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Analogue Super Nt impressions


The week of February of 2018 was a tumultuous and uneasy time on my social media timelines. This was not due to a national tragedy or something in my personal life, but rather a flood of impressions and reviews for a piece of hardware I was eagerly waiting for. Outlets like Polygon and influencers such as MetalJesusRocks were posting that they have received and had impressions of Analogue Co’s newest device, the Super Nt! The Analogue Super Nt is machine capable of playing Super Nintendo cartridges, it was a follow up to their niche, but well received follow up to the Analogue Nt, that was a machine that can play Nintendo cartridges. While I scoffed at the Nt and it’s high price point (~500usd), the Super Nintendo which the Super Nt is trying to replicate, has way more of a nostalgic hold on me. Seeing wave after wave of positive impressions just made want to know where mine was. It got so bad I almost tweeted to the company demanding to know my order status on a public forum. Thankfully that crisis was averted as I received notification towards the end of the week and the week ended on a high note.

Upon receiving my order and after opening the outer box, I was greeted with a jet black box, which had a lilac sticker that identified it as the Super Nt. Opening the packaging I was greeted to my prize, my transparent Super Nt. Analogue offered 4 different coloring schemes for this console, Transparent, Super Famicom, Super Nintendo and Black (Listed in my order of preference, by the way). The unit is amazingly compact and it’s sized no bigger than the SNES Classic that Nintendo officially put out. Underneath the console was a small compartment which includes the AC Adapter, USB micro b cable, HDMI cable and the manual. Did you notice how I never mentioned a controller? Well unlike it’s NES sibling, this unit has definitely trimmed some of the fat to lower costs. Gone is are the analog inputs, the all-aluminum body, the two additional controller ports and of course the 8bitdo controller and receiver are now a separate purchase. These cutbacks do not really feel like I’m being deprived of value, and it actually makes the purchase slightly more reasonable (~500usd vs ~200usd). In addition, as someone who has been entrenched in retro gaming for a while, I have enough a more than adequate supply of controllers. Those who aren’t (Lucky you…) can find original accessories relatively cheaply on the internet.

Powering on machine, you are greeted with a randomize animation of the Analogue logo; those with eagle eyes will probably notice there are homages to classic game in this sequence. Like its packaging, the Super Nt’s menu is extremely minimalist. It also makes some oddball choices such as an extremely thin font, as well as utilizing the “Y” button to confirm and the “B” button to cancel. Thankfully these preferences can be changed, although for my first attempt I managed to set both confirm and cancel to “B”, one would assume there would be safeguards to prevent that, but thankfully because I was unable to save the settings, restarting the device undid my mistake.

When you’re done staring at the darkness or changing your settings, maybe you can play a game or two. On the menu you have 3 options, playing the cartridge that’s in the slot or playing the two digital games that this system comes with, Super Turrican Director’s Cut and Super Turrican 2. Super Turrican Director’s cut is the “Star Fox 2” of the Nt and inclusion of these two titles are certainly unexpected, but it is welcomed. When it comes to physical as long as the cartridge has clean contacts, the games loaded fine. Flash carts such as the Super Everdrive and the SD2SNES worked without a hitch. The only concern I had with physical media was how much force was required for me to remove cartridges from the device, I’ve experienced this with other retro repro systems. I would assume the teeth on the connectors just clamp down a little too hard on the boards I’m putting in. This makes me really wish there was an eject button like the original SNES hardware had.

Visually the any game played through this system looks fantastic, and hidden amongst the menus are filters and resolution options that allows a user to customize their experience. Although for me, the stock settings are more than sufficient for my undiscerning eyes.

So ultimately this is a machine that is meant for a gamer that craves authenticity. If you are one of those people who can really tell the difference between emulation and authentic hardware or have little qualms about regarding the ethics of where a repro system’s code was sourced, then maybe you don’t need to drop the cash for a Super Nt. But for those with an appreciation for craftsmanship, this nice way to do it on modern display technology. Given the product runs that the Nt and Nt Mini had, it’s unlikely that the Super Nt will have a large run, so strike while you can and order one if you want it (As of press time, the second wave of pre-orders is nearly sold out), less you have to brave the gray market for one down the line. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to dig up some of my SNES disc back up machines that were made in Hong Kong and see if it will work.