Thursday, 5 October 2017

I don't understand the NES/SNES Mini

Unless you've been living under a rock or something you've probably heard of the NES/SNES Mini.  If you are unsure of what they are then they are little versions of the classic systems that come pre loaded with a bunch of games and you just plug that shit directly into your TV and have a grand old time.  The SNES Mini even comes with the unreleased Starfox 2 so if you're a fan of those games I'm sure that enough is reason alone to jump up and down in excitement.

Now what I'm not going to do in this post is fly off the handle in my usual offensive "fuck you" nature because I don't think that if you buy one or are excited to buy one you're an idiot.  It's a convenient piece of kit, a cool collectors item if you're into that or if you're an oblivious parent looking for a gift then this seems like a sure thing.

Personally though, I don't understand it. 

If we look at the SNES Mini in particular, from what I've heard it's about $80 but that's only if you can actually find one to buy.  Apparently it's selling so fast that actually getting a hold of one is pretty difficult.  For that $80 you get about 21 games and everything you need to play them such as cables and controllers.  Now 21 games for $80 may SEEM like a good deal until you take a look at something called the Super Everdrive

For a mere $6 dollars more you can get a cartridge that plugs into the original hardware and then you play games via an SD card that you load down with ROMS.  I'm not going to discuss the legality of all that in this specific post (not that I'm unwilling in a comment section though) but that means for $6 more than the SNES Mini, providing you have an SNES already, you could play all 783 officially released games rather than just 21.  But maybe you don't have your SNES anymore, fair enough, but you probably have a PC.

Emulation is what seems to make buyers and fans of the SNES Mini roll their eyes in disgust and granted I can see why.  Every Tom Dick and Harry is making that argument against the system that emulation is basically free and you can play any game you want.  You don't even need to look very hard on google to find hundreds of websites just offering ROM dumps of these games providing you can tolerate their 80,000,000 pop ups.  But maybe you have a problem with the legality, maybe it doesn't sit well with you.

Well doesn't almost every modern Nintendo system come with a virtual console that allows you to buy these games for like, $5/6 each?  Granted that would be more expensive than just buying a SNES Mini and of course you can't play Starfox 2 but unless you really like ALL 21 of those games then you aren't really getting the full value.  For example I have absolutely NO interest in playing Street Fighter 2 when I can just pop Alpha 3 in my PS2.  I personally have no real interest in replaying FF6 or Super Mario RPG any time soon.  I don't really take much pleasure in the original F-Zero (not that it's bad mind, it's just hard to play after X) and why the fuck would I play Super Mario Kart when I can just play Mario Kart 8, online, with more than 1 friend.  So already that's cut the value down for me but I understand that not everyone will feel that way.

There's alternatives too but it would take me literally all night to type them out

Like I said, I don't think you're an idiot and I can KIND of see the appeal in certain ways but ultimately I just can't see why you'd drop $80 on a system when there's cheaper (and arguably better) alternatives that you can access without having to desperately search stores for.  Still, power to ya, you do you, enjoy a box full of great games.

1 comment:

  1. You're missing the whole point of these things -- Not everyone knows how to use ROMs, or has the setup to easily play them through their TV. The NES/SNES Mini is primarily for people who aren't so tech savvy, or who might not have touched a video game or even computer in years. Some people might not have a second USB controller or their TV in a different room from their computer. Other people don't support piracy, even if it is for SNES games. It's the same reason people used to buy Alienware computers for like $2k when you could just get the parts and assemble it yourself for $500. Otherwise, it's a cute little device, not horribly overpriced (unless you buy from a reseller), and the controllers are great.