The nostalgia of a classic Nintendo Entertainment system is like nothing else.
I remember when I first got a Nintendo. I didn't get the bundle with the gun, so no "Duck Hunt" for me, but that didn't stop me from playing "Super Mario Bros." for hours with my friends. Then I'd go to their houses and play for hours more. It was the first real game system I had (before that I had a Commodore VIC-20 — don't mind me as I date myself) in a long line of game systems that followed.
I think back on those games and that system fondly, but I never considered buying one today, or even one of the mods people have made, such as this one, called the Hyperkin Retro 5.
Usually it's because the graphics on these systems is pretty weak compared with what we're used to from systems like the Xbox 360, and especially newer systems like the PS4 and Xbox One.
Until now, that is.
The Analogue Nt, a redesigned NES made out of a solid block of aluminum, is not only beautiful, but it's functional, as well. You can play both Nintendo and Famicom games on it, and for $49 extra, you can get an HDMI adapter, allowing you to play the games in full 1080p resolution.
"[The games] look amazing," Analogue Interactive owner Christopher Taber tells Business Insider. "It's all about starting with the highest quality analog signals and using a proper upscaler. Which is exactly what we developed."
The original Nintendo system only offered composite video output, which is a poor video signal. The Nt, on the other hand, outputs RGB, Component, S-Video and composite.
"This means razor sharp pixels and outstanding quality," Taber says. "The adapter even has a switchable scanline generator to give you that retro CRT feel on your HDTV."
Crafting the Nt out of a single block of aluminum is a bold move and helps make it stand out, which is the point, Taber says. "We approached the design and production from the same philosophy of designing a piece of hi-fi equipment," he says. "I try to embrace the philosophy 'buy less, but more quality.'"
It will also come in several colors; accessories cost extra.
Analogue is known for its high-quality, beautifully designed pieces. The company built a Neo Geo system from 100% walnut.
The Nt uses original Nintendo components, but you won't be stuck blowing into those cartridges anymore. "The Nt solves all of these problems and goes radically above and beyond the original's capabilities, in regards to video and audio outputs, and compatibility," Taber says. "All the while remaining true to the original hardware, with no emulation."
At $500, it's curious who will actually buy the Nt, when an Xbox One costs around the same price and can do a whole lot more than play games. But Taber doesn't seem too worried. He says that the fact that it can only do one thing — play games — makes it more enticing than any of the other current-generation game systems.
"I think anybody who is interested in the Nt will want it regardless if they own an Xbox One or PS4. It stands on its own legs in its own category," he says.
Not to mention that the legality of the system is also questionable. We've reached out to Nintendo about whether they will try to block the sale of the Nt, and will update this story if we hear back.
The system doesn't include any games, but Taber confirms that they're working on bundled packages with some "newly developed" NES and Famicom titles.
You can preorder the system starting today on Analogue's website. It will start shipping this summer.
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