The stuff I grew up with is deeply in “retro” territory now – my first console was an NES when I was 8 years old (which is still working and in pristine condition by the way). And as capturing nostalgia is a great revenue stream for console manufacturers, we’ve been given the NES and SNES classic consoles from Nintendo, the Genesis Mini from Sega, and even the PS Classic from Sony. And they make it easy to use with modern technology – old school RCA hookups have been replaced with simple plug and play HDMI. This makes it not only work with your current TV’s, but helps it not look like garbage in the HD world.
The issue (well, my issue) with these console reproductions is that they only have preloaded games, with no access to play anything from my own cartridge library. I mean, what if I wanted to play Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel or Uniracers? I’m still stuck. So today we’re looking at a solution to that problem from Pound Technology with their SNES HD Link adapter (available for $29.99).
Back in 1990 when it was released in the US, the SNES originally came with an RF adapter (to play it on channel 3 or 4) as well as RCA cables for at-the-time “newer” televisions. Pound’s adapted plugs right into the existing A/V port on the back of the console and plugs into an HDMI in on your non-archaic television.
We happen to have a TV with both many HDMI’s as well as RCA inputs (because we’re good like that) so we were able to compare directly and grab some video for you. We honestly didn’t expect too much from an HD upconvert for 16-bit cartridge games, but we were honestly blown away by the changes to 720p. Not only was there a dramatic change in picture quality, but in sound as well. I know I’m in the minority when I say Uniracers is the greatest SNES game period, so check the video below to see us playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past as something perhaps a little more familiar to you. It starts with game capture using the OEM RCA hookups, and you can see how the Pound transforms it at 1:15 in.
It’s a huge change. And able to be done with a single cable hookup.
Whats more is because the hookup is so easy, you don’t to have it hooked up to a TV. You can plug it into any computer monitor with an HDMI in for 720p goodness. So you could I don’t know… make an SNES station at your breakfast table? Or take your SNES to where your main rig sits with a second monitor? It gives you a ton more flexibility with your retro gaming.
Pound’s SNES HD Link cable is a 100% recommended buy for any of you that would like to dust off your SNES for either yourself or to share with a new generation of gamers. It’s easy to hookup, only 30 bucks, and with the holiday season upon us a great gift for the aging gamer in your life. Have other retro consoles? Pound also has HDMI Links for the Genesis, Saturn, Dreamcast, XBOX original and PS2.