The debate about how to pronounce NES, the three-letter acronym for the Nintendo Entertainment System, is never-ending. Or you think it ends and then Nintendo randomly decides to throw a wrench into the works. That wrench this time is called WarioWare Gold.
The 3DS collection of WarioWare’s greatest hits also includes a museum mode of Nintendo history. In the Japanese version of the game, the museum shows off a Nintendo Entertainment System, likely unfamiliar to a region that got the Famicom name and form factor. In the description, the game points out that the NES is pronounced “Ness.”
The information comes from Twitter account FarmboyInJapan, Kyle McLain.
In the museum section of the Japanese version of Wario Ware Gold, you can unlock some slides showcasing the Famicom. Also included is a picture of the NES. Within the description, Nintendo themselves says that “NES” is pronounced “Ness”. pic.twitter.com/Vg5JjXgJgy
— Kyle McLain (@FarmboyinJapan) August 3, 2018
The two main schools of thought are entirely exclusive. On one side, people pronounce the letters individually as N-E-S, making the sounds Ehn-Eee-Ess. On the other side, people refer to it as “Ness,” pointing to the Earthbound character of the same name as proof.
For their part, Nintendo is consistently inconsistent. While press releases tend to refer to it as “an NES,” which implies a pronunciation of the letters by sounding out the Ehn sound, they have also occasionally referred to it as a Ness or the Super NES as the Sness. Commercials for Nintendo-published NES games do refer to it as N-E-S, but then there’s this WarioWare thing.
An informal poll of the Game Informer office has most respondents preferring the N-E-S pronunciation over the Ness. Which is the good and correct choice, for the record.
WarioWare Gold releases today on the 3DS. You can find our review of the game from notable correct NES pronouncer Kyle Hilliard here.