Title  : Super 8 peripheral
Platforms  : Super NES
Publisher  : Innovation
Game Rating  : n/a
Review by  : Ken Gagne

In the age of 64-bit systems, the original Nintendo system has been officially retired. Nostalgic fans of past hits will appreciate the opportunity to put the 'NES' back in 'SNES' with the Super 8 converter from Innovation. 

The adaptor comes without documentation, save for what is provided on its packaging. This consists of a few simplistic diagrams and brief phrases, which is unsatisfactory, preventing the item from "plug-and-play" usability. They must hope that players will find connection so difficult, they are convinced that a $50 cable Innovation sells is necessary. It connects directly into the Super NES cartridge slot and audio/video outlet, and must also be hooked to a television or VCR with A/V ports. (it appears to be playable via an RF switch, but darned if I can figure out how!) Three separate slots will play NES, SNES, Famicom (Japanese NES) and Super Famicom (Japanese SNES). Despite boasting that once the Super 8 is installed, it need never be removed, the Super Game Boy does not operate properly with it. I speculate that the Game Genie, Pro-Action Replay, and other devices may also work this way. 

When turned on, a menu allows the choice of playing an 8-bit or 16-bit game, allowing you to keep one game in each of two slots. Here the receiver for the Super Scope must not be plugged in, or selections will not work; it will function normally afterward. SNES games operate identically; NES games, however, do not have their controls remapped to the old buttons. While the SNES button B is still B, Y is now A. X, A, L, and R are unused. Why not remap old functions to these as well, so gamers can play with any style they choose? 

A slight loading delay is noticeable when some SNES games are powered up; this is rare and should not be a problem. Nintendo games may suffer from faint, black, vertical lines in the background, which may be missed on a colorful screen. Let me point out that this may be indigenous to my setup: the television is several years old and not cable-ready, and only through a cheap VCR was I able to meet the hardware requirements of the Super 8. 

The required A/V cables do not come with the Super 8, but is included with the basic Super NES set. Unfortunately, this particular cable will not fit the adaptor perfectly and will often come loose between games. It should be firmly taped or otherwise secured to ensure it will stay there. The connectors which receive Super NES games are very tight and will give even musclemen difficulty removing them. Since the connectors are the problem and not the slot itself, it is not a defect which may literally be filed away. The connectors tend to become looser over time, though. 

The Super 8 is great for the gamer who wants to play all his games on one console. Although flawed, it can be a great addition to the enthusiast who yearns for the days of yesteryear. The adaptor costs $60. It is not readily available in stores but can be bought directly from Innovation by calling (860) 395-3090.


This article is copyright (c) 1995, 2007 by Ken Gagne. All rights reserved. Not to be distributed without permission.

Original publication: Boston Herald, 08-May-95