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opa
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NES in 2019 - clone console or original?

by opa Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:19 pm

I'd like to get an NES but I don't necessarily need the original hardware. I've seen some clones for as low as $20 new. Now I know you get what you pay for with these things but I figure maybe the clones have gotten better over the years. Anyone have any experience with what's available these days?
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BoneSnapDeez
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Re: NES in 2019 - clone console or original?

by BoneSnapDeez Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:08 pm

If you want a clone, go the premium route and get something like a Retron 5 or RetroFreak. The cheapo clones that simply play NES games generally will perform worse than an actual 30-year-old NES.
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Re: NES in 2019 - clone console or original?

by marurun Fri Aug 09, 2019 2:31 pm

Arguably, even those nicer multi-system units don't perform as well as an original NES, but they have other benefits that offset those failings.
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opa
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Re: NES in 2019 - clone console or original?

by opa Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:26 am

Thanks for the input, guys.

I do know about the retron 5 but that's a bit more than I'm willing to spend (and I don't need the other systems/options it supports). Just quickly skimming ebay it seems you can get an NES (with varying amounts of additional games/controllers) for about 50 to 80-ish.
I'm going to check out some local stores to see if they've got a system for a decent price when I have the time but I will keep researching clones to see if any are adequate. I'll probably post an update later.
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Re: NES in 2019 - clone console or original?

by Ziggy587 Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:42 am

Are you playing on a SD tube TV or an HDTV? That would heavily affect my decision. Consider the cost of a NES plus the price to install an HDMI option, some of the higher end clones are a better bang for you buck. There are cheaper options to use a NES on an HDTV, but they don't yield as good of results.

Authentic NES Console
Pros:
• 100% compatibility
Cons:
• Only outputs RF and composite video
• Mod kit to for HDMI is $145 + installation
• Mod kit to for RGB (and S-Video) is $75 + install
• Famicom carts require adapter
• Cart slot may need to be repaired or replaced

RetroN 5
Pros:
• Supports NES/FC, SNES/SFC, GEN/MD, and GB/C/A
• Outputs 720p60 over HDMI
• Video filters
• Other various features
Cons:
• Software emulation isn't 100% accurate (compatibility list)
• No support for multi carts, cheat devices, flash carts, et cetera

AVS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGSidnlOhd4
Pros:
• FPGA clone acts as real NES console
• Includes NES and FC cart slots
• Outputs 720p60 over HDMI
• Other various features
Cons:
• Pricey at $185

Lower Priced "NOAC" Clones
Pros:
• Low cost
Cons:
• NOAC technology has lower compatibility and isn't nearly as accurate as above options
• No support for flash carts
• Usually cheaply made
• Most only have composite output, some newer ones have HDMI



But if you're playing on a CRT TV, then I would go with a stock authentic NES all the way.
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opa
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Re: NES in 2019 - clone console or original?

by opa Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:11 pm

Thanks for the info, ziggy. I've got an HDTV for my setup. I've been borrowing a buddy's top-loader for the time being and that only has rf so I'd say I'm not really all that picky. Lol

The scan lines and static are a tick obnoxious though. How bad would composite be on an hd screen?
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Re: NES in 2019 - clone console or original?

by noiseredux Mon Aug 12, 2019 12:21 pm

I got my Retron 5 used for under $100. Looks great on HDTV. Can patch imports, save state, wireless controller, or original controllers... Highly recommend.
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opa
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Re: NES in 2019 - clone console or original?

by opa Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:29 pm

Do you just upload a patch and it applies it on the fly?
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Re: NES in 2019 - clone console or original?

by BoneSnapDeez Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:31 pm

Retron 5 and RetroFreak both recognize patches. You just place them on your SD card and then "apply" them via the console's menus. It's pretty slick and easy.
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Re: NES in 2019 - clone console or original?

by Ziggy587 Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:20 pm

opa wrote:Thanks for the info, ziggy. I've got an HDTV for my setup. I've been borrowing a buddy's top-loader for the time being and that only has rf so I'd say I'm not really all that picky. Lol

The scan lines and static are a tick obnoxious though. How bad would composite be on an hd screen?


You can expect about the same quality for composite as RF. The audio should be a little clearer, though.
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