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The Analogue NT or Why Someone Would Drop $500 on a NES Console

So, I was glancing over news from the world of retro video games today and had to do a double take. I’m used to people repackaging or emulating old consoles. Heck, The Retron 5 does exactly this blending a large handful of classic console hardware emulation into one definitive, inexpensive $130 package. There’s also the Retro VGS, a completely brand new retro themed console which is bring cartridge gaming back. Both of those projects are cool because they’re reasonably priced. However, I nearly spit my coffee out when I found out that someone has repacked the guts of the Famicom and NES console into a shiny aluminum box, slapped on some arguably cool feature, and is selling this new NES at $499 a pop!

Analogue NTYou may be wondering what exactly warrants sinking $500 into this system. After all, $500 is a lot of money for a system which ceased production back in 1995. We’ll start with some basics and features for this new take on the NES console. The Analogue NT is a new console with internal hardware from both the NES and Famicom. The system is completely region free (which is pretty awesome), so it accepts cartridges from either the North America or Japanese version of the console. Naturally, since the parts are originals and this is a glorified, heavily modded NES, no emulation is possible here. You must own real cartridges to play on the Analogue NT (though, once again, they can be either NES or Famicom carts).

The manufacturers of the Analogue NT at www.analogueinteractive.com specifically state that they purposely used a more expensive aluminum box to house the innards of the console. Yes, the cost could have been lower had they used a similar plastic to the original NES console. However, no compromises were made and the solid block of 6061 aluminum contributes to the high price tag. You can probably guess who Analogue Interactive had in mind with this new NES.

As you can see pictured above, the Analogue NT comes in a sleek, futuristic looking box. The front panel is very clean and offers 4 ports for local multiplayer. This is a bit superfluous considering not many official NES games include support for 4 players. However, I’m not one to bulk at additional features. Plus, I’m almost certain the additional ports don’t drive up the final cost. This console works with the original North American controller, Japanese controller, and a special 3rd party clone of the original NES controller.

According to my research, here is a list of NES games with 4 player support:

  • Anticipation
  • Bomberman II
  • Danny Sullivan’s Indy Heat
  • Gauntlet II
  • Greg Norman’s Golf Power
  • Harlem Globetrotters
  • Kings of the Beach
  • Magic Johnson’s Fast Break
  • Monster Truck Rally
  • M. U. L. E.
  • NES Play Action Football
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street
  • Nintendo World Cup
  • R.C. Pro-Am II
  • Rackets & Rivals
  • Roundball: 2 on 2 Challenge
  • Spot
  • Smash TV
  • Super Off Road
  • Super Jeopardy!
  • Super Spike V’Ball
  • Swords & Serpents
  • Top Players’ Tennis
  • World Cup Soccer

Finally, the Analogue NT has modern hook ups in the back for your high definition TV. Every console works from an RGB NES board. Analogue signals include RGB, Component, S-Video, and Composite. You can choose to spring for the HDMI upgrade (which costs an additional $80!) for upscaling to 1080p and the highest quality audio. Best of all, since the hardware here is the real deal, you won’t have to worry about lag or an authenticate experience. This is real Nintendo hardware heavily modded for 2015.

Now, I have to get to the flaws. I’m sure you can guess there are a few. Obviously, cost is quite high. I know, I know. The Analogue NT is high quality; no expenses were sparred. And, this price was passed along to consumers. I get it. But, I really think that the high cost will drive younger audiences away. Hell, I don’t really foresee retro collectors swarming to this in droves. I’m not sure why someone would want to spend $500 when a simply $20 – $40 can buy you an original NES in decent shape. It really sucks that the manufacturer charges you for the HDMI upgrade. And why oh why did Analogue Interactive not include at least one cheap 3rd party controller with the intro price? Is it really too much to ask.

Ultimately, the Analogue NT comes down to a few things: if you’re content playing NES/Famicom roms on a desktop PC hooked up to your TV, this is NOT the product for you. If you don’t mind purchasing a used (are there any other kind in 2015?) NES from eBay and soldering a high def upgrade into the console board yourself, this is not for you either. If you don’t mind dropping a bill (or two!) on a high quality, luxury re-imagining of the original NES console, you’ll probably be quite happy here. If you absolutely hate emulation but for some strange reason don’t want to use the original console, this is pretty much your only option. You could argue that the NT is a waste of money, but hey, we’re a community who enjoys sinking money on collecting retro video games and game memorabilia… As for me, I’m quite content with my Retron 5. I find the games and merchandise more compelling than the actual consoles. If you wish to check the Analogue NT out for yourself, you can do so here.

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5 Comments

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  1. Another great write up Link. I saw when tey first announced this what seems like over a year ago but as of recent it has been blowing up in the new feeds again on gaming pages.

    I am kinda split on this, I have 4 original Nintendos and I can never get them to work, I have replaced 72 pin connectors, I have bioled original 72 pin connectors, I have scrubbed down the mother board contacts where the 72 pin attaches. I have put many hours into trying to get original nintendos to work with pretty much no luck. You end up putting the game back and fourth in the system so many times you just damage the carts.

    So with that said I have considered getting a retron 5. I have not pulled the plug yet but it could happen. main reason I want it is only for original nintendo since I still intend on leaving all the other original hardware hooked up. I also like that it has a back up memory for saving your games.

    However something like these new Nintendo looks nice. I am not sure I can justify the $500 dollar price point but would be really cool to have in my collection. Especially if it got the games to work first time every time with out pulling my hair out haha. Still as mentioned I am not sure I am going to take the jump at $500 bucks but it is nice.

    Ok lastly, as I have mentioned in the past I run my gaming page on facebook. Do you mind if I copy your article on this over there. As before I will mention this site and give credit to you of course

    • That’s great Tadpole. I really appreciate you sharing this on your Facebook. This is the shortlink: http://gamesniped.wpengine.com/?p=26639 You should share the link to your Facebook account after you post the article!
      I completely agree with you on the Analogue NT vs Retron 5. The analogue looks nice and is packed full of awesome features. But, it’s really not for everyone. Just the diehards with $500 burning a hole in their pockets. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the permission Link. I just shared it on my site. I try not to alter it to much some sometimes I have to change the wording slightly when it says something along the lines of check out the photo above etc since Facebook is not cool enough to allow me to set up the post like you have it. I always do give a shout out to your work and a link to the original article as well so people can check out the original material with the photos and videos. Thanks again Link I appreciate it. You can check out the post here. https://www.facebook.com/VideoGameCollectingCommunity/posts/716838548445708

  3. Well after reading this article and looking into a bit my self I went thru with this very expensive purchase. Hopefully sometime in the near future I will have it in my possesion and I will be able to try it out first hand. Who knows maybe even duct hunt will work with it

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