version of the game features a slide that shows the NES. The description underneath the picture notes that the correct way to pronounce the name of the console is “Ness.”

The good folks at Eurogamer asked one of their resident Japanese speakers to translate the text of the game to ensure the accuracy of the preferred pronunciation. They confirmed that the exact wording of the console references that the preferred way to pronounce NES is to say it just like the name “Ness.”

That actually makes a lot of sense. The “Nez” pronunciation is more of a user-generated evolution of the original name/pronunciation more than it is a piece of grammar discerned from any official Nintendo materials. Speaking of official materials, many people have long speculated that Nintendo clued the world into the correct pronunciation of the NES when Earthbound featured a protagonist named Ness. 

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Not everyone is accepting Nintendo’s statements as the final word on the subject, though. Fans are already pointing out the fact that the creator of the GIF image formate pronounces it as “Jiff” (like a charlatan) as proof that not every creator should be the definitive source of pronunciation information. 

As such, we bet this debate will wage on regardless of this revelation. 

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