Last year Nintendo released a miniature version of a game console with a bunch of built in games. And I failed to get one. This year they did the same thing, only this time the console was the awesome Super Nintendo or SNES. And I failed to get one.
Until now. While I was in Leeds on Saturday I found one at a much smaller price than I was expecting to have to pay, and today I hooked it up to the TV.
It works a treat. There are 20 very solid games inside the tiny box, the picture quality is very good and it really takes me back. If you can get one, it's well worth tracking down. The only downside that I've noticed is that the device doesn't come with a mains power supply, just a micro usb cable that you have to plug into a supply you already have. I used one that is supposed to power a Raspberry Pi and it worked a treat. There are two controllers in the box, which means that you've got two player action right from the start.
The SNES was based on a fairly low powered 8 bit processor, but it had a really fancy graphics chip (for the time) which had a magical "mode 7" that allowed it to take a flat texture and draw it with perspective. This was great for game playfields and was used to good effect for the tracks in Super Mariokart. It's interesting to discover that the games are still very playable today. The handling in Mariokart is beautifully balanced and gives you a real feeling of control.
If you manage to track one of these down I'd strongly advise you to go for it, whether you remember the games or not.