News Article

Super Everdrive Flash Cart Miniaturises Your SNES Collection

Posted by Damien McFerran

Never get up off the couch to swap a cart again

Although the Virtual Console caters for the vast majority of Wii-owning retro gamers out there, it would be churlish to deny the fact that many, many people still choose to indulge in a spot of emulation every now and then.

Modern personal computers (and some mobile phones) have gotten to the point where they can comfortably replicate the technological performance of 16-bit consoles like the SNES, so it’s hardly surprising that fans are firing up Super Mario World on their Nokias or blasting through Zelda on their Apple Macs.

However, you can’t beat the feeling of playing on original hardware; even the most robust emulation isn’t quite the same. With that in mind, we took at look at the Super Everdrive SNES flash cart, an unassuming piece of circuit board which allows you to play hundreds upon hundreds of classic games without having to get up to swap a single cartridge.

This custom-built device slots into your SNES just as a standard cartridge would and accepts SD cards of up to 2GB in size. When properly formatted, it can store hundreds of SNES games. Selecting a game is a matter of moving through the menu system, loading a ROM into the Super Everdrive’s internal memory and firing it up. This process only takes a few seconds.

The Super Everdrive is supplied as a plain board, with no casing. You’ll need to cannibalise one of your own carts to create a housing, so if you have any faulty carts lying around that you’ve been meaning to throw in the bin for years, then this could be a chance to put at least one of them to good use.

You’ll also need to cut a slot in the top of the cart so the SD card can be inserted and removed. Alternatively, you can just use the Super Everdrive in its naked form – it fits pretty firmly in the cartridge slot so there’s no danger of it wobbling or falling out during use.

If you’re the kind of gamer who has countless SNES cartridges lying about the house and is sick of having to dig through dusty cupboards just to enjoy a spot of whip-cracking in Super Castlevania IV, then the Super Everdrive is a complete and utter Godsend.

However, it does open up that despicable can of worms known as illegal ROM downloading, something we naturally don’t condone here at Nintendo Life. ROMs can (and should) be obtained legally wherever possible, with ROM dumps taken from cartridges you actually own.

No doubt many of you reading this will be wondering where you can obtain this mystical piece of electronics. The boards are manufactured by a fellow known as KRIKzz (who also produces a variant for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive) and can be purchased via RetroGate or Kitch-Bent.

At $87 these things don’t come cheap. Despite this, demand is off the scale at the moment, with the boards selling almost as soon as they arrive in stock.

Needless to say, this is a really awesome piece of kit that allows retro fans to have a wealth of retro goodness all in one place. However, we must reiterate what we said earlier about illegally downloading ROMs – at the end of the day, many of these games are still in copyright and can be obtained perfectly legally via services like the Virtual Console. When you have the opportunity to reward the publishers and developers of these titles, you should always take it.

Preaching aside, the Super Everdrive is a must-have piece of geek tech for this Christmas – assuming you can get your hands on one, that is.

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User Comments (41)

Zach

#2

Zach said:

Freakin' amazing. If only it were less expensive, this would be at the top of my list.

theblackdragonAdmin

#5

theblackdragon said:

@zss_shadow: the occasional article regarding flashcarts, piracy, and/or emulation does pop up from time to time on the main site. we do allow discussion of the aforementioned in these few comment threads so long as what is being discussed is relevant to the article in question (obviously we don't want to see random things like 'what's your favorite emulator?', 'should i buy [this flashcart] or [that flashcart]', or 'where can i find [specific thing] for download?', etc. and so forth), but not on the forums or in other article comment threads. :3

sykotek

#8

sykotek said:

...In the article, it mentions a lot about having carts lying around the house, but does this device actually allow you to dump your own games to it or does it only allow you to put ROMS downloaded from the internet onto it? I'm no expert on DMCA, but I think the former is maybe alright, the latter, definitely illegal since you're technically not allowed to download someone else's "copy" of a game. This walks a fine line.

CorbsAdmin

#9

Corbs said:

But what about games like Star Ocean and Super Mario Kart that use a special chip?

UPDATE: Doesn't work with any games that use special chips. Super Mario RPG, Star Fox, Super Mario Kart, Yoshi's Island, Star Ocean, etc. That's a deal breaker for me. :)

WanderFan91

#10

WanderFan91 said:

Interesting.
That second screenshot reminds me of the Power Joy plug'n'play menu screen, where you would play from a choice of several dozen NES and FamiCom titles.

SwerdMurd

#13

SwerdMurd said:

So glad Super CV was the only game mentioned :) Might as well be the only game on SNES...at least as far as I'm concerned atm (played through it twice this week--SOGREAT!)

WanderFan91

#14

WanderFan91 said:

I think Super Castlevania IV is a good game. Visually and aurally splendid, and the control is decent. Not the best in the series as it's often touted to be, imo, but it's still fun. I just wish the spikes didn't cause instant deaths (that's normally a big no-no in my book), and I wish it did not have to endure the "Ninja Gaiden Syndrome". But, its second quest (which no one really seems to know about [of all the places you had to make it accessible, Konami, you had to make it be after the credits are finished from the first quest?]) adds a tiny bit of challenge.

WiiLovePeace

#16

WiiLovePeace said:

Wow that thing is pretty awesome, but if you're interested in one of these you might as well go download an emulator instead, given those are free :P

Link-Hero

#17

Link-Hero said:

@Corbie

Aww... I was thinking about getting the Super Everdrive, but since it can't play those games, then no thank you. :(

CorbsAdmin

#18

Corbs said:

I was just about to check out with Pay Pal when it dawned on me to check that out. Needless to say, I decided not to buy it after all. I would have just used it as a back-up anyway given how many SNES and SFC carts I own. :)

GamesX99

#19

GamesX99 said:

...Thats alot of games...Who has the time for all that + the new games that come out?

BulbasaurusRex

#20

BulbasaurusRex said:

I would never download a ROM of a game I don't own, but you know, very few people have the equipment and knowledge necessary to do a cartridge ROM dump. If I want a backup copy, what's wrong with downloading it off the Internet if I can find it there? If the game companies want to keep piracy down, then we need a cheap and easy alternative for performing the ROM dumping ourselves.

theblackdragonAdmin

#21

theblackdragon said:

@Bulbasaurus Rex: the issue lies in that what you are downloading is neither yours to download nor was it the original uploader's right to make it available on the internet in the first place. the tenuous legality of 'backup copies' lies in that you've made your own copies of whatever cartridges or discs you yourself rightfully own IRL. downloading someone else's backup copy is illegal, as is making a backup copy of something you do not personally own, and that holds true for not just video games, but also CDs, DVDs, and any other media.

madgear

#23

madgear said:

Emulation really shouldn't be a taboo subject. The shelf life and availability of games is so small that, without emulation, some titles would be at risk of disappearing forever.

It's also the only way to play some games - they may have only been released in very limited numbers or a rare arcade system making it unlikely you'd be able to find a copy for sale, never mind get hold of it.

There's also the saying that you still don't have the right to download it as you don't own the copyright. That's also not always true. If you research, there are a lot of games that are now public domain - especially with the Commodore 64/Amiga/PC.

I am against people downloading a ROM of, say, Sonic the Hedgehog or some title that is readily available and still makes money. However, don't write all emulation off as bad is it's preserving history, which is very important for future generations.

Rebel81

#24

Rebel81 said:

I am against downloading agmes you don't own, but I don't see a problem in downloading what i own original as a rom file.

I paid for the game and roms already.

DrCruse

#25

DrCruse said:

I'm against using ROMs and emulation whatsoever. Not only is it illegal 99% of the time, but it isn't as fun as playing the real game.

JGMR

#29

JGMR said:

Good and classic titles should always be available in stores (just like old movies on DVD's). I think that the games-industry needs to wake up to the fact that there is always demand from people. When you read comments on Youtube on certain out-of-print titles, there is obviously something going on. A LOT of people want to (re-)experience certain games that aren't readily available. It is my opinion that old consoles and their games should be manufactured to meet the demands of the game-community, a sort of 'game-on-demand' pressing of titles. I bet a lot of people are willing to buy Final Fantasy VII for the Playstation 1. Screw all downloads, legal or illegal. Wouldn't you like to buy a brand new SNES with Super Metroid or Playstation 1 with WipeOut????

EdEN

#30

EdEN said:

@madgear: With the Virtual Console on Wii (and soon on 3DS) games have an indefinite shelf life and you can revive any game if the rights are sorted out. Emulation of games you don't own is stealing. Plain and simple.

OldBoy

#31

OldBoy said:

This seems cool an' all but does this mean we can have some articles on Homebrew and the like seeing as they have many functions that are not illegal by their nature. I thought this kinda thing was taboo on NL.
I'd like to hear NL's views on homebrew and its various applications.

JebbyDeringer

#32

JebbyDeringer said:

@JesusSaves: I guess you don't play VC games then? Playing roms on a cartridge, on a real system, is identical to playing the original cartridge. And emulation can be good if done right. The picture quality of a NES using composite video is pretty horrible but outputting to an old 15khz RGB monitor looks amazing.

SennaKurosaki

#33

SennaKurosaki said:

Yes, it is true. Indeed there is still high demand for the possibility to buy old games and old consoles brand new. My old "fat" Nintendo DS is broken. And although the new DSi XL is better in every way. Simply for nostalgic and all the sentimental reasons I would want to be able to just go to a toy shop and buy a new "old" console and games. Online prices are skyrocketing for good items. The rest are worthless. That's the problem. Not everything is good. Anyway... I am very happy that there is such a thing as Virtua Console. (_)

i8cookie

#35

i8cookie said:

i love playing on the old hardware, but it's not the swapping of games thats a drag, in fact i quite like using the original cartridges. I just dont have room to keep my snes out all the time

madgear

#36

madgear said:

EdEN - "Emulation of games you don't own is stealing. Plain and simple."

Absolutely not. Take ScummVM for instance - you can download that along with Beneath A Steel Sky and it'd be perfectly legal (you can even download the game from Revolution's official web site). There's no official list of games that are considered abandonware but there are many out there. Check to see the legality of the title if it really bothers you - some can be found on official web sites, others not and some remain ambiguous. Use your disgression - you can either get it and enjoy it, or wait for an eternity for that faint glimmer of hope it'll be released again. You know, just incase someone actually decides to re-release that obscure Commodore 64 game you played on a cover disc 20 years ago.

Bass_X0

#37

Bass_X0 said:

EdEN - "Emulation of games you don't own is stealing. Plain and simple."

What exactly are you stealing? Sales from a game that hasn't been sold at retail for twenty years? I would frown at people downloading games that are on sale and are available today still though. I do download games, mainly to contribute screenshots to GameFAQs; I've submitted 6733 screenshots so far. The games I play to enjoy are ones that aren't available to buy anymore. I do make it a policy to download games I want on the VC even if I can play them for free.

JustanotherGamer

#40

JustanotherGamer said:

If I could find one of these I would buy one. I still have an SNES and 30 games for it. It would be good to have all of them one a single cart. Or better yet all 725 Super Nintendo games that were ever released. The Super Nintendo is my favorite Nintendo Console of all time. So if this would be sweet to have.

JaredJ

#41

JaredJ said:

just recieved my Genesis Everdrive. I love it! I may get the SNES version.

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