Chiptune musicians release album on Famicom

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The plan: release music on cartridges

We’ve seen new releases for the Sega Dreamcast come to fruition in the past few years, but a brand new Famicom cartridge is an even more potent throwback. 8-Bit Music Power is a chiptune music compilation from Japanese artist RIKI and games retailer Columbus Circle, featuring artists known for their work onDig Dug, Pac-Land, Ape Escape, and more. You can pre-order the cartridge from Amazon’s Japanese site for a cool $33 USD, but it currentlydoesn’t look like it’ll ship to an address outside of Japan.

In theory, this is a great product for a niche market. But — and this is entirely the fault of my recent viewing habits — this also feels like a Nathan For Youidea. For the unaware, the show features comedian Nathan Fielder “helping” small businesses with ideas that seem just crazy enough to work, like transforming a coffee shop into an art installation namedDumb Starbucks. Or, say, releasing an album comprised of tracks from a relatively underground style of music released exclusively on a console that many people do not own. Kind of like that Wu-Tang Clan album!

Although the Venn diagram between Famicom owners (or Famicom adapter owners) & chiptune fans is assuredly sizable, it’s hard to believe that group is too large to accommodate supply. The concept of scarcity is almost more potent than scarcity itself. Even though a mere “several thousand” cartridges will be made, I find it difficult to believe anyone who wants one of these albums will be unable to get one*.

We’re probably two or three weeks away from a monotone Canadian explaining to a Japanese video game company that video games are huge, and they should release an album for a video game system. The twist? A console nobody owns, with dirt-cheap production values. 8-Bit Power comes to the Nintendo Famicomon January 31.

*The whole thing will be on the Internet in like a day, so even if I’m wrong, don’t worry about it.

A new chiptune album is coming to the Nintendo Famicom[Engadget]