There’s a new option on the market for anyone that’s looking for an accurate NES experience, as long as they have a few hundred dollars to spare. The successor to last year’s Analogue Nt has been officially announced, and it makes a few major changes to the hardware.
The original Analogue Nt was intended to offer a 100-percent faithful recreation of NES gameplay, with the addition of enhanced compatibility with modern displays. To accomplish that goal, its creators sourced original CPU and PPU chips manufactured by Nintendo, taken from Famicom hardware imported from Japan.
However, there’s only a certain amount of that hardware out in the wild, and the stock that Analogue had was only enough to fulfill its initial run of Nt systems. The new Nt Mini will instead use a field-programmable gate array to recreate the guts of the original NES, according to a report from Ars Technica.
While one of the biggest selling points of the previous system was its original hardware components, every effort is being made to ensure that the Mini delivers similarly authentic performance. Analogue has collaborated with an engineer who has apparently spent more than 5,000 hours mapping the NES using a hardware description language, and the result is a device that has 100-percent compatibility with original software and peripherals.
There are other advantages to the shift from original parts to a field-programmable gate array. The Nt Mini will be 34 percent lighter than its predecessor, 20 percent smaller, and at $449 it is significantly cheaper than the Nt, which was priced at $579.
Pre-orders are now open, and hardware is expected to start shipping in January 2017. For anyone put off by the price, Nintendo will release its own updated version of the NES for $60 this November — but it only supports the thirty titles that are pre-loaded onto the system.
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