Analogue Launches 'Nt Mini' Modernized NES Console

August 22nd, 2016 by Benj Edwards

Analogue Nt Mini

The upcoming NES Classic has its first high-end competitor.

Just today, Seattle-based Analogue is announcing the Analogue Nt Mini, a miniaturized version of its videophile-grade NES-compatible console that debuted earlier this year. The intention, according to Analogue founder Christopher Taber, is to go head-to-head with the NES Classic console from Nintendo that ships in November.

It will not be undercutting the NES Classic in price, however. This little beauty will cost you $449.

Unlike the earlier Analogue Nt, which was partially made out of recycled parts from authentic Nintendo Famicom circuit boards, the Nt Mini utilizes FPGA technology to simulate the authentic NES chips in a smaller package.

The Mini also includes RGB+HDMI output by default (HDMI was an upgrade option for the original, limited-edition Analogue console) and an 8Bitdo wireless NES controller and Retro Receiver for wireless play. It plays games off of original NES and Famicom cartridges.

Despite its attention to built quality, the Analogue Nt Mini is a very expensive proposition — especially when you can buy a working original NES on eBay for anywhere from $40-$100, and Nintendo's own HD NES Classic will retail for $59.99 (of course, that model will only play 30 built-in games).

And if you think $449 is expensive, keep in mind that this is the same company sold a 24K gold version of the first Analogue Nt for $5000. So much like buying a $200 bottle of wine, cultural cachet is a big part of Analogue's marketing angle.

I will try to get my hands on an Analogue Nt mini for a review and see if that price can possibly be justified. Until then, Analogue is opening up its site for Nt Mini pre-orders today if you'd like to dive into boutique NES waters head first.

It's amazing to me that it's 2016 and the the NES console market is heating up in ways I never thought possible. (We've come a long way from the Generation NEX, which inspired me to launch this site back in 2005.) Between this new unit from Analogue, Nintendo's NES classic, and RetroUSB's AVS — a $180 HD NES remake which I intend to review soon — I can see that I am going to have a fun and busy fall.



5 Responses to “Analogue Launches 'Nt Mini' Modernized NES Console”

  1. Philip Says:

    I'm looking forward to reviews of any of these. They will probably be forever out of my price range but it's fun to dream…

  2. V Says:

    It's unfortunate one can't use the Zapper - or any light gun - with an LCD TV.

  3. Jim U. Says:

    One thing I've noticed is that one of the pictures shown on their website was the console playing Castlevania 3. That game is notorious for not being compatible with a lot of those knock off NES's floating around.

  4. Benj Edwards Says:

    Yep, very good point, Jim. One of the big advertised selling points of this new console is its accuracy at playing the entire NES/Famicom catalog.

  5. jistuce Says:

    In fairness, Castlevania 3 fails to work because almost every clone made in the last two decades uses the same flawed single-chip solution.

    It isn't that Castlevania 3 is hard to run, it is that it would require effort to get right(much the same way that all sounds are wrong on almost all clones due to a bit-order error in the sound registers of the single clone solution everyone uses).

    The NEX specifically generated a LOT of bad press in the retrogaming community because they were assuring people during the runup to launch that they weren't using the same clone chip everyone else was and this was a PROPER implementation. And then it turned out they WERE using the same clone chip, only they had WORSE compatibility because they somehow managed to miswire the cartridge port so some cartridges shorted +5V to ground(Rad Racer II was the typical offender).
    They also started ignoring the retrogaming enthusiasts and started marketing to the more mainstream audience about six months before launch.

    The AVS and Analogue NT Mini should be virtually identical. They're both using Kevin Horton's reverse-engineered FPGA solution, and he's done what a chinese factory looking to make a quick buck a few decades ago couldn't. And in that regard, I'll take the AVS. I'm not paying a half-grand for a milled aluminum case.

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