Nintendo Entertainment System Hardware Clone

Nintendo Entertainment System Hardware Clone

Owing to the popularity and longevity of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES; known in Japan as the Family Computer, or Famicom), the system has become one of the world's most cloned video game consoles. Such clones are colloquially called Famiclones (a portmanteau of "Famicom" and "clone"), and are electronic hardware devices designed to replicate the workings of, and play games designed for, the NES. Hundreds of unlicensed clones have been made available since the height of the NES popularity in the late 1980s. The technology employed in such clones has evolved over the years: while the earliest clones featured a printed circuit board containing custom or third party integrated circuits (ICs), more recent (post-1996) clones have utilized single chip designs, with a custom ASIC which simulates the functionality of the original hardware, and often includes one or more on-board games. Most devices originate in Asian nations, especially China and Taiwan, and to a lesser extent South Korea.

In some locales, especially South America, South Africa, and the former Soviet Union, where the NES was never officially released by Nintendo, such clones were the only readily available console gaming systems. Such was the case with the Dendy Junior, a particularly successful NES clone which achieved widespread popularity in Russia and former Soviet republics in the early 1990s. Elsewhere, such systems could occasionally even be found side by side with official Nintendo hardware, often prompting swift legal action. Many of these early systems were similar to the NES or Famicom not only in functionality, but also in appearance, often featuring little more than a new name and logo in place of Nintendo's branding.

Perhaps not wishing to attract attention from Nintendo, few of these systems are openly marketed as "NES compatible". Very often they are sold in very attractive and misleading boxes, featuring screenshots from more recent (and more powerful) systems and adorned with misleading, or even patently false, quotes, trumpeting "...ultimate videogame technlology..." or "...crystal clear digital sound, multiple colors and advanced 3D graphics." Some manufacturers will opt for a less misleading approach, describing the system generically as a "TV game", "8-bit console", "multi-game system", or "Plug & Play", but even these examples generally say nothing to suggest any compatibility with NES hardware.

Read more about Nintendo Entertainment System Hardware Clone:  Post-patent Famiclones, Software Game Titles, Types of Famiclones, Hardware and Software Compatibility Issues

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Nintendo Entertainment System Hardware Clone - Hardware and Software Compatibility Issues
... most Famiclones will run most original licensed Nintendo software and work with most original carts (being even more versatile than an original NES because of the lack ... At a hardware level, the most common incompatibility is the lack, in some Famiclones, of the original Famicom's expansion port (although it is always ...

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