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Deep dive into uber-obscure video game research

posted by Patrick Tanguay   Aug 02, 2019

Plug and play game consoles

Interested in gaming? Old-school 80s-90s games? NES? Chinese shenzhen-speed recombination and innovation? Then I’ve got the thread for you! Or rather, Frank Cifaldi has the thread for you (and it’s a long and detailed one with lots of his research and how he proceeded).

Plug & play game consoles:

In the early 2000s, a new toy category gained popularity in the United States: the “plug & play” video game console. You probably remember seeing a lot of these! The Jakks Pacific stuff was probably the most prolific.

New NES games!

I recently became enamored with a particular sub-set of plug & play history: systems that secretly housed brand new games written for the old 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System! If you were following me toward the end of 2018 you might remember me blathering on about this stuff.

Thanks to Chinese manufacturers in the 90s:

Why were there NES games in these things? Well:

- In the 90s, Chinese manufacturers cloned the NES and put all of its components on one chip

- These were used in all kinds of applications: cloned systems, plug & plays with pirated games, even educational computers!

And this side note is important to remember and be thankful for, around the web in general, the internet archive

I can’t stress enough what a godsend The Wayback Machine is for research. So much real history would literally disappear from the world if not for them.

(Via Darren Wershler.)