FC Twin Console

FC Twin console
FC Twin console

In the world of virtual consoles and emulators one might wonder why you would need a console system that plays old NES and SNES games and the answer is, why the hell not. The FC Twin is a clone system meaning it copies what the original system did hardware wise, but it is not the original. In the FCT’s case you can play both the 8-bit and 6-bit games on the system. The FC twin can be purchased at major outlets online and sometimes in stores for about $40 USD.

Now the first thing to remember is you will need the original cartridges from either the SNES or NES to play on the FC Twin. The good news is you can find a ton of games on eBay or even your local thrift store. The FCT comes with the following:

Base Console

Two SNES style controls

AV Cables

AC Adapter

FC Twin console
FC Twin console

The base console itself is really light, but the plastic case seems strong enough to take a little beating. The controllers feel good in my hands even though it is much lighter than the original SNES controller. It may feel like cheap plastic and true enough I am sure it is not the best, but honestly they feel better than the original classic controller that you can purchase for the Wii. Another cool thing about the control input is it can fit the original SNES controllers.

A little bit more about the controllers.  The FC Twin is not compatible with the original NES controllers and that includes the guns. The FCT is compatible with most SNES controllers including the light gun and in fact a light gun was release just for the FC Twin.

The AC adapter is pretty standard as is the AV cables. I connected the system to my Vizio television. Don’t expect any differences visually, the system will look the same as if you connected your original SNES to your T.V., so there is no HD mode or anything like that.

FC Twin console
FC Twin console

On the console itself are two cartridge ports, the upper one is for the 8-bit games and the lower one is for the 16-bit games. There are only two buttons on the console. One button is to reset the system and the second is a switch that goes from Power to 16-bit to 8-bit. What makes the switch cool is you can put in two cartridges and switch between both on the fly.

As for looks and sound I personally did not see a difference between the FCT and the original consoles however, it has been a while since I played the original non-emulated. Other uses have reported that sometimes the sound with NES games are not exactly like the original, but I have not been able to confirm that. You can connect your FC Twin’s audio ports to a stereo even with surround sound, but keep in mind the old NES games were not meant to utilize that technology so it might sound a bit weird.

Compatibility wise there are quite a number of games that are not compatible with the FC Twin, but instead of listing them here you can see the list on the Wiki Page for the FC Twin. Most of the compatibility issues are a result of the Super FX chip found in these games as well as the lack of ability to use the Power Pad and R.O.B.. So far playing a few games on both the SNES and NES side I can tell you it plays just like the original, but I can see how if you are a bit rough on your controllers you could wear them out in time.

All in all if you have the original cartridges and are missing the console system then the FC Twin is a cool way to play them. Sure, you could just get the emulated versions, but why not to both as that is the mark of a collector.

Nintendo cleared of infringement charges over controllers

Nintendo cleared of infringement charges over controllers

So the story goes that back in 2006 a company called Anascape Ltd. Sued Nintendo and Microsoft over specific technology used in both companies’ controllers. Microsoft settled out of court but Nintendo took on the fight and lost.

Wii Classic Controller

Nintendo was ordered to pay $21 million in damages and a ban was ordered on many of the game controllers for the Wii and GameCube. That ban was put on hold while Nintendo appealed the ruling and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the 2008 verdict.

“In 2008, the jury determined that the Wii Remote and Nunchuck did not infringe,” said Nintendo of America General Counsel Rick Flamm. “Today the Federal Circuit’s ruling confirmed that none of Nintendo’s controllers infringe. We appreciate that our position has been vindicated.”

There has been no word on what will happen to the $21 million Nintendo was ordered to pay, but I doubt they own Anascape any money.

Power Pyramid Supreme

Power Pyramid Supreme
Power Pyramid Supreme

Originally written J.A. Laraque for Evergeek

While controller recharging solutions abound, Konnet is one of the few vendors to cater to tech heads and core gamers that happen to own two new-generation consoles, namely a PlayStation3 (PS3) and an Xbox 360 both, each with a couple of controllers.

The Power Pyramid, as the name suggests, is a charging station shaped like a miniature Egyptian tourist attraction… well, a post-modern, nouveau-technologieartistic interpretation of a step-pyramid with a pair of prongs sticking out of two opposing sides, anyway.

It’s available as either a four controller cradle for PS3 or Xbox 360, or as a two-each cradle for both controller types in one unit, dubbed the Power Pyramid Supreme (reviewed here).

Powered through an AC adapter that snakes discreetly out of the base of the unit, the Power Pyramid will charge each controller from empty to full in a couple of hours, all at the same time, if need be. With Konnet’s “Intelligent Protection System,” moreover, it will stop trying to charge fully charged devices, so no worries of “Vampire” power drains or overloads, with the Pyramid simply storing the controllers openly like so much tech-deco art.

An array of LED lights, meanwhile, glow red when charging, blue when done, completing the Egyptian sci-fi motif.

In an odd take on “console wars,” but really for symmetry’s sake, presumably, the docking cradles hold a PS3 controller on top of the Xbox 360 slot on both sides. Seeing as the Xbox 360’s controllers are bigger than the PS3’s, the thing would look lopsided if four controller were mounted head to head.

Being a pyramid-shaped Pyramid, the device’s natural sturdiness is augmented by four slim rubber feet so it doesn’t slide around if shoved or knocked accidently. The out-jetting prongs that hold the controllers are similarly reliable, holding them firmly if jostled but not ferociously, if you just want to yank one out to play with.

Konnet sells the Power Pyramid Supreme for $50 online, but some dealers are selling it for less – about $40 if you shop around. Either way, it’s a pretty good deal considering you get a double duty charger taking up the space and power consumption needs of one.

There have been reports on some units where the PS3 docking ports stopped working, though Konnet’s customer service asserts that the fault was with a specific batch of units and will replace any defective Pyramids as needed.

Otherwise, the Power Pyramid Supreme is a solid, stable and efficient charging solution that will also cradle and display your double whammy gamer gear with a little bit of style.