If you didn’t manage to get your hands on an SNES Classic Edition, soon there will be another way to play 16-bit games on your HD TV. Analogue, the company best known for its high-end NES hardware crafted from a block of aluminum, has just announced that its next console will tackle the SNES. Called the Analogue Super Nt, the device is designed to play old-school cartridges at 1080p, and it’s also significantly cheaper than the company’s previous hardware. Whereas the Analogue Nt Mini came in at a hefty $449, the Super Nt will be just $189.99, and it comes in four different designs.
Analogue says that the new console is compatible with all SNES and Super Famicom cartridges, as well as accessories, which should be handy for those with a Mario Paint mouse still kicking around. It has a single cartridge slot and two controller ports (which are identical to those found on the original SNES). And despite its lower price tag, the Super Nt still boasts many of the same features as its predecessors, giving you control over the resolution, aspect ratio, and other aspects of the visuals, while also outputting those sweet chiptune soundtracks in high fidelity.
According to Analogue’s Christopher Taber, the lower price point is largely due to the advances the company made with its previous products. “The Super Nt price tag is only possible [because of] the development we've done in the past,” he explains. “It costs us a pretty penny to develop the products we produce since everything we do is proprietary. We're at a point where we can make what we've developed available at a better price because we've already invested the time and money into it.”
“It’s designed and built like a tank.”
The new SNES hardware also looks different from Analogue’s previous design, with a smaller footprint and a shell reminiscent of the Super Famicom. It comes in four flavors: a pure black model, two versions with the gray color schemes of the Super Nintendo and Super Famicom, and a translucent version that shows off all of the high-tech innards required to play 16-bit games. The plastic shells might be disappointing to those enamored by the original Nt’s solid aluminum frame, but Taber says that the shift in materials doesn’t mean a shift in quality.
“This isn't some cheap, flimsy plastic enclosure,” he says. “It’s designed and built like a tank. It’s going to last you forever. We're super proud of being able to get the price under $200.” The only real drawback to the price is that the console doesn’t come with a controller; instead, wireless options are being sold separately for $39.99 each. (Taber says that the controllers aren’t included so that “people can mix and match colors.”)
The Super Nt has been in the works for some time. Hardware engineer Kevin Horton has been working on the project for 14 months, and the team says that they’ve tested the entirety of both the SNES and Super Famicom lineup to ensure the games are all compatible. And it’ll be available fairly soon. Preorders for the device are open today, and units are expected to start shipping in February.