PUMA’s no stranger to concept. This year alone, the brand has pumped out thoughtful, collaborative designs with the likes of Rhude, The Hundreds, and J. Cole – but they’re not done yet. Its latest effort is done in conjunction with Nintendo, and is inspired by the Japanese gaming goliath’s rich video-game heritage.
It’s no secret that the popularity of gaming is at an all-time high; it’s not all that surprising, either. The virtual pastime has been beloved since its inception, though its influence has grown at an unprecedented rate in recent years. This surge in video-game prevalence has spawned the likes of esports leagues, professional streamers, and independent game developers.
This new reality would not be possible without the groundwork laid by prior gaming consoles, namely the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES for short). The NES released exclusively in Japan in 1983 to rave reviews. The system, then called the Famicom, changed the landscape of gaming by allowing audiences to play their arcade favorites from the comfort of their living rooms. It was also among the first entertainment systems to feature interchangeable game cartridges: imagine that?
Nintendo’s trailblazing console would make its way to North America two years after its initial release, in 1985. It was an instant hit, enamoring western audiences with its crisp, 8-bit graphics (Remember, this is 1986.) and a deep library of games – 18 to be exact. Among the games featured were “Duck Hunt,” “Ice Climber,” and, of course, “Super Mario Bros.” Even three-plus decades after its introduction, NES’s influence is still felt to this day. Don’t believe me? Take it from PUMA, who recently dropped a collaborative sneaker with Nintendo that celebrates the system that started it all.
The PUMA Future Rider “Nintendo Entertainment System” boasts a playful design that is fully inspired by the groundbreaking machine. It comes dressed in a breathable, “Gray Violet” mesh upper, which appears on the toeboxes. Lighter-grey suede overlays cover the mudguards and heel counters, while similarly shaded leather overlays appear on the sneaker’s lateral and medial side panels. The design is completed by PUMA’s iconic formstrip logo, which graces the sides in smooth black leather.
While the upper serves to seamlessly mirror the NES, it is not complete without the bells and whistles. Tongues are decorated with tags featuring graphics taken from the original “Super Mario Bros.” cover art. Rectangular, power button–inspired, 3D TPU pieces protrude from the midsoles, and removable hangtags are made to reflect original NES controllers. The colorway is finished with white, lightweight IMEVA midsoles and black-rubber outsoles. The PUMA Future Rider “Nintendo Entertainment System” is available now on JimmyJazz.com.