$500 will buy you an Xbox One with Titanfall, a PlayStation 4 with a pair of games, or a cheap gaming PC. Another option: the most stunning unofficial Nintendo Entertainment System you've ever seen. Today, Analogue Interactive is opening up pre-orders for the $499 Analogue Nt, which recasts the classic 1980s console as a gorgeous aluminum machine.
Carved out of a single block of the aircraft alloy, the console does come with a few modern luxuries like updated video and audio circuitry, which help provide a clean RGB picture and shielded stereo sound. But otherwise, it's all about preserving the retro purity of the console. It takes original NES and Famicom cartridges, uses original NES and Famicom controllers, and supports peripherals as exotic as the Famicom 3D System and Famicom Disk System if you have them lying around.
It should run like an original NES, too, because it uses the exact same Ricoh 20A3 and 2C02 silicon chips — harvested from old unwanted Famicom systems whose plastic cases have become yellow and brittle over the years. "There is no downloading, updating or installing," says the company. "No patches or DLC. No bullshit to deal with. It's made to play games. That's it. Sit down, plug in a game, press start, and play."
Pre-orders ship this summer. In the meanwhile, get a closer look at Analogue's handiwork in the pictures below.