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May 2014 Retro Gaming Article


May 6, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Analogue Nt doesn't emulate the NES, it's the Lamborghini of retro gaming

The Analogue Nt From high-end automobiles to high fidelity stereo systems, there is a segment of the population that won't settle for the best. They seek the best of the best! In fidelity circles, audiophiles will tweak their various components in search of the best possible audio quality. Similarly with cars, one might spend years constantly improving a '69 Camaro or adding new performance chips to a Ferrari.

These folks won't be found shopping at Best Buy or Auto Zone. They crave the specialty stores that order parts not readily available or known to most of us. The end result is perfection - in their eyes. The rest of us may consider them obsessive, but perhaps I'm focusing on extremes.

Most of us commute to work in a Chevy or a Toyota while others prefer a Mercedes or BMW. I'm content to listen to CDs through an old DVD player wired up to my stereo. Others prefer the fidelity of vinyl records. These differences are generally accepted, but gaming doesn't offer such options.

The Analogue Nt Even the latest PS4 and Xbone don't have luxury options. Outside of adding larger hard drives, they don't have much of an upgrade path. Certainly the customization one could apply to an automobile doesn't exist in the gaming sector. There is no Cadillac of gaming.

Retro gaming's mods, multi-carts and homebrew games offer more options and customizations than the latest Generation Eight consoles. Analogue isn't content with that. They want to be the high-end of retro gaming. And their NES / Famicom console, the Nt, isn't their first foray into this territory. They formerly released a woodgrain Neo Geo.

Analogue seems to have some experience in delivering high end retro gaming consoles, but still the Internet has an angry reaction to the $499 price tag. We've grown accustomed to those who can afford a Toyota -vs- Lexus -vs- Lamborghini. Some of us have not made the same realization about other products outside the auto industry.

The Analogue Nt I"d love to have one of Analogue's Nt machines. Cut from a block of Aluminum, actual Nintendo boards are salvaged from cosmetically damaged units and embedded in Analogue's device. They provide 4 controller ports and better video/audio output for use on both modern and CRT-style TVs.

Retro market -vs- Free Market

Retro gaming is primarily a used-market comprised of previously owned items. I can't buy an NES at Best Buy or an Atari 5200 at Wal-Mart. Target can't supply me with Intellivision games or a power supply for an Atari 800.

Retro gamers know the market-value for their favorite games and consoles. These prices are largely based on supply and demand. The retro market is very finite in terms of supply - no one is about to flood the market with Circus Atari carts. When a common item appears on eBay at an outrageous price, we know the seller is likely trying to take advantage of those unfamiliar with current pricing.

A new product doesn't fall into these guidelines in the same way. The Analogue Nt may use existing NES / Famicom boards, but it is technically a new product that can be sold for any amount they wish to charge. They are the only retailer of this product. I can't get it cheaper at GameStop. I can't get it anywhere except from Analogue. The price tends to get higher when the item is a niche product. Not too many people want a "new" NES, but those who do are motivated to pay more.

The Analogue Nt Will I get one? Not at $499! I"m a Chevy kind of guy who listens to CDs on a Disc-man. My original NES works just fine and I recently picked up a top-loader model - which are both fine for me. That doesn't mean I can't admire the Nt the way I might drool over a Ferrari.

I love Nintendo and have a fondness for the NES, but I'm happy to play my game library on my NES or occasionally try the Retro Duo clone. I'll even play a few ROMs for games I've read about but can't source the physical carts.

I find it odd that so many folks are angry at the Nt's price - or are they angry that they can't afford it? I don't leer at Ferrari owners knowing I don't own a sleek ride like that. I'm stoked that Black Sabbath and AC/DC still record albums even though I listen to them on a Disc-man or my low-end car stereo.

I love the designs that Analogue has come up with for their former Neo Geo and now the Nt. They are creating a luxury line within the retro community. They've brought a Lamborghini to the Toyota owners of retro gaming. The Nt is obviously being created out of love for the Nintendo platform. It may not be affordable to all, but it brings the spotlight to retro gaming and illuminates the importance of retro gaming and the vibrant diverse people who make up it's ranks!

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