Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 14th Jul 2016 14:50 UTC
Games

Relive the 80s when the Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System launches in stores on 11th November. The classic NES is back in a familiar-yet-new form as a mini replica of Nintendo's original home console. Plugging directly into a high-definition TV using the included HDMI cable, the console comes complete with 30 NES games built-in, including beloved classics like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Donkey Kong, PAC-MAN and Kirby's Adventure.

The Nintendo Classic Mini: Nintendo Entertainment System comes packaged with an HDMI cable, a USB cable for powering the system*, and one Nintendo Classic Mini: NES Controller. And whether it's rediscovering an old favourite or experiencing the joy of NES for the first time, the fantastic collection of NES classics included with each and every system should have something for all players.

It's a tiny little NES! A tiny little NES! With games built-in! Yes, I know there are tons of clones and emulators out there, but nothing beats a trustworthy product from the actual manufacturer. There's still a ton of things we don't know - is it an ARM chip with an emulator? An actual NES miniaturised? Does it have the ability to load new games? Is it hackable? - but this is a 100% instabuy for me.

This thing is just too much of an adorable steal not to buy.

Order by: Score:
Raspberry Pi
by Milo_Hoffman on Thu 14th Jul 2016 15:49 UTC
Milo_Hoffman
Member since:
2005-07-06

Bah, a Raspberry Pi can do a better job of this and can run SNES, N64, and MAME arcade games too.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Raspberry Pi
by Drumhellar on Thu 14th Jul 2016 16:58 UTC in reply to "Raspberry Pi"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

Raspberry Pi can do a better job of this


Maybe, maybe not. USB controller polling adds more latency than you'd get without it (especially since your controller data has to traverse the Linux USB stack), and getting video all the way through the Linux graphics stack, then through the HDMI, also adds a bunch of extra latency.

Having an original Nintendo right next to me, which I still play fairly often, I can tell you that there is a ton of latency introduced.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Raspberry Pi
by Morgan on Fri 15th Jul 2016 01:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Raspberry Pi"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

It's a good thing the Pi has GPIO for wiring up original controllers, and composite video out for that classic video look and timing then, eh? ;-)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Raspberry Pi
by ahferroin7 on Fri 15th Jul 2016 12:32 UTC in reply to "RE: Raspberry Pi"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

Is that really that much of an issue for you though? The latency on Linux is pretty minimal compared to Windows when doing regular 2D raster rendering, and it's pretty much non-existent compared to OS X. You can also improve things by using a controller without any analog input (obviously, this is only practical for NES and SNES games), as that's all that actually needs the polling. I actually get worse latency out of the Wii U gamepad used with a Wii U than I do out of almost any arbitrary USB game controller on Linux.

Also, you don't _have_ to use Linux on the Pi, it will run a number of other OS'es just fine, and many of those do have emulators as well (most of the decent FOSS emulators run on BSD too).

Beyond that though, as mentioned in other comments, you can connect a controller directly to the GPIO pins the Pi exposes, I've actually got a friend who has his set up as an emulator system and uses a Classic Controller from his Nintendo Wii wired directly in (well, mostly directly, he's got a connector for it wired directly in, so he can still use the controller with other things). He actually did some work to measure the input latency there, and it's less than half what the exact same controller gets on the Wii, which was designed for it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Raspberry Pi
by Alfman on Fri 15th Jul 2016 14:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Raspberry Pi"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

ahferroin7,

He actually did some work to measure the input latency there, and it's less than half what the exact same controller gets on the Wii, which was designed for it.


I don't suppose he did a writeup on it?

But yeah it seems plausible that it would be faster than the original. To be authentic we might have to add some lag back in ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Raspberry Pi
by ahferroin7 on Fri 15th Jul 2016 15:39 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Raspberry Pi"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

Sadly, he didn't (he's never been good at writing, and neither I nor any of his other friends had the time to do it for him),

As far as the latency, I would have expected a difference, but not as much as he saw. On the Wii it has be polled over I2C by the MCU in the remote, which then has to relay the data back to the Bluetooth controller on the console), which communicates with the ARM I/O co-processor in the console via SDIO, which then notifies the game running on the POWER CPU. On the Pi, it just talks directly with the CPU (kind of, the CPU on the Pi has a built-in I2C controller block that runs at least partly independently from the CPU itself). In both cases, the controller is still getting polled (the I2C bus is a master/slave setup, so the controller can't send event notifications), it just takes much less effort on the Pi.

What really surprised me though was that when he used the same set up to compare it to a PS3 and an XBOX 360, the Pi still beat them at latency too, although by a much smaller margin (if I remember correctly, both of them were less than 5% worse than the Pi).

Nintendo's console systems have had latency issues for a while though, even the GameCube had mediocre for something with dedicated wired controllers.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Raspberry Pi
by Drumhellar on Fri 15th Jul 2016 16:20 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Raspberry Pi"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

As somebody who spent years mashing buttons on an actual SNES, getting each tight jump down perfectly so I don't even have to think about it, under both Linux and Windows, I consider Super Mario World to be unplayable.

Donkey Kong Country, too.

There's probably things I could fiddle with - maybe I'll mess around with a small Linux install for this purpose, but since I have a number of SNES games and a TV that seems to handle composite video without much fuss or lag, I don't worry too much about it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Raspberry Pi
by ahferroin7 on Fri 15th Jul 2016 16:42 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Raspberry Pi"
ahferroin7 Member since:
2015-10-30

For most people, how consistent the latency is is more important than how much as long as it's no more than a tens of milliseconds. The human brain is very good at adapting to consistent latency, and in fact, that's what your brain has done even in the case of an original NES system. Latency there is absolutely 100% deterministic, so your brain compensates for it without you noticing. In fact, up until wireless controllers started becoming the norm, almost every console system had 100% deterministic latency, although they all had different latency from other brands and models.

On Linux at least, it's possible to make the latency pretty deterministic. On Windows, it's almost impossible. On OS X, it's actually remarkably deterministic, it's just significantly higher than the human nervous system can compensate for in most cases.

I actually have a separate run-level on Linux on my laptop which is specifically tuned for minimizing latency which has almost nothing running, I get latency variance measured in the single microsecond range in this run-level, as compared to milliseconds in regular operation, and 100's of milliseconds on Windows on the same hardware (although I can't be as sure about this comparison, because of how the tools I'm using to measure this work).

To use a sports metaphor, the precision which a baseball pitcher has to have in snapping his wrist forwards to throw a pitch properly is actually higher than the transmission latency of the human nervous system. The human brain can compensate for this though, and for a good pitcher, by the time his arm is halfway from the windup to the point at which the ball is thrown, his brain has already sent the signal to snap his wrist correctly. If you equate a regular baseball pitch to playing a game on an NES, then for most people, a properly configured Linux system is like getting a ball with a different density each time, Windows is like getting a ball that shifts in density randomly as you're throwing it, and OS X is like trying to pitch a miniature football weighing more than a baseball (it's doable, but it requires insane practice and conditioning to work as well).

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Raspberry Pi
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 15th Jul 2016 18:13 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Raspberry Pi"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Nice baseball analogy!

Even switching to a different consistent latency is difficult for the brain/body.

The top collegiate fast-pitch softball pitchers dominate anyone used to playing baseball, including MLB all stars. Hitting their pitches is done all the time by other softball players used to the different latencies and visual signals of the game, but adapting to those takes a lot of time and practice, even coming from a similar game like baseball.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Raspberry Pi
by whartung on Thu 14th Jul 2016 17:17 UTC in reply to "Raspberry Pi"
whartung Member since:
2005-07-06

Bah, a Raspberry Pi can do a better job of this and can run SNES, N64, and MAME arcade games too.


It's $60.

It's compact, and finished.

It's plug and play.

It (probably) starts instantly.

It'll last forever (no online BS, no media to wear out).

It's $60.

Assuming it actually performs well, and it should, this thing is a steal.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Raspberry Pi
by Vanders on Thu 14th Jul 2016 17:44 UTC in reply to "RE: Raspberry Pi"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

Let's not forget the important unanswered question, though:

Does that flap on the unit actually open?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Raspberry Pi
by WereCatf on Thu 14th Jul 2016 17:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Raspberry Pi"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Looking at the pictures it looks like it's not actually functional, just visual. Personally, I don't mind, I want one, but only because I like the case -- I'd strip out the internals and slap one of my Orange Pis inside instead.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Raspberry Pi
by Thom_Holwerda on Thu 14th Jul 2016 18:40 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Raspberry Pi"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I think it actually does look functional. I'd assume if it is, there's probably an SD card slot behind it.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Raspberry Pi
by umccullough on Thu 14th Jul 2016 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Raspberry Pi"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

I think it actually does look functional. I'd assume if it is, there's probably an SD card slot behind it.


Doesn't look functional in this large closeup:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CnUur6JWAAET3Wx.jpg:large

There would be an obvious gap if it was.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Raspberry Pi
by FlyingJester on Thu 14th Jul 2016 20:56 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Raspberry Pi"
FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

Sounds like the perfect opportunity for a case mod.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Raspberry Pi
by WereCatf on Thu 14th Jul 2016 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Raspberry Pi"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

"The console does not use physical media and therefore the Chamber Lid does not open."

http://kotaku.com/the-mini-nes-wont-open-cant-connect-to-the-intern...

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: Raspberry Pi
by Vanders on Thu 14th Jul 2016 22:39 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Raspberry Pi"
Vanders Member since:
2005-07-06

I shall look forward to the case & hardware mods.

Are there plans for other mini-consoles, like a mini-SNES or mini-N64?

We have nothing to announce at this time.


"So, I'll put you down as a 'Yes' then?"

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Raspberry Pi
by bassbeast on Tue 19th Jul 2016 14:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Raspberry Pi"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

As nasty as big N is when it comes to copyrights? I seriously doubt they'd allow the unit to have an SD card slot, even if they used a proprietary formatting on the card, because they would be afraid people would be able to load their own ROMs instead of buying Classic NES II, III, etc.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Raspberry Pi
by SitrucKram on Thu 14th Jul 2016 19:59 UTC in reply to "Raspberry Pi"
SitrucKram Member since:
2013-12-02

Bah, a Raspberry Pi can do a better job of this and can run SNES, N64, and MAME arcade games too.


Sure, it can. Well, it can emulate the popular N64 games well enough. Not great, though. However, you can't sell that legally as a product, unless it's licensed from litigious Nintendo.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Raspberry Pi
by aliquis on Tue 19th Jul 2016 14:27 UTC in reply to "Raspberry Pi"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Bah, a Raspberry Pi can do a better job of this and can run SNES, N64, and MAME arcade games too.
At a lower price!

Because you steal everything and pay for nothing.
Isn't it amazing?!

Reply Score: 2

Comment by gan17
by gan17 on Thu 14th Jul 2016 16:07 UTC
gan17
Member since:
2008-06-03

There's still a ton of things we don't know - is it an ARM chip with an emulator? An actual NES miniaturised?

My money would be on some form of DS/3DS hardware equivalent.

Edited 2016-07-14 16:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Pretty neat but...
by TasnuArakun on Thu 14th Jul 2016 16:08 UTC
TasnuArakun
Member since:
2009-05-24

Pretty neat, but it also raises a few questions. Why only 30 games? What kind of hardware does it use? What are those controller ports on the front? They look almost like Firewire 800 ports.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pretty neat but...
by ssokolow on Thu 14th Jul 2016 16:36 UTC in reply to "Pretty neat but..."
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

If someone finds a way to dump standard ROMs from it, I'll definitely pick one up. It'd be much cheaper than acquiring all of those carts and I still haven't found an NES-capable equivalent to the Retrode. (Specifically, something which doesn't require closed-source or Linux-incompatible software on the PC side)

What are those controller ports on the front? They look almost like Firewire 800 ports.


According to this, it's the nunchuck port from the bottom of the Wiimote. (Which, if I remember correctly, is just power and an I²C bus)

A Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro for the Wii console can also be used.

The Nintendo Classic Mini: NES Controller can also be used to play Virtual Console NES games on a Wii U or Wii console. Simply connect it to a Wii Remote controller to make the experience that much more authentic.


Edited 2016-07-14 16:49 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Pretty neat but...
by TasnuArakun on Thu 14th Jul 2016 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Pretty neat but..."
TasnuArakun Member since:
2009-05-24

According to this, it's the nunchuck port from the bottom of the Wiimote. (Which, if I remember correctly, is just power and an I²C bus)


Ah, that makes sense.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Pretty neat but...
by umccullough on Thu 14th Jul 2016 18:57 UTC in reply to "Pretty neat but..."
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Pretty neat, but it also raises a few questions. Why only 30 games?


Probably licensing reasons... Most games for the NES were actually made by 3rd party developers/publishers, so they had to obviously negotiate the rights to include them with the hardware - I'm sure a portion of the price is purely royalties paid to the original publishers.

What are those controller ports on the front? They look almost like Firewire 800 ports.


As mentioned already, they appear to be Wii remote ports (the ones on the bottom of the Wii remote) - and considering that another article claimed this system was compatible with Wii remotes, that makes sense.

I'm guessing you can plug the new NES controller into the bottom of your Wii remote and use to play classic games on the Wii and Wii U - similar to using the "classic controller" addon that Nintendo already sold for that purpose.

Makes me wonder if other Wii contoller addons also work with this tiny NES system:

http://game.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/series/ggl/306856.html

(sorry for the japanese, but has some interesting device examples)

Edited 2016-07-14 18:58 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Pretty neat but...
by aliquis on Tue 19th Jul 2016 14:31 UTC in reply to "Pretty neat but..."
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

Pretty neat, but it also raises a few questions. Why only 30 games? What kind of hardware does it use? What are those controller ports on the front? They look almost like Firewire 800 ports.
As for 30 games maybe they would sell expansion packs / cartridges with multiple games more? Maybe not (some rumor for the NX has been that it would be cartridge based but that make little sense, additional memory storage for more games for this (not because it's necessary but because they want to be able to charge for it) would make more sense.

Also they may not have the rights to license ALL games ever released on the NES to this one.

The ports is the same ones used on the Wii remote or something such and it can be connected to Wii / Wii U and you can connect the more SNES like Wii controller pad to this one too. Or something such. I've read. Which make sense.

The controller is also very cheap at $9.99.

Edited 2016-07-19 14:31 UTC

Reply Score: 2

Love the idea, but not interested
by Bobthearch on Thu 14th Jul 2016 17:38 UTC
Bobthearch
Member since:
2006-01-27

It just doesn't have enough of the NES games I'd be interested in playing. And no way (?) to add other games.

Reply Score: 2

Lakka
by iammannyj on Thu 14th Jul 2016 21:11 UTC
iammannyj
Member since:
2016-07-14

At the moment I am using Lakka and it works quite fine (even off USB). http://www.lakka.tv/. I can currently run NES, SNES, Atari, etc... But Nintendo will make a ton of money off of nostalgia and the holidays with this device. Timely marketing with the Pokemon Go craze at the moment.

Reply Score: 2

Osnews...
by Kishe on Fri 15th Jul 2016 12:55 UTC
Kishe
Member since:
2006-02-16

i'm sure several osnews readers could build their own NES clones from just a bunch of transistors and week ago chewed bubblegum but for average joe this "Neo-NES" is an enticing choice.

Reply Score: 3

Dentist Offices.
by crhylove on Mon 18th Jul 2016 09:36 UTC
crhylove
Member since:
2010-04-10

This beats the shit out of Good Housekeeping.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Dentist Offices.
by ssokolow on Mon 18th Jul 2016 09:50 UTC in reply to "Dentist Offices."
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

This beats the shit out of Good Housekeeping.


Good idea. I know my dentist has a PlayStation for the kids (can't remember which generation) and I'd think this would be more robust than disc-swapping and less bothersome than a system with online connectivity.

...and I've actually dumped my Mario All-Stars cart and played it on my OpenPandora on previous check-up visits. It's certainly more engaging than watching CTV News channel in the adult side of the waiting area.

Edited 2016-07-18 09:51 UTC

Reply Score: 2