TinyNES Reviewed

Lon Seidman recently posted a livestream and video review of the TinyNES:  A brand new version of the NES motherboard, that relies on the original CPU and PPU chips for an accurate experience (no emulation).  It can be purchased with original NES chips for around $240 and with PPU/CPU clones for $220.  It performs basically the same as an original NES, however the Famicom expansion audio is connected.  Unfortunately, Lon didn’t have time to run MDFourier testing on it…but maybe we can help get him an MDF rig for future tests.  There’s a ton of great info in the video, so check it out for more info.

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I have an opinion on this.  And I’m sure it’s going to offend many people reading.  And that’s okay.

I just don’t understand how so much effort can be put into a project that offers nothing over the original.  We’re at a time where FPGA emulation of the NES is basically perfect, plus there’s drop-in replacements for the original motherboards available as well.  That means people can have a truly new-but-authentic experience, or a completely streamlined HDMI solution that works perfectly with modern displays and controllers.  While I always appreciate options, I’m just not understanding who this product is for.

People on a budget can get an original and restore it themselves.  Or even get a $30, composite-only clone console just to start.  Or for the same $230 (ish), you could get a RetroUSB AVS and for just a few dollars more, you can get a basic MiSTer setup with DE-10, RAM and USB hub.  And heck, there’s even a similar product for just a tiny bit more that looks like an original Famicom also includes RGB and VGA output!

So please, feel free to explain another perspective to me.  I hope I’m missing something and there’s more to this other than “the same but different”.  I LOVE retro gaming products…and heck, some of my favorite things are weird, niche items.  But I just don’t understand the use case and price point of this one.

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