NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, Wii

Is the Analogue - Super Nt Worth the Money??

Poll ended at Sat Feb 17, 2018 10:25 pm

Yes - The Analogue SNES Nt's Hardware and Build-Quality is Truly Superior!
4
80%
No - The Analogue SNES Nt is for Pretentious Posers.
1
20%
 
Total votes : 5
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artphotodude
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Analogue - Super Nt

by artphotodude Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:25 pm

I just cannot imagine how this thing could be worth $190 (with no controller). For only $10 more you can get a RetroN5 with the Game Gear/Master System add-on (bringing the total number of consoles playable to 10). Now RetroN's included-controller IS crap, but it will let you use any NES, SNES or Genesis-compatible controller you want, so that isn't an issue. Many love to talk about how accurate the Analogue's technology is, but for about 15% of the cost, you can get a REAL SNES that's perfectly accurate (and is built so well it will likely outlast humanity itself :wink: ).

The strict EMU-crowd doesn't like RetroN's filters, but you don't actually have to use them - there is an option for scaling-only, and even the actually-pretty-awesome enhanced audio can easily be disabled, and for those who want to convert the HDMI back to real Video for a CRT, RetroN has a 'Forced Original Resolution' option to do so without lag. I personally like the filters for some games (especially GameBoy/Advance and Game Gear), and when you add the Scanlines (which DO NOT require a multiple of 240 like on the Analogue Nt), the games look really nice and do a good job of looking genuine.

Some have also brought up the issue with not being able to use a game-genie, but with the RetroN's built-in 'Cheats' database-function (that can be accessed at any point), why would I pay more for the "Privilege" of entering 24 to 64-digit codes for each game, each time they are played?

Further, some have gotten bent out of shape about RetroN not playing ROMs, accept that's not true. With the Retron5 IPS Creator v2 app, you can convert ROMS to save-states that only require a cartridge of the same type be inserted then the game can be launched.

And lastly while some are critical because compatibility isn't PERFECT, well what it's not on the Analogue SNES Nt either, just as it wasn't on the original SNES when certain hardware revisions precluded the use of some cartridges.

So about the ONLY advantage appears to be the Snob Value of a needlessly expensive chip-set, and better build-quality.

I'm all for Form, but Function (and Value) win, for me everytime. Just my 2-Cents. Would be HAPPY to hear why I'm wrong on this! 8)

P.S. on the issue of Lag with RetroN, I've not noticed ANY and on 4-systems' cartridges, and after using it for over a year, I've only had one single glitch where a game froze, and even with that game, it's not recurred.
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Last edited by artphotodude on Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Ziggy587
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Re: Analogue - Super Nt

by Ziggy587 Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:23 am

You didn't even mention the one thing that really matters when talking about the Super NT versus the RetroN 5. The RetroN is software emulation, the Super NT is hardware emulation. One really is better than the other. If you wanna talk about value in terms of "bang for your buck" then yeah, I guess the RetroN 5 does more for less money. But they're two different approaches, it's kinda unfair to compare them in just this way.

At least Analogue didn't steal anyone's software. :D

Just so you know where I'm coming from with this... I own a real SNES and currently have no plans to buy a Super NT, or any other clone console for that matter. I own an XRGB Framemeister, but I much prefer to game on a CRT.

artphotodude wrote:for about 15% of the cost, you can get a REAL SNES that's perfectly accurate (and is built so well it will likely outlast humanity itself :wink: ).


Sure, a real SNES is going to be cheaper, but it'll only output 240p over analog video signals. Not a problem if you're gaming on a CRT, but not everyone is able to keep a bulky CRT TV around. The Super NT outputs HDMI, making it compatible with modern TVs (as well as future TVs). And I agree, the SNES was built well, but they will not last forever. In fact, they're already starting to die in various ways. My earliest (and most used) SNES had be to retired because of graphical problems. I've deduced that it is likely a bad PPU, and if you Google for it you can find a bunch of examples of this.



There's also an FPGA NES clone console from RetroUSB. It's $185 and also does not include a controller. I bring it up for my next point. $190 for the Super NT really isn't that bad when you think about it a little.

First off, Hyperkin seems a little bit bigger than Analogue or RetroUSB. It's the equivalent of supporting the ma and pa store versus the big box store. I'm willing to bet that Hyperkin can order production on a much larger quantity than Analogue or RetroUSB can. Higher quantities always brings cost down.

Secondly, the Super NT comes with two games built in. Super Turrican - Director's Cut (which is exclusive to the Super NT - Google if you're unaware of what the Director's Cut is because it's pretty neat) and Super Turrican 2. Now, if you were to buy Super Turrican 2 off eBay, you'd have to pay as much as a Super NT costs!

The AVS doesn't come with any games. And it's $65 to add a wireless controller. So the Super NT is a much better deal than the AVS.



If you really wanna talk about value, the RetroN5 is kinda a rip off anyway. You can run emulators on your PC for free, and you can get a great SNES USB controller for just $15. If you really need something consolized, a Raspberry Pi 3 is $35. And if you really need those cart slots, add a Retrode for $70 and you're still under what the RetroN 5 costs.
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Re: Analogue - Super Nt

by artphotodude Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:39 pm

Ziggy587 wrote:You didn't even mention the one thing that really matters when talking about the Super NT versus the RetroN 5. The RetroN is software emulation, the Super NT is hardware emulation. One really is better than the other. If you wanna talk about value in terms of "bang for your buck" then yeah, I guess the RetroN 5 does more for less money. But they're two different approaches, it's kinda unfair to compare them in just this way.


It's funny during the Intel vs PowerPC chip wars Intel suddenly LAUNCHED forward in power around 2008 with i5 and i7 pretty much relegating RISC architectures to servers and cell-phones (IBM and ARM). When it was finally revealed how Intel's "Hardward" functions worked to give them the 4-fold increases in power it turned out that they implemented HUGE chunks of their chips to run RISC code emulation of x86/AMD64! So their ultimate proof of superiority over the competition was to cheat off of them! :P

Other than Neo Geo (and its Giant Cartridges - that probably run off coal-fired steam engines ;0), I have a pretty hard time believing that this distinction is anything other than a marketing ploy, but at these prices, buyers will certainly think they have a better product, if for no other reason, than to avoid feeling like suckers!
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marurun
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Re: Analogue - Super Nt

by marurun Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:59 pm

FPGA hardware emulation is demonstratively better than software emulation, but to know why you really do have to understand the technological underpinnings. But even at just under $200, Analogue does understand that their unit is a niche product for a very selective audience. Sometimes you reach a point where, indeed, even another 5% improvement is going to double the price. And that’s where we are. Truth is, I wouldn’t buy an RetroN5, even if I really wanted one, until they got square with the licenses of the code they swiped. I don’t have a problem with software emulation, but if you are selling a product dependent upon that you had better damn well be legit.
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Re: Analogue - Super Nt

by Jmustang1968 Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:04 pm

I fully agree with Ziggy here. Retron 5 is a neat device, but functionally doesnt do much different than a retropie or PC, and gives you the impression you are playing your carts. The Super NT is basically a remade SNES for modern tvs, all with built in scaling.
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Re: Analogue - Super Nt

by artphotodude Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:31 pm

marurun wrote:FPGA hardware emulation is demonstratively better than software emulation, but to know why you really do have to understand the technological underpinnings. But even at just under $200, Analogue does understand that their unit is a niche product for a very selective audience. Sometimes you reach a point where, indeed, even another 5% improvement is going to double the price. And that’s where we are. Truth is, I wouldn’t buy an RetroN5, even if I really wanted one, until they got square with the licenses of the code they swiped. I don’t have a problem with software emulation, but if you are selling a product dependent upon that you had better damn well be legit.


That is an Interesting point, but since those emulators are already freeware/OpenSource, it's legally very hard if not impossible to assign damages for a product the designer has already given away. I've published several OpenSource apps, as well as art-assets. One of the apps (for playing videos) has been downloaded over 4,000 times, and if I was all the sudden to try to get a patent on it, it would be impossible. No 1. because it's already been published, and No. 2 because it build's on other OpenSource components like FFMpeg that I'd need to get permission on before I could "close" the source on it. In each case I got permission, but even if I had not, as long as the code can be opened and inspected, it is still under Best Practice Terms and Conditions. Now is RetroN5 open? I honestly don't know, but it's being modded pretty easily and the company doesn't seem to care.

The issue with Freeware, is we'd all like to see someone who makes money off of it, send us back a bit, but control is totally lost. Crap when we deregulated Ma-Bell in the 1980's the Government basically GAVE the phone companies all the wire, and they immediately began trying to dominate, and control something they just got for nothing -> now Net-Neutrality is the logical end to that concern. President Jefferson believed that copyright should only last 2-years because everyone builds on everyone else's work and he thought the quality and value of the work was more important to society than the rent-seeking from 'Ownership'. Who's to say :?:

But getting back to Analoguet, I wonder how much they paid Nintendo to reverse-engineer their NES and SNES systems? It's doubtful - anything.

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Re: Analogue - Super Nt

by marurun Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:40 pm

Analogue doesn’t have to. Nintendo’s patents are long expired. Further, reverse engineering has a long history of being legal in the US.

And as you say you have developed Open Source software you know that the licenses are important and that allowing people to use software for free doesn’t mean you give up copyright interest. Regardless of whether emulator authors would be able to recover damages, Hyperkin’s move to use emulator code without abiding by the terms of the license is clearly unethical and a violation of the collective copyrights of the community that developed the code.
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Re: Analogue - Super Nt

by artphotodude Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:39 pm

marurun wrote:Analogue doesn’t have to. Nintendo’s patents are long expired. Further, reverse engineering has a long history of being legal in the US.

And as you say you have developed Open Source software you know that the licenses are important and that allowing people to use software for free doesn’t mean you give up copyright interest. Regardless of whether emulator authors would be able to recover damages, Hyperkin’s move to use emulator code without abiding by the terms of the license is clearly unethical and a violation of the collective copyrights of the community that developed the code.


The issue (I speak on with knowledge because I've OFFICIALLY registered HUNDREDS of items with the US Copyright office) is that you don't actually have copyrights in OpenSource settings because you are building on someone else' design to begin with. If those people who made the emulators used even one line of code from someone else, they don't have any rights to control the code from that point. Case and Point - Half Life was built on the Quake 1 engine after id software made it open-source, but for Valve to close that source-code they had to pay id for the right to do so. You can actually sell products based on OpenSource agreements without giving anything back to the original creator (who made it OpenSource), but it is with the understanding that your modified version of their code remains modifiable by the next person and so forth, since your interest in it is already at the suffrage of the first, original creator of the code.

Now if one of the creators of those emulators began from scratch, they would have copyright, but only if they registered their code legally, and with the understanding that it could not be used by others, AND they have to have a history of enforcement of that copyright against other unauthorized users. If however they openly made it available, their power over it is over. Now if RetroN could be legally proven to have compiled that code in violation of an OpenSource license then there could be a case for a cease and desist, but the person filing would need corroboration by earlier links in that chain, or they would only have the right to file based on the percentage of the finished code that was theirs (after PROVING LEGALLY that the compiled code was compiled from their original code - no small feat). You see how complicated this gets?? This is why all the big telecoms simply steal from each other and then settle out of court.

Now in relation to the SNES patents, you are right the initial patents have expired, but the later board-revisions (that happened right up until about 1997) have not. If it so happens that Analogue keeps running into compatibility problems, basing on that earliest hardware version, they may well have to ask Nintendo for permission to build on a later version, or face litigation death.

Also of note is that in the U.S. most End-User License Agreements (EULAs) specifically prohibit reverse-engineering. Courts have found such contractual prohibitions to override the copyright law which expressly permits it (Bowers v. Baystate Technologies, 320 F.3d 1317 (Fed. Cir. 2003)).

Sony Computer Interactive NEVER won in court against either Bleem or Connectix, but did manage to litigate both out of business. How much justice can one afford? Nintendo is unlikely to pursue this because they don't care, but if they wanted to, they could pull the same crap they've done against Youtube creators reviewing their games.

Now is it nice to use other people's stuff without permission, probably not. Is it illegal? Once again, how much justice can you afford and how much in the way of damages can you prove?
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Re: Analogue - Super Nt

by chuckster Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:33 pm

marurun wrote:FPGA hardware emulation is demonstratively better than software emulation, but to know why you really do have to understand the technological underpinnings. But even at just under $200, Analogue does understand that their unit is a niche product for a very selective audience. Sometimes you reach a point where, indeed, even another 5% improvement is going to double the price.



I wouldn't go so far as to say hardware emulation > software emulation in general. Higan is functionally just as accurate as the Super Nt (Byuu helped Kevtris on parts of the FPGA build in the Nt and Kevtris helped Byuu with other parts of Higan), and it's a little disturbing to see so many people dismiss the hard work that's gone on into software emulation, especially on the SNES. Along these lines, Digital Foundry's review and comparison of Higan and the Super Nt was the most eye-opening and useful review I've seen. https://youtu.be/LOSQgBEf5ac

Lag also gets thrown around a lot but if you look at lag tests using high-speed cameras, lag on Retroarch cores can be reduced to sub 1-frame over stock hardware with straightforward settings changes.

Software emulation can be bad, but so can hardware emulation (all the ASIC clone consoles from the mid 2000's can attest to that). If you really look into it (like most here have I imagine), software emulation can deliver a great experience and many emulators offer near-100% compatibility. I just feel that it's important to keep that in mind as FPGA systems generate so much buzz.
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Re: Analogue - Super Nt

by Segata Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:17 pm

I don't have $200 to spend on another SNES just with HDMI as so many other systems I wish I had I just can't get but I like that it has Super Turrican built in. A game I want to play as it looks fucking amazing. These HDMI systems don't appeal to me much when I can just walk in the other room and play the real thing on my CRT where I'm happy with it. Maybe if money was more disposable I'd be into these HD retro consoles. I can't get a credit card even lol because I have zero credit history.
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