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Super NT - Upcoming Retro SNES


#1 Richard Kain   The Kaiser CAGiversary!   2624 Posts   Joined 11.5 Years Ago  

Richard Kain

Posted 16 October 2017 - 05:56 PM

https://www.analogue...pages/super-nt/

 

After the relative success of the Analogue NT, and the Analogue NT Mini, the fine folks at Analogue are putting out the upcoming Super NT. This was inevitable, in a lot of ways. It's the logical progression of what they were already working on. But I'm still excited.

 

The Super NT is going to be an FPGA-based retro console that plays Super Nintendo and Super Famicom cartridges. It's going to boast most of the same feature-set as the Analogue NT Mini, with 1080p output video, and near-perfect audio processing. (always an issue with Super NES emulation)

 

Here's the real kicker, though. It's going to be priced at around $190 USD. This places it out of the price range of average fans who would be fine with a SNES Classic. But it also places it much, much cheaper than its predecessor, the Analogue NT Mini. (which was priced at $450 USD) So for collectors, this a much more affordable device.

 

Also, it is using the same FPGA and basic internals as the Analogue NT Mini. So the possibility of a custom firmware showing up for it is extremely high, as well as the possibility of that firmware containing all the cores that the NT Mini could take advantage of. All around, this is great news for people hoping for retro game support without significant compromises.

 



#2 Richard Kain   The Kaiser CAGiversary!   2624 Posts   Joined 11.5 Years Ago  

Richard Kain

Posted 23 October 2017 - 04:56 PM

Fresh news. Apparently, Analogue is going to be bundling a couple of digital games along with their new Super NT system. The first is going to be a "Director's Cut" version of Super Turrican. The second is Super Turrican 2. From what I understand, these are just digital copies that will be pre-installed on the system. So collector's shouldn't be expecting cartridges. But the Director's Cut version is an unreleased version of Super Turrican that represents the entire original game before it was cut down for size restraints. It will be an interesting historical curiosity.



#3 Strength&defiance   Dreamer, philosopher, poet - or an idiot as my partner calls me CAG Veteran   85 Posts   Joined 2.0 Years Ago  

Strength&defiance

Posted 24 October 2017 - 03:33 PM

The Super NT appeals to me as someone who is interested in playing old games on modern TVs with as little lag as possible. There are many routes you can take with software or hardware emulation, and the Super NT is a good example of highly precise (and expensive) hardware emulation. 

 

I think if I ever got serious about wanting to play old NES and SNES games I'd make a Rasberry Pi or other device. 



#4 Richard Kain   The Kaiser CAGiversary!   2624 Posts   Joined 11.5 Years Ago  

Richard Kain

Posted 24 October 2017 - 04:47 PM

I think if I ever got serious about wanting to play old NES and SNES games I'd make a Rasberry Pi or other device. 

 

Yes, this is the route most people take. I actually maintain a Raspberry Pi for just those purposes. (among a few others) It's a useful solution, and you can customize it pretty extensively.

 

The problem for more "intense" collectors and classic gaming fans is that software emulation has never been as accurate as some would like it to be. It has gotten much closer over the years. But there are still certain areas where it doesn't quite live up to the original. Lag is the obvious one. It directly influences gameplay and feel, which makes it immediately evident when it shows up. Somewhat less obvious, but ever-present, is sound. Software emulation has always had issues perfectly replicating the sounds of some of these classic consoles. This is understandable, as many of them used synthesized sounds in one form or another, and those are usually dependent on their hardware for playback.

 

The Super NT is not priced for the average consumer. It's too expensive for that. Even though it's much cheaper than its predecessor, it is still out of the price window of most people who would just want to play some classic games. And anyone with an appreciable amount of technical expertise and patience can go the Raspberry Pi route, or install RetroArch on their computer. The Super NT is going to be for cartridge-sniffing snobs who want the 100% pure experience, with no compromises. While that isn't a huge market, it does exist.



#5 Richard Kain   The Kaiser CAGiversary!   2624 Posts   Joined 11.5 Years Ago  

Richard Kain

Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:00 AM

After months in pre-order status, the Super NT has shipped. And my pre-ordered unit arrived! I was able to use it over the weekend to test out all of my SNES carts. I had to clean a few of the cartridges, but all of them worked.

 

Initial impressions are very positive. This thing works, and it works well. The video output is great, it looks fantastic on my home widescreen LCD TV. The scaling options are numerous, but for the moment I've been sticking to the system defaults, which are quite solid. I might play around with some of the scan lines later. The build of the physical unit itself is excellent. The whole unit feels solid, durable, and has a really nice texture to the plastic exterior. It feels like a premium product, that you might expect from a manufacturer like Apple. Clean industrial design. The unit also feels like it has been weighted somehow. While it is very small, it has a decent heft to it. A rubber sheet covers the entire bottom of the unit, to prevent slippage and keep it securely on whatever horizontal surface you place it on. This helps considerably with pulling controllers out of the system. The action on the cartridge slot is also nice and smooth. The only time I had difficulty pulling cartridges out was when the cartridges themselves were corroded and in need of cleaning.

 

I've got a small stack of SNES games that intend to play with this thing. Classics that have been on my backlog for a very long time. First on the list is Final Fantasy II (IV).



#6 Richard Kain   The Kaiser CAGiversary!   2624 Posts   Joined 11.5 Years Ago  

Richard Kain

Posted 16 October 2018 - 05:17 PM

Analogue is producing a Sega Genesis retro-console. After what they were able to achieve with the Super NT, I will be pre-ordering this thing as soon as possible. Very much looking forward to it. One great detail that they dropped is that this thing will come with a cartridge adapter for Master System games. So out of the box it will be able to play the entirety of the Genesis (MegaDrive) and Master System libraries. The one downside is that it isn't going to support the Sega 32X, but that's mainly an issue for the most hard-core of collectors.

 

Getting these museum-quality repro consoles is a real boon for collectors like myself. I sincerely hope that Analogue is able to continue their work.