Saturday, October 28, 2023

The Unofficial Enhanced NESs - Continuing On where Nintendo Left Off

As we all know, Nintendo introduced the Famicom in 1983, ported it to the west as the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985 and after the last licensed games were released in 1993-94 Nintendo retired the system. But that does not mean that the hardware underlying the system was dead, the hardware was widely cloned and cartridges were still being made for it. Some companies decided develop the hardware further by adding new capabilities, such as new graphics modes and more sound channels, to work with games that would look less primitive than those that could only take advantage of 1983-era chip designs. Let's take a look at some of these approaches in this blog article.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

PCE 2.4g vs. PC Engine Mini Controller - Battle of the New PC Engine Controllers

The PC Engine has had something of a reemergence in the past few years. In 2019 Konami announced the PC Engine Mini and TurboGrafx-16 Mini consoles and miraculously released it in 2020. Also in 2020 8bitdo released their PCE 2.4g Wireless Gamepads and Analogue announced the availability of the Analogue Duo, an FPGA console designed to play the original HuCard and CD games. Having acquired both a controller which was sold for the PC Engine Mini console and the 8bitdo PCE 2.4g controller, I can give an opinion on their strengths and weaknesses.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Is that a Cricket I Hear? - Contemporary Sound Options for the Apple IIc

The "c" in the Apple IIc stood for compact. The Apple IIc was designed to be the epitome of the Apple II series, providing the options most people used in a realistically portable form factor but sacrificing the internal expansion slots which made the predecessor models in the Apple II line so popular. While sound cards like the Mockingboard were not the most popular of expansion cards, about three dozen games and music programs supported them. As there was nowhere to plug in a Mockingboard into a IIc, that left the IIc with only the internal speaker for audio output. But at least two sound products were made specifically for the Apple IIc, and I will take a look at one of them, the Cricket, in this blog article.