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Old 04-01-2017, 11:37 AM   #1
Spike Spiegel
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Are aftermarket SNES systems any good?

I am looking to get into some retro gaming with some SNES games, even though I started with the PS2. I found a copy of Super Metroid in great condition along with an original Nintendo brand controller at my local used store.

Does anyone here have any positive experiences with the Retron 2, Supaboy, or other SNES knockoffs? Or should I try to find an original console?
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:12 AM   #2
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I have a "famicon 2" which is one of the first replica consoles. It plays both NES and SNES games. No complaints. Ive had it for 6 years, no problems. original SNES controllers can be used on the system. Newer consoles have wireless controllers you can use.

I thankfully got into retro games before the market blew up. My collection has tripled in value
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:19 AM   #3
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My wife and I have a retron 5. It does a great job, but we really need to use it more. Bought it to play our SNES collection and Game Boy games...picked up some NES, Genesis, and GBA titles as well.
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Old 04-03-2017, 11:41 AM   #4
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I have a Retron 3 and it does what it's supposed to. Gets frustrating sometimes getting an NES cart to read, but that was the case in the original, too. Then again, I hear the top-loading NES didn't have as bad of a problem with that...

I've been told the Retron 5 has had hardware problems more than not, and it apparently receives updates over an internet connection... and more than a few people have had the updates brick their system. Which is a shame because they're releasing a Master System/Game Gear adapter for the 5 and I emailed the company directly and they said it wouldn't work on a 3.
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:03 PM   #5
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Firmware updates for the Retron 5 require an SD card with the latest update. Haven't looked to see if there was a new one lately. The games do take some getting out, but if you pull out from one corner as opposed to straight out, it is easier.
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:29 PM   #6
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Only one I've owned is the old RetroDuo NES/SNES combo, but I remember it handled SNES emulation far better than it did NES in regards to both color and sound. Ironically, I think the SNES clone market has had much more success than clones of systems with "inferior" sound chips like the NES and Sega Genesis.
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Old 04-03-2017, 12:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
Firmware updates for the Retron 5 require an SD card with the latest update. Haven't looked to see if there was a new one lately. The games do take some getting out, but if you pull out from one corner as opposed to straight out, it is easier.
Oh so that's what it is. I had heard it had updates and for some reason my mind didn't go to SD card.

Nah the R3 has the same issue with NES game removal... when I mentioned hardware problems I meant like malfunction and easy breakage.
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Old 04-03-2017, 01:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninjinister View Post
Oh so that's what it is. I had heard it had updates and for some reason my mind didn't go to SD card.

Nah the R3 has the same issue with NES game removal... when I mentioned hardware problems I meant like malfunction and easy breakage.
The NES slot on my RetroDuo had the hardest time inserting and removing carts. Eventually, I wore down the system's pin connector and they started to break off. So, I only play my NES games on genuine hardware these days. Using the NES 4-Score adapter and NES Advantage joystix controllers can be a fun variation too.
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Old 04-04-2017, 08:30 PM   #9
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There are a couple of fantastic NES clones such as RetroUSB's AVS and the very expensive Analogue NT. FPGA consoles like RetroUSB's AVS are not emulation nor are they simply "famiclones". They offer an experience and performance just like official hardware...except in HD. You can also get an original NES to output HDMI at 1080p with the Hi-Def NES mod.

If you have any interest in the NES I highly recommend checking out My Life In Gaming's reviews of these consoles.


As for Super Nintendo, there aren't really any fantastic options available at this time. Kevtris, the creator of the Analogue NT's software, is currently working on a FPGA based console called the Zimba 3000 with the SNES being one of the many consoles that it will support...but that won't be available anytime soon. Retron 5 is a popular option, but all it is is a low powered computer with emulators...so it's much cheaper and simpler to simply download the emulator and rom to your PC. It's also worth noting that emulation will never play 100% correctly. Some common issues with emulation include inaccurate colors and graphics, bugs and glitches that wouldn't happen on official hardware and input lag(the time it take for your TV to display your button input.). The Retron 5 in particular is quite laggy and then there is also the controversy over the developers of the Retron 5 using emulators without the creator's permission. So that's something to consider if you care about that sort of thing. Overall it's not a terrible option and probably the best option for novice players that just want to use their official cartridges or controllers. It's also great for for applying translation patches or hacks.

Using an official SNES console is a bit more complicated because most modern TVs won't even display the console.

Here's the basics: All game consoles until the release of the Sega Dreamcast outputted at a signal of 240p. The lowest progressive signal modern TVs are designed to work with is 480p. If your TV even does display an image it will likely misread the image as 480i with will cause alot of visual effects, such as when you character get hurt and flashes repeatedly, to not display correctly and it will add additional input lag.

However, there are options to get an old Super Nintendo to work on modern TVs, but they all have their pros and cons. If you're interested in using an original Super Nintendo on modern TVs I recommend these videos:



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Old 04-04-2017, 09:49 PM   #10
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I'd say if you want to play the original carts, the intended hardware is always the best option.

I personally love bootlegs/knockoffs and collect them, but don't recommend them for playing official products. The quality will obviously be worse, and they could ruin your official carts, though it's unlikely.

Third-party stuff is iffy, as a lot of these don't emulate the hardware efficiently enough, leading to annoying issues. Here's Phelous' review of the Retron 5 for example:

Ultimately it's up to you, and your budget you're willing to spend on this kind of stuff, as retro-gaming can get pricey, as can a lot of third-party and some bootleg stuff.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:13 PM   #11
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I'm not a huge fan of the aftermarket 'deluxe' consoles, but the SNES as a whole is a bit of a contentious console to collect, because the market saturation is so high right now.

It's a fantastic game library, though, full of games that either have 50-hours of gameplay, or gameplay so timeless, that you can happily replay them for 50 hours.

If you want to sit down and play the games you buy from start to finish, it's a fantastic system to get into. If you simply want to amass a large amount of boxed games to fill out a nice looking shelf, then it's a very bad time to get into SNES collecting - there are simply way too many people, with way too much money to throw at it right now.
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