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The Quest for the Perfect Retro Game Experience

Jeremy looks back on a decade-long mission to relive the classics amidst changing technology, and explores what drives other like-minded enthusiasts.

Article by Jeremy Parish, .

Originally published July 2015.

"A 500 dollar NES!?"

I've heard this question — or rather, this statement of disbelief — surprisingly often since copping to the fact that I preordered the preposterously highbrow (and high-priced) Analogue NT console several months ago. The Analogue aspires to be the Cadillac of NES consoles, built from salvaged original motherboards, encased in a decidedly Apple-like machined aluminum case, and capable of generating top-of-the-line 8-bit visuals. Unlike an all-in-one emulation station such as the RetroN 5, the Analogue plays games for one system, the NES, and nothing more. With shipping, an RGB cable, and a seemingly brand new Nintendo-manufactured NES controller presumably sourced from some forgotten warehouse somewhere, the Analogue's actual price tag came in closer to $600 than $500... and that's without the optional HDMI-out daughterboard (an additional $70).

The Analogue NT (promotional image).

On the face of it, the whole idea sounds like an absolute waste of money; why spend so much on a device whose primary function — playing NES and Famicom cartridges — can be served through far less expensive solutions? In fact, I picked up a RetroN 5 last summer, which cost one-fifth as much and can play games from five times as many systems. I'm not exactly wealthy, and $600 is hardly pocket change for me; I saved up for an Analogue for nearly half a year, and even then my finger hovered over the "buy" button for about a month before I finally committed.

The NT definitely represents the far extreme (some would say an unhealthy extreme) of my personal quest to capture the most authentic classic gaming experience possible. By no means is this endeavor some new fixation for me, but it's only been over the past year or so that it's gone from idle, half-hearted effort to focused crusade. Each new component I add to my increasingly tangled game setup provokes a fresh twinge of guilt, a sense of "I really shouldn't" mitigated only by the notion that it's at least somewhat justified by the fact that it's all for work or side projects. And, of course, by knowing that it could be so much worse.

At the edge of the rabbit hole

There's nothing particularly unique or unusual about my drive to create an optimal gaming experience for myself, nor in my discovery that it doesn't come cheap. The money I've invested in order to be able to play NES games in beautiful, flawlessly executed, nearly lag-free 1080p is chump change compared to what the hardest of hardcore PC enthusiasts spend on linked, top-of-the-line graphics cards and 4K monitors. And I can definitely take comfort in knowing that the NES, as a dead platform, won't require new equipment every couple of years to remain at the bleeding edge of tech the way PC gaming does.

Video capture from Analogue NT.

And really, classic game fanaticism can go so much deeper (and cost so much more) than the relatively basic target I've set for myself. My goal is simply to run original console software (NES, yes, and others as well) on an LED television with minimal lag and the ability to capture HD footage for video production. Being in the games press, I need to remain something of a generalist, too; my setup also needs to be flexible enough to work with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games. That's my safety net to keep from going off the deep end, really — that and space. When it comes to retro games, the more specific an obsession becomes, the more expensive the act of feeding it can be.

But why bother? That seems to be a prevailing sentiment when the topic of any sort of big-ticket retro investment is broached online. After all, all of these games can be played through emulation for free; matters of legality aside, why not just load up MAME or RetroArch and call it a day?

The answer is that, for many enthusiasts, emulation simply isn't good enough. It's a handy temporary solution, a great way to get a sense of a game. But to recapture the true, authentic experience of playing a game on its original hardware, with its original quirks, on the medium it was designed for — emulation simply can't handle that... at least not yet, anyway. Even great emulation still amounts to an approximation, and the act of faking it introduces new quirks and flaws that didn't appear in the original game on its intended hardware. While emulation enables fantastic new features for classic games, including save states, rewinds, online multiplayer, and more, these perks can't overcome the failings (sometimes subtle, sometimes quite obvious) that results from an emulated game.

Namco's Splatterhouse [Source: vgmuseum.com].

In fact, for the most serious players, emulation literally isn't an option. Caitlin Oliver, an active competitor for the world record in Namco's arcade classic Splatterhouse, explains: "When discussing active competition for world record scores, it tends to be original hardware or bust," she says. "Most emulated versions have their own (separate) score boards. Some individual competitions may allow you to use MAME or other emulators to set scores, but that is to be determined by the person running the event and doesn't apply to official record keeping. There are too many variables to consider that can make differences in the outcome of the game, and even minor differences like that can end up making a world of difference."

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Comments 51

  • Avatar for ShadowTheSecond #1 ShadowTheSecond 2 years ago
    I've been fine with emulation (typically the official kind, as I will buy old systems' games that are currently available) for the most part.

    That being said, I still use my actual Sega Saturn (with some newer cables). Saturn emulation has probably improved from the mid 2000s of my college years when my original Saturn busted, but it was pretty unfaithful to the original experience at that time. Because of that, my Saturn has essentially been the only older system that I keep hooked up. Because sometimes you need some Astal, or even Robotica.
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  • Avatar for yuberus #2 yuberus 2 years ago
    I, like Caitlin and Jeremy, find emulation a pale imitation of the real thing. I've never been able to really sit down and get into a game running on my computer made for a console or arcade machine, even before the errors are introduced. If anything's driven me maintaining an unwieldy collection of consoles with a commercial CRT, its all that. Much as I'm interested in RGB, I haven't plunged into the world of upscalers to run things on my HD set.

    Maintaining that old equipment isn't easy; I've had to crack open consoles to make repairs or to do preventative maintenance (time to learn how to replace capacitors, I guess) but its enjoyable, and on some level I think part of me wants to be sure that kids in the future - possibly even my own - could enjoy these machines the way I have, and the way players before them did.
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  • Avatar for pennybags #3 pennybags 2 years ago
    @ShadowTheSecond SSF is pretty accurate.
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  • Avatar for tacscan #4 tacscan 2 years ago
    Emulation is always a pale imitation. The answer is simple: get the real thing. I've owned between 15 and 35 full-size vintage classic video games at any given time for 20 years, with all the attendant space and maintenance issues, but nothing else comes close. It really comes down to one's level of aesthetic appreciation for the true original experience of classic gameplay. Most people favor convenience over that kind of commitment, for obvious reasons, but the end result is unambiguously inferior to the real thing.
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  • Avatar for pennybags #5 pennybags 2 years ago
    There's nothing wrong with collecting the original hardware or anything but I think some of these comments are getting a little hyperbolic. "Unambiguously" a pale imitation of the original? I mean, by the same token I could say that Jeremy's choice of a Gameboy Pocket is inauthentic because it had a larger, better screen than the original and wasn't so heavy; is that also a "pale imitation?" Or maybe you should use it, but only for games that came out after the GBP release?

    Is there nothing to be said for rendering early 3D games in much higher quality than the original systems were capable of, or with less slowdown? Or saves that reliably work? Or the many other things emulators let you do that the original hardware does not?Edited 2 times. Last edited July 2015 by pennybags
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  • Avatar for sean697 #6 sean697 2 years ago
    Fantastic article. I'll give naysayers the credit that there are some emulators that are 99 percent accurate. There are even attempts at cycle accurate emulation (I think there is a project called exodus that attempts this for Genesis but requires a very powerful multi core PC and yes it's pretty good )

    But for me original hardware with original controllers on a TV is my preffered experience. And since all my CRTs are gone, an upscaler is absolutely the way to go. I think with RBG they are the most clear looking picture that you will get while still being 100 percent accurate. Better than a CRT. I guess PVM is equally as good, but I don't want another TV in the house. And I've found the XRGB lag coupled to a Sony TV in game mode un perceptable. There hasn't been a game where I've noticed it yet. Unlike modern consoles. Plus PVM's don't come in 55 inch sizes.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #7 jeremy.parish 2 years ago
    @sean697 Yeah, some of the more advanced NES emulators are reputed to be pretty rad, although not having a powerful Windows system I'm locked out of most of them. But I don't really play old games just for the heck of it... I've always got some project in mind. So for me, original hardware makes sense. That's definitely not true for everyone.
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  • Avatar for Don-Rumata #8 Don-Rumata 2 years ago
    Take my case: I emulate Japanese PCs ranging from the Sharp X1 to the PC-98, all of them built in mind for RGB signals passing through to CRT monitors operating at ranges between ~15 kHz and ~31 kHz. Importing the actual hardware—computer, bulky monitor, keyboard, external data readers/writers, and maybe a few joysticks—is expensive as hell, and transactions can be compromised while the items are still in Japan. Consoles and arcade PCBs lie at two extremes of the scale, relatively accessible to inaccessible, with J-PC goods stuck in the middle. Sharp does a good job of servicing its old PC fans with tools and paraphernalia for keeping the machines running, but I'm glad J-PC emulation's as good as it is given the overall lack of repro kits for anyone outside East Asia. There's also less of a guarantee that games from that era, stored on floppies and cassettes in addition to cartridges, will play even with correct settings per emulator, as dump activity is sporadic. I wish the One Chip MSX was still in production somewhere...

    Amiga fans and long-time users get to enjoy accessible (legal) emulation for both games and Amiga OS, and DOSBox can just as well emulate MS-DOS contexts. Both improved emulation and related efforts to preserve and circulate the above for Japanese PC games and hardware is essential for historic and ideal game-playing purposes. So far we have Project EGG for the software end (and even that's incomplete because of commercial/legal gating).Edited 2 times. Last edited July 2015 by Don-Rumata
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  • Avatar for CkRtech #9 CkRtech 2 years ago
    Love reading about your ongoing, authentic gaming journey, Jeremy. I am happy you took the time to continue imparting knowledge on many retro gamers. Many stick to composite video because they just don't care, but many others simply do not know that there is something better available when it comes to many of the old consoles.

    You mentioned the shmups board in this article. If anyone reading this has any questions regarding cables, maintaining consoles, modding hardware, or RGB, please feel free to drop in the Hardware section of shmups and ask questions. There is a large xrgb mini Framemeister thread there that sees activity on a regular basis, and there are also many knowledgeable people to help get you in sync with the various types of sync, RGB, and more.

    Don't be shy about asking questions - enjoy your games! It is more than simply owning games or playing games - it can truly be an experience via CRTs or upscalers.
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  • Avatar for Monkey-Tamer #10 Monkey-Tamer 2 years ago
    Emulation has improved by leaps and bounds over the past decade. Shaders provide CRT simulation on modern tvs, emulating the scanlines that made old pixel games not so pixely. I can even recreate the curvature of the arcade CRTs with MAME now. Until you get to the PS2 and Gamecube you don't need a bleeding edge machine for a great experience. Couple it with something like hyperspin and you can clear the clutter and shove everything in boxes.

    If you're really anal you can even buy controllers to mimic what you played the original games on, but the xbox360 pad works great for most applications. Unless you're a glutton for punishment with the right set up you can re-experience the same thing on a PC that you now have to pay a premium for. I'll keep my classic NES preserved and unmolested by a new HDMI hook-up, and I don't miss blowing into cartridges. There are some outliers, true, but most of the timeless classics run great. I hooked up my Gamecube and NES while I was cleaning the horde I recovered from my mom's attic. Our beloved classics look like butt on modern tvs with the original hardware.Edited July 2015 by Monkey-Tamer
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  • Avatar for ShadowTheSecond #11 ShadowTheSecond 2 years ago
    Deleted July 2015 by ShadowTheSecond
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  • Avatar for ShadowTheSecond #12 ShadowTheSecond 2 years ago
    @pennybags

    Thanks for the suggestion, I may try it out sometime just to see how much the Saturn emulators have improved over time.

    For me playing on the original system isn't something that I advocate for per se, but more of something that's just nice to be able to do occasionally. It's a nice rush of nostalgia to have the original controller and system in front of you--that's more of why I keep the Saturn than any reason regarding a need for authenticity. That being said, I understand why some (such as the article's author) really get into having a super-authentic setup.
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  • Avatar for jeremyparish #13 jeremyparish 2 years ago
    @Don-Rumata Oh, yeah. Emulating old PCs is pretty much a necessity. The bulk, relative scarcity, and overall fragility of those things means you have to REALLY love them to maintain an original. I'd love to have an X68000, but I also value my sanity and financial solvency....
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  • Avatar for AlexanderBorg #14 AlexanderBorg 2 years ago
    Fantastic article, Jeremy!
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  • Avatar for pennybags #15 pennybags 2 years ago
    @ShadowTheSecond Honestly I can never be bothered to hook them up.
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  • Avatar for IndoorBoy #16 IndoorBoy 2 years ago
    Respect for the Salamander cart in the header picture!
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  • Avatar for orient #17 orient 2 years ago
    With 8/16-bit stuff, I'm pretty happy playing through composite on a CRT (HDTVs are a different story). I played most consoles back then through RF (even Dreamcast!), and composite is a huge improvement. I've considered an S-video modded Master Systems, but it's a luxury that can wait.

    Nowadays, despite owning a VGA adapter for the Dreamcast, I still prefer playing DC games on a CRT through S-video, which produces a great picture, over playing on a monitor.Edited July 2015 by orient
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #18 VotesForCows 2 years ago
    I've never been too bothered by getting the visuals of older games right, but the feel of the appropriate controller has always seemed of utmost importance to me.
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  • Avatar for superberg #19 superberg 2 years ago
    This is a great look at the sometimes harsh truths of retro gaming. I long ago gave up on collecting old/rare hardware, but I recall fondly the days of trying to get the best possible connection to my HD CRT.

    Also, a nice shout-out to Galloping Ghost. Love that place. They do so much for the preservation of gaming history... Even though I always find at least one broken joystick each time I visit. in their defense, housing and maintaining over 400 cabinets is tough.
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  • Avatar for trevorwelch25 #20 trevorwelch25 2 years ago
    Terrific article Jeremy. I'm looking forward to the full review.
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  • Avatar for grappler51 #21 grappler51 2 years ago
    @pennybags I completely agree, and think people are generally underestimating how important emulation is to gaming history and preservation. Emulators allow people to experience rare games they couldn't otherwise find or afford, and will still be around in 20 years even after original hardware fails.
    Also bSNES is literally perfect and is able to play every SNES game completely accurately. This is a pretty huge deal and I hope more emulators reach this level.
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  • Avatar for KaiserWarrior #22 KaiserWarrior 2 years ago
    As a video game aficionado in general, but particularly of older games, I regularly run the gamut of options available to me. I emulate, I play on compilations released for later hardware, and I play on original hardware. All of these options have their own merits and demerits, and all of them are worthwhile for one reason or another.

    The simple fact of the matter is, there is no "perfect" experience for playing old games. They were designed and built in an era when technology was scattershot and the people making them had absolutely no way of planning for every eventuality. It is for this reason that I don't sweat the "perfect" RGB setup -- hooking my systems up to my old consumer-level CRT via composite or even RF is just fine, because that's exactly how I experienced them back in the day, and they were designed to account for it. Overscan was real, and playing old games on high-grade equipment with fancy RGB mods and/or upscalers is, in my opinion, just as inauthentic as emulating -- you weren't supposed to see those solid-color unused areas at the edges of the screen because the game was designed under the idea that you'd be playing it via RF on an old convex CRT monitor, and those areas would be under the bezel.

    That being said, I do try to get a hold of the highest-quality official cables I can; S-video or component when available, composite for my old VCR-style NES, etc. I certainly recognize the market for Analogue's NT -- and heavens know I fully intend to pick up their consolized Neo-Geo MVS in the near future as it's by far the best option for playing Neo-Geo games on original hardware -- but it's simply not for me. If I want really accurate, super-high-quality visuals for an NES, well, that's what Higan is for. For everything else, there's my game room with my old Sony CRT that has the lightly-scorched upper right corner, and my original front-loading NES with its yellow-and-red (no white because it's mono only!) RCA jacks.
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  • Avatar for nilcam #23 nilcam 2 years ago
    I've been very lucky. My SNES is a bit yellow but works just as well as it did when I bought it new back in the day. My Genesis is the Genesis 3 model but it gets the job done and works wonderfully. My N64 is great. I was never into NES so that's not an issue.

    In order to eliminate clutter, I did buy a RetroBit Super Retro Trio and a Framemeister for my living room and that combination has very good results for SNES and Genesis games.

    I don't collect disc based games after having several disc-based systems (PlayStation, PS3, and Dreamcast) all fail on me. Even some of my Dreamcast games stopped working before the system did. I pride myself on taking the best care possible of the stuff I collect so these failures were surprising.

    My handheld systems all work perfectly and are my preferred way to play retro games. They take up less space and circumvent the SDTV to HDTV issues that we all want to avoid.
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  • Avatar for scotts #24 scotts 2 years ago
    Just last night, I was playing Final Fantasy 5 Advance on my DS Lite, which I bought specifically because it plays GBA carts, despite also having a DSi. And I was lamenting that, sure, I am experiencing the best English-language version of FF5, but it just doesn't feel as grand as it would be played on an SNES.

    That's okay, as there's no real alternative for FF5. But Final Fantasy 6 Advance just doesn't feel the same as when I played it on my SNES on a CRT. I've tried hooking my SNES up to my modern television, but the lag just kills me.

    If they made a SNES version of the Analogue NT, I would seriously consider getting one. I played the NES growing up, but it's the SNES that I have the strongest affinity for.
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  • Avatar for SOUP32 #25 SOUP32 2 years ago
    I've seen RGB cables, but how do you hook one of those into a TV or monitor. I've never seen something with an RGB slot. Would you still need an adaptor on top of that to go to HDMI or VGA?
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #26 jeremy.parish 2 years ago
    @SOUP32 Yeah, as described in this series, it requires an upscaler. My setup goes console > RGB-21 cable > RGB-to-MiniDIN-8 adapter > Framemeister upscaler > HDMI cable > Elgato capture device > USB to computer/HDMI to TV. It's a mess, but the results are great.
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  • Avatar for SOUP32 #27 SOUP32 2 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Thanks. Still reading through the articles. Thanks so much for posting all of this. Since getting my LED TV a couple years ago, I've had about 5 systems sitting under my TV that I can't hook up to it. With all the info out there, these guides have been a huge help in making sense of it all.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #28 jeremy.parish 2 years ago
    @SOUP32 I'm glad to help! That was a big part of the intent behind this series.
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  • Avatar for scotts #29 scotts 2 years ago
    @jeremy.parish By the way, as a long time Retronauts listener (and backer), I think it would be great to also cover this subject in an upcoming episode. You've already done so much work and research on it, and I'd also like to hear what the rest of the group has to say on it.
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  • Avatar for pennybags #30 pennybags 2 years ago
    @grappler51 Isn't Nestopia basically the same level? I think there is some other progress on this on other systems. Even PSX has stuff like Xebra (I think?) that strives for ultra-accuracy although I'm sure most people still want stuff like epsxe.
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  • Avatar for pennybags #31 pennybags 2 years ago
    @VotesForCows Well you can buy a controller adapter for about any system for around 20 bucks and save yourself a lot of trouble then.
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  • Avatar for megamanfan1500 #32 megamanfan1500 2 years ago
    A fantastic piece for my favorite sub-genre of gaming: image quality. I started down the RGB rabbit hole a few years ago, and have gone from an RGB to Component transcoder for my sony wega crt, to a genuine Sony PVM 14m2U. I think that's the furthest out I'll go...but when it comes to the search for the perfect retro gaming setup, never say never. In either case, thoroughly enjoyed this article sir!
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  • Avatar for VotesForCows #33 VotesForCows 2 years ago
    @pennybags I had no idea. I'll check that out!
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  • Avatar for pennybags #34 pennybags 2 years ago
    @KaiserWarrior To your point I suppose we can again trot out the now-tired example of water transparency effects in Sonic that won't work through RGB signals.
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  • Avatar for Spectreman #35 Spectreman 2 years ago
    I like a lot of Master System light gun games and they only work in CRT. This is a thing that cables or mods can't get to work in modern TVs.
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  • Avatar for bobservo #36 bobservo 2 years ago
    @pennybags The patents on the NES/SNES controllers have expired, and now you can get some pretty faithful USB compatible reproductions. That combined with emulators via a PC hooked up to my TV is how I do a whole lot of my retro gaming these days. (Whatever games I can't get through legal means, obviously. I'm no stickler for those kinds of laws, but I like to give money to publishers who care enough to make their old catalog available.)
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  • Avatar for Mega_Matt #37 Mega_Matt 2 years ago
    Fantastic work Jeremy. I don't think a lot of people really know too much about this stuff. I fell pretty hard into the RGB hole a couple of years ago. I was the one that wrote in to Retronauts about the Framemeister for the letters episode. You are correct, it is very expensive and not for everyone. I personally don't know anyone that has one or even intends to get into the whole RGB thing. There are some things I wish it did better, like scan lines on the 1080p setting, but overall it's amazing.

    I did a lot of research to figure everything I needed to do/buy. I wish I had these articles back then to help me get started. A note on RGB on the SNES; All original models natively support RGB through a scart cable. Not all of them output the same video quality though. Certain later versions have a different chipset called the 1 chip. This one outputs the highest quality possible. The only problem is you have to open the SNES to find out what's inside. However every SNES mini/jr has the 1chip. The downside is it needs to be modded to output RGB. That's the route I took. I don't have much soldering experience but I didn't find it very difficult to do myself.

    I also have about 2 frames of lag with my current set up. I spent a decent amount of money on a nice Sony LED with low input lag and I think it was worth it. http://www.displaylag.com/display-database/ is a great site that lists display lag for pretty much every TV if anyone is looking for a new one. If I'm ever playing something like Punch Out!! and find the 2 frames too laggy I keep a Sony CRT with S-video hooked up in another room. I suppose my next investment will be an RGB monitor.

    Also on a side note, component is not technically RGB. I could be wrong but I think the red, green, and blue cables carry the red signal, the brightness, and the blue signal. The green signal is calculated from those. With RGB the red, green, and blue signals are sent through the cable separately. The PS2 is RGB capable though. I hook mine up with an RGB scart cable and it looks great.

    If your looking to get a Sega system in you set up the original Genesis natively outputs RGB through a scart cable. (Get the scart cable the pulls the stereo audio from the headphone jack) Just make sure you get an early model that says "High Definittion Graphics" on top to make sure your getting the best audio quality out of the thing.

    http://stores.ebay.com/Retro-Accessories is a good place to get RGB scart cables. From what I gather around the Internet, they make the best scart cables you can buy. You can get cheaper ones elsewhere, but if your already spending so much money on this set up why not get the good stuff? I recommend going all Eruoscart or all Jp-21 for cables. You don't want to mix these things up.

    One last thing to anyone thinking of purchasing a Framemeister. Its a Japanese product meant for Japanese homes which means it runs on 100v instead of 120v (the standard in America). It will plug into an American socket and it might run fine but I wouldn't risk it since it's such an expensive piece of equipment. Get a power converter.
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  • Avatar for Xemus80 #38 Xemus80 2 years ago
    I have a ton of NES games collecting dust and I'd like to revisit them with my kids; the Analogue NT is an interesting piece of tech, and not entirely outside my price range. I'm looking forward to the coming review.

    Now, if only my SNES still worked. What are my options for repair? Or would it be better to look into an all-in-wonder box, like a RetroN 5?
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  • Avatar for pennybags #39 pennybags 2 years ago
    @bobservo Oh, yeah, I have one of the Buffalo SNES deals I picked up in Japan, but with the Saturn controller there's no substitute except for the super-expensive and rare one that's made with actual Saturn parts. Among others.
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  • Avatar for pennybags #40 pennybags 2 years ago
    @Mega_Matt I gotta say, I've got numerous Japanese appliances, including several game systems, and they all run fine with US power (and when I was in Japan the reverse was true). Computer stuff in particular often works with anything from 100-120 or even 100-230 because it all needs to be converted to DC anyway. Check the device and see what it's rated for; I think most devices I see say 100-120.
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  • Avatar for Mega_Matt #41 Mega_Matt 2 years ago
    @pennybags Ah, cool. I wasn't sure so I figured better to be safe than sorry. I'll check out the rating on it.
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  • Avatar for jeremy.parish #42 jeremy.parish 2 years ago
    @Mega_Matt Ah, OK, my mistake on the component mixup. Thanks for the info dump!
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  • Avatar for pennybags #43 pennybags 2 years ago
    @Mega_Matt Usually it says on the power plug one way or the other.
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  • Avatar for FBX #44 FBX 2 years ago
    Even when the NES was new, I was always frustrated with the lack of clean video technology back then. I always wanted clear, sharp pixels. I wrote a timeline of my quest to get pixel perfection here:

    http://www.firebrandx.com/pixelpurist.html

    Long story short, I ended up with a Framemeister and the very best RGB solutions/mods for each of my consoles. I then created integer-based profiles for them on the Framemeister such that all the pixels are uniformly sharp. So sharp in fact you could cut your eyes on them. That's what I always wanted, and it wasn't until these past few years I could finally get they kind of setup going without it being emulator-based.
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  • Avatar for FBX #45 FBX 2 years ago
    @pennybags I recall in the 1990s hooking my Genesis up to a Wells Gardner arcade monitor in RGB and the graphics were clean and sharp. So even in vintage setups, it was possible to expose the fake transparency effects.
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  • Avatar for Mega_Matt #46 Mega_Matt 2 years ago
    @pennybags Checked it out. It only says AC 100v
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  • Avatar for Mooglepies #47 Mooglepies 2 years ago
    Really enjoyed this article, particularly as it has somewhat mirrored my own quest over the last few years to get a nice retro setup going. It's very interesting to see how others went about it and compare notes.

    The talk about the frustrations of getting decent RGB serve to remind me that perhaps here in the PAL territories we didn't do so badly in the end - importing a US SNESMini (or any console I guess) with a RGB output seems infinitely easier than finding a decent US CRT TV with native RGB input, as SCART inputs were fairly commonplace (at least here in the UK) from the late 90s onwards. I'm the proud owner of an early 2000s Sony Trinitron that handles games very nicely indeed, and the shipping fees to get something like that from abroad would have probably driven me crazy!
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  • Avatar for Mega_Matt #48 Mega_Matt 2 years ago
    @jeremy.parish Yup! I figure the more information on this stuff out there the better. It's not exactly easy to get into.
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  • Avatar for pennybags #49 pennybags 2 years ago
    @FBX Possible or not it was probably not "the way it was meant to be played" or what the developers really had in mind as they made the game.
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  • Avatar for JohnnyBgood #50 JohnnyBgood 2 years ago
    Instead of constaintly using my retro console, I also buy retrogames on mobiles, tablets & Steam. Some of them are very cool and very cheap. I think it could be better than emulation beacause those games are now mobile, and adaptated to current devices so there is no better option to make them affordable I think
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  • Avatar for donkeyintheforest #51 donkeyintheforest A year ago
    In the months since reading this article I found a Sony BVM (8 inch only, but its so crisp even up close!) for under $50 including shipping on ebay and got cables from a british specialty cable place. Thanks to this article (and a little digging elsewhere) I had no problems with SCART versions or anything (I went with Japan version of SCART in case i ever get a frameister). Also, I have the audio outputting to my pure analog receiver and pretty decent speakers, and now BGM menu and other sound options on the old SNES are totally worthwhile! So fun! Thanks and happy new year USG!
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  • Avatar for Lane #52 Lane A year ago
    In the past month I pulled the trigger on both a 20" Sony PVM monitor and a Framemeister XRGB Mini (as we may be seeing the last production run in 2017).

    My hope is that between the two I can get rid of the 7 (yes, seven) TVs and monitors I have accumulated over the years trying to find a one-size-fits-all solution for my retro computers and consoles.

    Of course, now I'm eyeing the 20" BVM at my office, with its 900 lines of vertical resolution vs. my PVM's 600. They're bound to replace it eventually, right?

    It never ends.Edited December 2016 by Lane
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