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This expensive adapter makes the Nintendo 64 look good on modern TVs - The Verge

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The easiest way to play GoldenEye today

In hindsight, Nintendo 64 is a very strange system. The controller is weird, the decision to choose an expensive ink cartridge is weird, and the internal hardware is in a weird place, even if the detailed texture cannot be stored and displayed, early texture filtering can be performed. Indeed, its age is not good enough, but its age is interesting-you can recognize N64 games from 1 mile away.

Among all Nintendo's home game consoles, the N64 is undoubtedly the most suitable game console for playing games on original hardware, especially because many of its best games cannot be used on modern platforms (

), or without the original controller (

). Moreover, you can connect four imitation gamepads to the PC to run the simulated version

, Which is not exactly the same as a real console.

The question is how to play it on modern TV. Even when you can easily connect the N64 to the TV, the N64's video output is still poor, which exacerbates the typical blurry graphics, which is not the case today. The S-Video output by the system can not be found on almost any contemporary TV, and it looks terrible, or composite, can be found on more TVs, but it looks even worse. (I don’t even plan to participate in RF.)

It is said that this is a problem solved by a new third-party adapter called Eon Super 64. I have tested it for a while, and although it is an expensive solution, it works well and is much easier than other options. .

Super 64 can be directly plugged into the video output port of N64, and use HDMI instead. It feels good and usually matches the appearance of the N64, with a thick red Eon logo LED that will light up when the system starts. All you need to do is to connect an HDMI cable from Super 64 to the TV, and then you can leave. (One caveat: it does not work on PAL consoles, so out of luck for N64 owners in Europe, Australia and certain other regions.)

Super 64 receives N64's 240p or 480i S-Video signal, and uses hardware to amplify it to 480p, while adjusting the color and brightness. There is also a dedicated button on the top of the device to activate the "slide mode" to smooth the final image.

Although I don't call Super 64's 480p video output sharp, it is very clear when viewed on my 4K TV from the sofa range. The upgraded S-Video can only do a lot of things, and I am happy to be able to discern the actual pixel edges instead of the blurry chaos I see every other time when I play the N64 on a flat-screen TV. The colors look great, there is no noticeable lag, and the game benefits from the crisp real output.

If the actual pixel edges and crisp output are not your thing, then the "smooth mode" does a good job of approximating anti-aliasing. It is especially suitable for text to make the content more readable, but in general, I prefer to turn it off. One thing the N64 doesn't need is blurry graphics-for me, the sharpness of Super 64 rendering is its main selling point.

This is a news picture from Eon, I want to say that it can well prove the output of Super 64:

Super 64 is not the only way to make N64 run on modern TVs. You can use a Nintendo S-Video cable, although you may also need to get an S-Video-HDMI converter depending on the TV, but the result may be unsatisfactory-encounter input lag and dimmer color.

There are more effective options, but most of them involve modifying the system itself.

For this kind of thing, and general retro hardware information. Basically, if you turn on the console, you can unlock the RGB output with a little soldering, which allows you to get better image quality than S-Video through a SCART cable (and possibly a SCART-to-HDMI adapter). . ) The core of the next level is a full-featured upgrade board called UltraHDMI, which can capture digital video signals up to 1080p and then convert them to analog signals to obtain the clearest images.

None of these options are particularly easy or cheap, but although Super 64 is simple, it is definitely not cheap

. This is about five times the price I recently paid for N64 and three games. Swallow a lot of things that are not necessarily the highest quality choice.

But hey, time is money. There is no doubt that Super 64 is indeed an advanced product that can fully achieve its claimed function. For anyone who only wants Nintendo 64 to display any content on a modern TV with minimal hassle, it will save a lot of trouble. If you are in that niche market, I can recommend it.

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