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A cheap plastic box, a part of million's childhood.

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 10 games, the other ones are just repeated or have minor changes.
    • The PolyStation says it has stereo sound, but because it is a Famiclone 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 sound, multiple colors, and advanced 3D graphics.
  2. To meet the "10 million games" advertising, these consoles have too much ugly shovelware, such as pirated games or original game ROM hacks, which mostly had many problems listed in the following points.
    • Should we mention that Famicom/NES has only over 1300 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, making them unplayable on the consoles.
  5. They also have problems with the sound, as some versions lacked some cycles of the square pulse waves, causing the music or the sound effects of the game to be heard incorrectly.
  6. 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.
  7. Some models look exactly the same as many famous consoles like the PlayStation 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Most such consoles use outdated connectors and cables, such as composite video instead of more modern standards like HDMI.

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 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, like the Generation NEX, RetroUSB AVS and FC Twin and don't rely on NOAC.
  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 Power Pack mainly the Super Joy III (The one that looks like a n64 controller with a cartridge slot on the bottom and claims to have 76,000 games in it) and ones mentioned in redeeming quality 5 and maybe the ones in redeeming quality 4.


  • 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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