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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Clone Consoles: Yay or Nay?


How do you feel about clone consoles?

I love 'em! Gimme that clean video! 1 5.26%
Anything over HDMI is better than original. 6 31.58%
Only if they have accurate emulation. 9 47.37%
I'd rather just mod my consoles. 0 0%
OG hardware ONLY! 3 15.79%
Why would anyone pay for old games? 0 0%

There's a big divide in the retro gaming scene between those that only play on original hardware, and those that prefer/are cool with the use of clone consoles. Of course, clones can be anything from a 90s knock-off that just plays carts, to a SNES Classic-type device, to something like a SuperNT that does both carts and games off of SD over HDMI. There also a wide variety in the quality of these devices...

For example, here's some hot garbage I reviewed recently -

Versus one that I absolutely adore -

Where do you guys stand on clone consoles? Are they never okay, totally awesome, or just something you've not invested in so far?

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With the exception of Analogue's systems like the Super NT, I feel that clones are too much of a compromise of the original hardware that it just comes off as some cheap cash-in to take advantage of people's nostalgia.

IMO, if you really wanna go back to classics, either go out of your way to get the original hardware, or just stick to emulators (including Virtual Console).

I don’t think it matters much, personally I prefer the originals because it feels authentic to play something there. However, there’s good arguments to be made for picking a modern replica or multipurpose console like the SuperNT you mention. Besides I like the SNES Classic, I’ll be sure to pick up an NES Classic as well when those return to the shelves.

Obviously though, there also exist pure crap like the PolyStation and whatever.

Other than Nintendo's classic editions and official virtual console setups, no, I'm not into clone consoles.

I have nothing against them if they play the original SW from their respective cart or disk. Some consoles are rarer and harder to replace and as time goes on, the more popular one could thin out too. There is nothing wrong with an alternative means to keep your old games usful.

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Clone consoles and ROMs are like masturbation and the cartridges and real consoles are like great sex with a super model. You can get the fake stuff and it'll get the job done. It's less costly. It's easier and more convenient etc. But, it'll never be as good as the real deal.

They are great.
Older consoles and carts are getting expensive/difficult to find in good condition/potentially prone to failure, especially CD based systems as the optical lasers don't last forever.
Not everyone wants to spend a significant amount of time and money dealing with all of that.

I have had more fun with my SNES and NES Classics than I have with my Xbox One X.

Purists will of course prefer the original equipment... And that is perfectly fine as well.

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I love the high quality clones that are coming out, breathing new life into original carts and CDs. I love a lot of the original hardware, but with aging caps an mechnical failures they don't get eny more reliable and getting a decent picture out of them requires modding, expensive external upscaling or a combination of both.

I wish someone would come out with a high quality gameboy color clone console that does not suffer from a low quality screen in the wrong aspect ratio.
But that probably wont happen unless someone finds a screen already in production that will fit.

I'm fine with official emulation like VC and the mini consoles as well, as long as the emulation quality is at least passable. I love payingin GB and NES games on my 3DS. I'm not a twitchy enough gamer to notice minor input lag, especially without a frame of reference with games I play for the first time anyways. The wierd muddiness of NES WiiVC games was annoying though.

No clones, No collection devices, No pirating, No modding.

I'm only interested in playing on the original system, or through official Digital distribution. I will pay for the right to play retro games on my Switch, PS4, and XBO, but I will never buy one of these mini collections. I have no interest in spending money on even more hardware, and i have no interest in playing games I have not payed for.

I just want to see at a minimum, Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft offer every game from console one to now digitally. If third parties want to join in even better. If Atari, Sega, and others want to offer their games bring them on. That is the ultimate for me.

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I prefer the original mainly because I know it will work.

I have herd disaster stories with some clone consoles damaging carts.