The Nintendo 64 is an absolutely amazing console for many reasons. It houses some of the most beloved video games of all time. Unfortunately, although N64’s aren’t too hard to find, the old-school CRT TVs that provide a lag-free experience are now rather difficult to come by, and do you really want a chunky TV just for gaming on one console? That’s where the EON Super 64 (See it at Amazon) comes in, as it allows you to play the N64 on a modern TV, if you have the coin. Luckily for me, it’s worth every penny.
EON Super 64 HDMI Adapter – Design and Features
As most gamers of a certain age will remember, the Nintendo 64 shipped with the connectors that were standard at the time: red, white, and yellow AV cables. But today, they’re a round peg in a square hole: I personally own three TVs, none of which have these ports available. So without AV ports on a newer TV, until now you’ve been stuck keeping an older TV around to play your N64 – and, unless that old TV is a bulky CRT, you’re likely to encounter aspect ratio issues and notable input lag.
This is the inconvenience that the EON Super 64 hopes to address, and I’m happy to report that it actually solves it well. The tiny adapter comes in small stylized packaging and, once removed, plugs directly into the AV port of your Nintendo 64. From there, you simply plug a standard HDMI cable into the Super 64, which converts the 480p signal for display on your HD or 4K television. There’s no extra power cable or other hassles – it couldn’t be easier.
If you don’t remember what some of these older titles look like, you may be in for a bit of a shock, especially on something like a 55-inch 4K display. If you can’t get over the fuzziness though, the Super 64 includes a handy little button on the side that instantly smooths the images out. No menus, no restarting. While I wouldn’t say the difference completely blew me away, it’s certainly an improvement.
EON Super 64 HDMI Adapter – Gaming
Graphics are great, but there’s something I favor more than that. See, I’m a Super Mario 64 speedrunner. I’ve easily spent over 1,000 hours with Super Mario 64 alone. So, I know what that specific game is supposed to feel like, and from the moment I was greeted with the game file select screen I knew I was in good hands. The arrow pointer was smooth and responsive, and in-game, Mario controlled like a dream. It took zero time to be able to pull off precise tricks or handle any of Mario’s more complex moves. While ‘top top’ Mario 64 speedrunners may opt to stick with a purist CRT setup, I can safely say that, for someone at my skill level or anyone looking to start speedrunning an N64 game, the Super 64 is definitely something to look in to.
Graphics are great, but there’s something I favor more than that. See, I’m a Super Mario 64 speedrunner. I’ve easily spent over 2000 hours with Super Mario 64 alone. So, I know what the game should feel like. From the moment I was greeted with the game file select screen, I knew I was in good hands. The arrow pointer was smooth and responsive, and in-game, Mario controlled like a dream. It took zero time to be able to pull off precise tricks, or handle Mario’s more complex move set. While ‘top top’ Mario 64 speedrunners may opt stick with a more purist set-up, I can safely say, someone at my skill level, or if you’re looking to start speedrunning an N64 game, the Super 64 is definitely something to look in to.
With all that said, there is one drawback I can’t help but emphasize: the price. The EON Super 64 will set you back $150 U.S. Let’s do some quick math on what it would take to get you going. At GameStop, you can get a refurbished N64 for around $80. Pair that with the $150 Super 64 (nearly twice the price of the console itself), and you’re looking at $230, before tax, for the full set up with no game and only one controller. That’s a little hard to swallow for a retro gaming setup.
But it’s worth taking certain things into account when justifying that purchase. Sure, CRTs are the ideal way to go, but they’re big, bulky, ugly, and hard to find and maintain. The Super 64 saves a lot of space, looks nice, clean, and modern, and could even end up saving you money in the long run.
The EON Super 64 HDMI adapter doesn’t come cheap, as mentioned before, but it’s a great out-of-the-box solution and beats sending your N64 off to a modder to have its guts tinkered with.
EON Super 64 HDMI Adapter