It is no secret, especially here on TVG, that I have a certain affinity for Famiclones. I currently own six handheld Famiclones which seem to be bountiful in thrift stores, yet I had never seen a console Famiclone and I’ve been eager to own one. Luckily I managed to find one hidden within a bin at the Goodwill Outlet store, although its a pretty nasty brownish/yellow it still works! They called it the Super 57000 Video Game.
There are many variations of console Famiclones, anywhere from nearly identical to a Famicom to the anything will do, just shove the clone workings inside and get it shipped. Mine is more of the latter as the outward appearance is that of an original Sony Playstation complete with a lid, eject button for the lid, power button and light as well as a reset button, which seems to be the only thing of real quality throughout the whole system. The console housing doesn’t close flush, nor does the lid, which covers the 60 pin connector. Even though it isn’t an optical lens it should still close properly to keep dust out of the game input slot.
After doing some research I found that the system came with built in games, which the source noted theirs no longer worked, that worried me slightly as I love the built in games in my Famiclones. Using the power supply from a Super Joy I powered the system on and was presented with a white screen of emptiness, so I tried to put in a game which yielded the same results. After popping the system open and pulling out the failed game board I tried again and this time the system roared to life with the bleep of the pirate multicart I had stuffed into the slot.
Like many, if not all, other Famiclones this one has the infamous 9 pin controller inputs. Luckily I happen to find the controllers to the system in another bin, but since they’re both missing the D-pads I’ve been using one of the player 2 controllers from my handheld systems. Unlike my handhelds this one has an RF output, which didn’t work so I rely heavily on the AV outs.. pretty much like my handhelds.
Although this thing is extremely cheap in terms of build quality, almost unabashedly, it does it’s job to a great extent. I wish the system’s built in games worked so I could give more information on them, even when I put the board in a handheld Famiclone it still didn’t work, so I’m pretty sure that part of the system is beyond repair. A feature that I found amusing was the use of two 60 pin connectors inside, one is for the built in board and the other is for the game cartridges. Having spare Famicom boards from the converters I’ve been building, I decided to use Hogan’s Alley as the built in game and it works perfectly.
I’m sure if I wanted to I could modify the system to work with NES controllers, fix the RF out and generally make the system more reliable than it is currently, but I’m not looking for anything more than a Famiclone console that is just that. Given the utter lack of components to go wrong, if something were to go wrong I could replace the part and get it back up and running with minimal trouble, such as the RF output which I do plan to fix. Again, this system is without a doubt just thrown together to get yet another Famiclone out on the market, but it is a working Famiclone and in the end that was all I was looking for.
The Super 57000 Video Game has once again fueled my interest in Famiclones, much like the Power Joy sparked my interest in them to begin with. I’m naturally looking to get my hands on a few more, including one that looks identical to the Famicom, but to at least own the first Famiclone console I’ve seen out in the wild is good enough for now. I can play my Famicom/pirate games in my NES, sure, but there is just a strange, simple joy of using a system that was designed to play these games specifically and nothing more, short of owning a real Famicom.
About the author
Samuel Floyd first fell into video gaming with the Atari 2600...in the mid-90s! Always late into the system wars, Samuel enjoys that as he acquires them when they're cheap and the hot titles of yesteryear are bountiful. Samuel loves RPGs, his favorite being Crystalis for the NES.