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Note: As of March 26, 2021, individual articles about Famiclones are no longer allowed due to them clogging up the wiki.
A cheap plastic box, a part of million's childhood (unfortunately).

Famiclone is the name given for any knock-off console which has the same function as Nintendo's NES. They usually came with one cartridge that supposedly had over a million games or such, however, they were usually the same games repeated over and over. The Famiclones have been sold for many years, but the real boom happened in 1996, when the NOAC (NES-on-a-chip) chip was invented, which consists of a small chip that did all the work of the printed circuit board of the previous clones. Since then, countless bootleg consoles of all sizes and colors have appeared on the market, including portable ones. [1] The Famiclones are still being sold in China, Southeast Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and many flea markets and grocery stores all around the world. For more information, see an article on the Bootleg Games Wiki.[2]

Why Most of Them Suck

  1. False advertising (Whether big or small):
    • Most Famiclones claim that they come with a million-game cartridge, but in reality, almost all of them come with only atleast 5-15 games (with rare one having 50 or near 100), the other ones are just repeated or have minor changes (such as modified sprites or ROM hacks).
    • The PolyStation says it has stereo sound, but because it is a Famiclone, as a result it only has mono audio.
    • The Tecnobits Dance Mix box says that it comes with a power adapter, which is a lie because some boxes don't have any power adapter
    • Few of these systems are openly marketed as NES-compatible.
    • Some of the captures include screenshots of newer and more powerful systems, which are adorned with misleading, or even potentially false, quotes such as ultimate video game technology or sharp digital stereo sound, multiple colors, and advanced 3D/HD graphics.
  2. To meet the "10 million games" or "9999999 games in 1" advertising, these consoles have too much ugly shovelware alongside pirated games or original game ROM hacks, repeatedly with minor changes, which mostly had many problems listed in the following points.
    • Should we mention that Famicom/NES has only over atleast 1000+ games? (unlicensed games included)
    • The Famiclones are also known for having terrible bootleg games, such as Somari, a Pac-Man clone inspired on Harry Potter and Titenic. Some others can be very strange, such as the flying Pikachu (a Pokémon) heads game in Tecnobits Dance Mix.
  3. They're mostly made of inexpensive plastic that can be easily broken, such as the PolyStation, the Tecnobits Dance Mix and the Nintendo PolyStation disc tray.
  4. They're usually easily spoiled by the poor build quality of simplified hardware on a chip. Some models have trouble running cartridges that had upgrade chips or mappers such as the Nintendo MMC5, games with these chips did not work or were displayed with wrong graphics or colors, or even play on wrong framerates/refresh rate (such as PAL's 50Hz), making them unplayable on the consoles.
  5. Some Famiclones, such as the Retron 5, Polymega and Retro Freak, are based on software emulation instead of actual hardware, and consequently do not run games that are not on the list in memory. While those Famiclones are not primarily made to run Famicom/NES software, it could also run other software from other console platforms that those consoles support (such as the Super Famicom/Super NES, the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and the Turbografx-16, as well as handheld consoles such as the Game Boy, the Game Boy Color and the Game Boy Advance). In addition, they are terribly overpriced.
  6. They also have problems with the sound, as some clones lacked some cycles of the square pulse waves, causing the music or the sound effects of the game to be heard incorrectly.
  7. Many of the controls that come with Famiclones are too uncomfortable and poorly designed, or even worse, some of the controllers (mostly light guns) will not work at all because of their cheap quality and along with them (light guns) aren't designed for modern TVs/monitors such as LCD or OLED due to input lag and it's wasn't even rebuilt to work with these modern TVs/monitors.
  8. Some models look exactly similar to many famous consoles like the PlayStation, modern Nintendo consoles (such as Wii, Nintendo Switch) or the Xbox, and because of this, some parents can get confused and gift these bootleg consoles to their children instead of the real ones.
  9. Neither the games nor the controllers of the original Famicom or NES were compatible with the Famiclones, instead, they have a different cartridge slot and controller pinout which forces you to use their controllers.
  10. Most of the Famiclones have pre-installed games in their default cartridges or in the console chip and don't allow to add any more games, and while this can be great, playing the same games over and over can get boring for some people, specially when only a few amount of original games are included.
  11. The English text written for the manuals are often plagued with bad grammar and lots of spelling errors making it hard to read the manuals. Sometimes, they may consist entirely of placeholder text.
  12. Most such consoles included outdated video connectors and cables, such as composite video (which have inferior video quality nowadays), instead of more modern standards like HDMI, this makes it impossible to connecting to some modern TVs (that have component and HDMI-only) without an adapter or scaler.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. Because of the exorbitant prices of the real consoles and games in many countries, they can be a great alternative for kids who want a cheap video-game console.
  2. As said above, most of the Famiclones have pre-installed games and some models have a wide variety of original NES games, meaning that you don't need to buy any more games.
  3. They still have good or decent games preinstalled like Super Mario Bros. or Adventure Island.
  4. The earlier Famiclones (mostly made by Micro Genius, Subor, NTDEC) are decent because based on the real hardware (no NOAC technology like later hardwares)
  5. And even then, some modern Famiclones are a lot better, such the Analogue NT mini, RetroUSB AVS and the FC Twin don't rely on NOAC (the former two consoles use FPGA technology in order to accurately replicate the Famicom/NES experience at a hardware level, while the FC Twin allows you to play NES games and SNES games with some compatibility issues), and they mostly included HDMI aside from composite.
  6. Some of them are compatible with real Famicom cartridges and NES cartridges too assuming you have a 72-pin NES to 60-pin Famicom cartridge adaptor.
  7. Some of them are also compatible with some flash carts such as the Everdrive N8 Pro (as well as the 60-pin version, the Everdrive N8 Pro Fami) and the PowerPak, which they can be used on the ones mentioned in RQ#5 and maybe the ones in RQ#4, as long as it's connected to a 72-pin NES to 60-pin Famicom cartridge adaptor (unless if the Famiclone has a 72-pin cartridge slot or if the flash cart is 60-pin compatible, such as the Everdrive N8 Pro Fami).


  • These types of consoles, particularly the Polystation, are Internet memes in Latin America because of their poor hardware, the cheap plastic that was used and that many uninformed dads gave this type of consoles to their children because the Famiclones were too cheap.




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