Simple Way to Play Super Famicom Games on the SNES? Maybe.

Recently I’ve been looking for a more reliable way to play Super Famicom games on my NTSC Super Nintendo without modifying the console or my Game Genie. Sure, removing the tabs is fairly simple, but I feel there has to be a better way to get the job done without mutilating the console, or my Game Genie. I could use my Super 8, or buy a converter, but I think I may have hit on a fairly reasonable, and cheap method to get the job done.

What I had been doing was swapping Super Famicom PCBs into an SNES cartridge and playing the game that way. This led me to search online for reproduction cartridges, so that I didn’t need to evict a game from its home, rather I would simply be rehousing the Super Famicom PCB into an empty cartridge. During this research I found Super Famicom shaped cartridges with proper cutouts on the back allowing it to fit into the NTSC Super Nintendo. Not only do these reproduction cartridges have the cutouts, they’re also snap together, making the swapping process much quicker and easier. Even though these cartridges are snap together they do have screw holes, if you would prefer a more permanent situation, but for myself I would rather be able to swap the game PCB out as often as I would need.

After almost a month of waiting the single cartridge I ordered finally arrived. As I stated previously my idea is to use the one cartridge multiple times and as my desired Super Famicom game changes, I will swap out the PCB from this and back to their original homes. I hope this is a viable option because the plastic feels slightly cheaper than the original cartridge, but as long as the reproduction is carefully pried open it seems this should suit my needs just fine. This reproduction cartridge fits into the Super Nintendo console, albeit a bit snug. And everything seems to work just fine. The overall casting of this is fairly nice, until you see the bottom, which is completely and totally messy, but it holds game PCBs just fine, with no wiggles or rattles.

I paid about $3 for this reproduction cartridge and waited almost a month for it to arrive and it seems to suit my needs just fine, for now. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to replacing a cracked cartridge I would say these would be a good option. There is a spot for a label and everything, to make it look official. The one problem you might have is these are cast in a darker color than genuine Super Famicom cartridges, and they might not match the rest of your collection perfectly. The reproduction halves are not compatible with genuine cartridge halves either. Say you just want to replace the back of your beloved Super Famicom cartridge, this is not your salvation.

For my needs, which are simply swapping out PCBs from their original homes into a cartridge that holds them safely and allows them to be played in my NTSC Super Nintendo, I’m happy. Will the snap tabs on the inside of the cartridge hold up to all the use they may potentially see? That’s something only time can tell. Again, I am fully aware I could purchase a converter, use my Super 8 or even modify my console or Game Genie to get the same results, but for my needs a few bucks for this reproduction cartridge and a little time putting the PCB into it is all I need.

Posted September 6th, 2021