by Robert Johnson Jr.
Arts and Features Editor
I, like many other people of my generation and the late Notorious B.I.G., have a great appreciation for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.
As the 1990 follow-up to the critically-acclaimed Nintendo Entertainment System from 1985 – technically 1983, if you count the Japanese equivalent’s release – it provided gamers with a bevy of fantastic and iconic games.
Unfortunately, I was too young to truly appreciate the Super Nintendo in its prime. By the time I was born, the Nintendo 64’s reign on the world stage was already underway, and the Super Nintendo was on its way out.
As of two weeks ago, I decided to change that with a little help from the fine folks at Analogue – a Seattle-based hardware manufacturer known for making field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based game consoles.
There’s a chance you don’t know what an “FPGA” is, but that’s OK – a lot of people don’t.
FPGA, without going into a definition that’ll confuse even myself writing this, is best defined by Prowess Corporation as “a hardware circuit that a user can program to carry out one or more logical operations.”
With this, Analogue is able to create a retro gaming experience that requires no emulation at all, while also creating a lag-free environment for the player – something that official Nintendo products, like the 2017-released SNES Classic, cannot boast.
The Super Nt, with this in mind, is no joke.
Released in 2018, the rather small Super Nt sports an Altera Cyclone V CPU, three HDMI modes that output in 60 Hz – 1080p, 720p, and 480p – and 48kHz of 16-bit sound. It also comes with two games from Factor 5 pre-installed – “Super Turrican: Director’s Cut” and “Super Turrican 2.”
Because of my busy schedule, I have not had a lot of time to mess around with the Super Nt, but every time I did get the chance to play it – struggling to poke my way through “Darius Twin” – I was blown away each time, both in-game and out.
Speaking of getting blown away, the audio fidelity of the Super Nt is fantastic – all the instrumentation and sound effects are beautifully outputted through my speakers, and it just sounds really nice, going from game to game.
Losing 81 times in “Super Puyo Puyo Tsu Remix” never sounded so good.
The variety of games that the Super Nt can play is absolutely astounding. You can play your standard American-released SNES titles, your PAL region cartridges, and your Super Famicom cassettes.
Basically, you have something capable of playing the complete Super Nintendo discography in such a small package. If you have a Super Game Boy cartridge, this sentiment extends itself to the Game Boy, too.
That’s thousands upon thousands of playable games!
As for the console itself, aside from the four varieties that it comes in – Black, Classic, SF, and Transparent – there is a lot of customization potential.
On the front of the console is a small, oval-shaped LED that, when you initialize the console, protrudes a white light. However, as of update 4.8, you can change this color to whatever you desire with RGB sliders.
The customization doesn’t end there – you can even change the system’s GUI with a range of fonts and text hover colors.
Analogue really struck a chord with this Nintendo 64-era kid, and I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to play the Super Nintendo in the best way possible.
However, be warned – the Super Nt comes with a (super) hefty price tag – $189.99 plus taxes and shipping – so, it’s not for everyone to throw money at. If you don’t mind taking a heavy financial hit, though, please consider getting a Super Nt.