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Hardware Review: Gametech Neo Fami

Posted by Damien McFerran

The Famicom Clone To Rule Them All?

The concept of clone retro hardware isn't anything new — in fact, we've already covered the likes of the Retro Duo V2, RetroN 3 and SupaBoy here on Nintendo Life — but as time goes on these cheap and cheerful systems are becoming more and more desirable. Older machines are either failing as time goes on or are becoming more expensive to purchase on the second hand market, and when you consider the low cost of many clones, it's easy to see why such an active consumer base exists for this kind of thing. After all, nobody wants to give away their vast collection of treasured games just because the original console has given up the ghost.

The Japanese-made Gametech Neo Fami isn't a new entrant into the ever-growing family of clone consoles — in fact, it's a few years old now and we managed to pick one up fairly cheaply. In fact, compared to the second hand price of a AV Faimcom, the price was an absolute steal. Inside the box you get the console itself, two controllers (sadly you can't use your existing NES pads here), an AC adapter (you'll need some kind of adapter plug if you're in Europe) and an AV composite cable.

The system itself is surprisingly compact — smaller than the AV Famicom, in fact. Build quality is so-so; the unit is light and is fashioned from cheap-feeling plastic, and it lacks the visual appeal of the real deal. However, the main thing is how it handles games, and we found the Neo Fami to be pretty decent. It coped with all of the Famicom cartridges we threw at it, and although composite isn't the best video output method, it's acceptable enough. The pads were pretty good too, which just about makes up for the fact that you can't use your existing NES or Famicom controllers with the console.

Hyperkin's RetroN 5 is about to hit the market and could render all of these other clones redundant, but it won't have the same low price tag as the Neo Fami. If you can track down stock then it's well worth picking one up, especially if you're only concerned with playing Famicom cartridges — as we were.

Thanks to FunStock for supplying the unit used in this review.

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User Comments (12)



JuanitoShet said:

I actually like it's look. Reminds me of the SEGA Saturn! Just nowhere near as big, of course.



GustavoMaciel said:

I have a Famicom clone called "Polystation", which is shaped like a PSOne (you open the lid to put the cartridge in), has 2 controllers and a lightgun. Build quality is very cheap but it works perfectly. Only accepts Famicom carts though, so I'd still have to find an adapter.
The main problem with playing old consoles nowadays are the LCD TVs. Not only the image looks terrible on them, the lag from the upscaling makes many action games unplayable.



ChessboardMan said:

Hhmmmm, the lack of new controller support is annoying, what if I wanted to use a light gun, or play one of the few 4 player games with my multi-tap?



Kirk said:

Looks better than the Wii Mini.

I kid, sort of, but in all seriousness it looks okay but a little bit cheapo.

I don't think it would be that hard to make one of these things actually look good.



Rawk_Hawk said:

does it have the mic functionality so you can yell at Pol's voice in Legend of Zelda and defeat them?



unrandomsam said:

Only thing that would make me go for a clone would be an RGB output.

(All of the originals (SNES/Master System II/Megadrive have it except the NES / some (All ?) PC Engines).

Not interested in a clone that is just running an emulator either. (FPGA based clone would interest me).

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