When the Nintendo Entertainment System first hit American shores in 1985, it was marketed as a children’s toy. This was, above all else, a matter of necessity. In the years following the video game crash of 1983 (yes, that’s was a thing), systems were damaged goods; and the public and media were skeptical that there was much of a market for moving pixels with controllers. But toys? Every kid likes toys.
Of course, in the years since, the NES transformed into something else entirely. First: A cultural phenomenon, causing wary parents and reporters to question what inevitable evil must come from mindlessly staring at a screen and saving princesses for hours on end. Later: A nostalgic touchpoint for a generation of adults who grew up trading tips in the back of school busses (which, sidenote, were sort of the Internet message boards of their time).
And it is these adults that the Analog Nt is squarely aimed at: A luxury game console made to coddle your old NES cassettes in a solid aluminum shell designed to sit next to your modern flatscreen and sound system. Inside are the exact same chips that powered your old NES. That means perfect playability, without any of the lag that afflicts emulator programs. The system also has five color options and an optional HDMI adapter that may not add dimensions or detail to primitive pixel presentations, but still successfully upscales the resolution into a sharper scene. The word is still out on whether you'll need to blow on games to get them to work. Pre-orders are being taken now, device is scheduled to ship in Spring. [$499; analogueinteractive.com]