An NES? Did the last 25 years of electronic entertainment just undo themselves?
This isn't really an NES, it's a console that plays NES games. Meet the Analogue NT, an invention that is determined to bring back the likes of Super Mario Bros. in style.
So it's an emulator?
Nope, the Analogue NT is a genuine, bonafide, nuts and bolts games machine that is built using the original Ricoh 20A3 and Ricoh 2C02 CPU and PPU of the Nintendo Entertainment System, which means that it runs the programs from cartridges natively, rather than pushing them through virtual environments. This is the real deal.
Right, so basically this is a games machine containing chipsets that are quarter of a century old. Sounds like a great deal.
If this was just simply a knockoff reproduction of the NES then your sarcasm would be warranted, but it isn't; the NT adds a whole suite of extras to the original Nintendo console setup.
First up is build quality. The NT is constructed from a solid block of precision-fabricated aluminium which is weighty, durable, and ships in red, blue, black, white and grey. Retro consoles are great, but their ageing design and cheap plastic construction is bound to bring down any stylish-looking living room. The exterior of the NT, on the other hand, is a thing of beauty, and won't look out of place sat next to your PS4.
And the inside?
Even better than the outside. The NT is designed to do everything that an NES can do and more.
The console's exterior features exactly the same controller and expansion ports as the original NES and Famicom; you can even attach old-school extras such as the NES Zapper or your original gamepads, assuming you can find retrieve them from whatever dusty corner of your attic they've been abandoned in. The 'added extra'? The NT features four console ports rather than two, so you don't have to worry about using a fiddly multitap system to play the surprising variety of games that support four players.
The NT also makes nice with a variety of TVs as it outputs in RGB, Component, S-Video and Composite. These aren't particularly handy for modern televisions, but you can also purchase an HDMI expansion which upscales the games to glorious 720 or 1080p on your smart TV. And don't worry: if you're a sucker for the visual eccentricities of analogue tech, then you can even set the NT to generate scanlines to keep alive the illusion that it's 1990 and you're still sporting a slightly out-of-date mullet.
I didn't have a mullet. I was a fan a dungarees though. They were the best.
The less said of that the better. Moving on, the NT is also designed to work almost anywhere in the world; it's fully region-unlocked and can ship with power adapters that comply to US, European and Australian standards. The only barrier to most prospective customers may be the price, as the NT ships for US$499 (S$685), which doesn't include the additional US$79 (S$108) for the HDMI expansion. Given that you could easily buy you a latest generation console and a couple of full-price games for that, the ability to resurrect your Nintendo clearly doesn't come cheap.
But for those who are willing to put up the bucks, the NT seems the only real choice for anyone intent on indulging their 8-bit fantasies. The first production run of the NT has sold out, but you can stake your claim on the next line on Analogue Interactive's website.