In the realm of technology, it’s a fact that everything gets smaller and more powerful as time goes by. “Minicomputers,” for example, used to be as big as a refrigerator, but now the smartphone you have in your pocket has far more processing power, and even that slick piece of tech is only as big as it is to accommodate its display screen.
The same thing happens with video game hardware. When new systems launch, they’re sizeable boxes, but after a couple of console generations, suddenly they can be shrunk to handheld size, like what’s happened with these two portables that play Nintendo Famicom and Super Famicom cartridges.
Granted, many of the most popular games of Nintendo’s 8 and 16-bit eras can be found in emulated form and played on a laptop, but if you don’t want the hassle of dealing with dubious downloads and other hardware headaches, 5,702 yen (US$46) will get you an FC Mobile portable gaming system from Japanese online retailer Nissen.
FC, it just so happens, was the commonly used abbreviation for Famicom, the trademarked name of the Nintendo-produced console that would head off to overseas markets rebadged as the Nintendo Entertainment System. Another amazing coincidence is that while the FC Mobile comes preloaded with 88 “types of games” of questionable quality, you can also stick official Famicom cartridges in it to relive the 8-bit age on the go.
Using the bundled A/V cables, the FC Mobile can also be hooked up to a full-sized TV, although Nissen makes no guarantees that doing so will leave you as rapturously entertained as the model in the product’s promotional image.
On the other hand, if your nostalgia is of a slightly newer vintage, there’s also the Super FC Mobile.
Slightly pricier (Amazon Japan is currently selling the handheld for 9,700 yen), the Super FC Mobile doesn’t appear to come with any pre-loaded games, but since it’s compatible with the entire library of Nintendo’s 16-bit Super Famicom system (which the rest of the world got as the Super NES), retro gamers should be able to track down plenty of titles to keep themselves entertained.
Like its 8-bit counterpart, the Super FC Mobile can be connected to a TV set using the bundled cables, It also sports two controller ports along its bottom edge, meaning that you and your friends can enjoy multi-player games, as long as someone brought spare pads.