2017
10.07

So 2017 it seems I’ve gone full Nintendo this isn’t something that’s happened since 2006-09 with the Wii/DS but yet again Nintendo found a way in. This time I’ll be speaking about the SNES classic and why it has managed to drag me in despite the fact that it is literally just a tiny ARM box with a rom carousel like I and everyone have been using for years now on the Pi.

Background for me and the SNES

For me the SNES was THE console of my youth, every generation has that console the one that *seems* to go on for decades and defines a good portion of your youth and friendships with others. Yes I know you’re saying “What about the NES”. I had (and still have) my NES and it was important too but I enjoyed a lot more games on SNES and it set up what genres I’d prefer going forward more than the NES so the SNES is it.

On September 29th 1992 my birthday I had asked everyone who was asking about gifts to give me $20. This seemed odd to most people but I explained it. I wanted a SNES and asking one person to buy it was too much so if everyone pitched in and I got to go buy it then it was like everyone got me a SNES. The plan worked and I had enough to buy the base system with one controller/no game. The first game I played/rented on it was Krustys Funhouse and the first game I actually owned was Sim City. The SNES had hit after hit after hit and there was never a shortage of games to try and it seemed to go on forever.

The SNES Classic comes along with 20 great games packed in, a tiny SNES shell,old fashion dog bone controllers and the release date was September 29th 25 years to the day of buying my first SNES. I had sold my original SNES when I was 15 to buy some parts for my new “console” a 90’s PC rig that needed a good sound card and CD-ROM. The only thing that saved my NES from being sold was that is was barely workable at the time (I fixed it in 2001). Since I still had my NES I wanted something to represent the SNES time of my youth and this was perfect to fit the role.

Getting one

I wasn’t able to get one launch day like many others but the sounds of the initial stock were much more promising than usual for Nintendo launch days. I kept an eye on NowInStock for the next week and the following Friday I was able to nab one from Walmart.ca. This is good news for anyone trying to get one it means Nintendo is continuing to populate stores with them compared to the nightmare of the NES classic last year.

SNES Classic review

As luck would have it my GF also picked one up in Simcoe  and brought it that same Friday so I got to try it without having to wait for mine to arrive. The system itself is absolutely tiny but it is a good replica of the original console. The power button slides up and clicks in place just as the original and the reset button has the same push up and release function. there is a red LED on the front of the system so when running it looks just like the original.

The shell has that same grainy plastic feeling as the original, it really feels like you’re holding a SNES…a tiny SNES.

The system comes with 2 SNES “dog bone” controllers and they have that same grainy feel on the casing. The buttons and directional pad feel like the original. I have used a couple brands of replica controllers in the past they do not replicate the feeling you get of holding a real Super Nintendo controller whereas these do.

Interface

The interface is very similar to Emulation Station with a carousel to select your game. There are a few display options available to adjust how the games are displayed with 4:3 being the default. I find 4:3 is bright and very pixelated it feels like you could count the pixels if you wanted. Pixel perfect renders it in the systems native resolution which looks odd to me as that was never how it was displayed. CRT emulation adds scaliness, this was the best mode. The colours and pixels just look better in this mode.

Issues

Cord length

Cords are still to short even though they’re better than the NES classic. There’s plenty of extenders for reasonable prices out there and I already ordered a set.

Phoney Port cover

I like that it makes the SNES classic look like a SNES when not in use but I bet by the 10th-20th time you pop it open it breaks off. Feels very flimsy

 

Overall

Yes a Pi does all this stuff but it’s still not an official Nintendo device and Nintendo did a great job of making this easy, fun and affordable. It looks like Nintendo wised up supply wise, Yes you still have to work to get them but you can actually get them. Nostalgia wise it perfectly fills the SNES gap in my games collection without having to spend the now ridiculous cart collecting prices that have popped up in recent years. If you loved SNES you’ll love this.

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