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Switch Online Famicom/Super Famicom updates now live (Version 4.2.0 and 1.2.0 respectively)

Enjoy your classics!

The Switch Online Famicom and Super Famicom apps have been updated in Japan. The Super Famicom app has been updated to Version 1.2.0, and includes Breath of Fire II and Pop’n TwinBee. The Famicom app has been updated to Version 4.2.0, which includes Atlantis no Nazo, and God Slayer.

Switch Online Super Famicom/Famicom Collection update (Breath of Fire II, Pop'n TwinBee, God Slayer, Atlantis no Nazo)

Things are a bit different in Japan

The Switch Online Famicom/Super Famicom Collection update in Japan is going to be a bit different. Later this month, Japanese gamers can look forward to grabbing Breath of Fire II, Pop'n TwinBee, God Slayer, and Atlantis no Nazo.

My Arcade’s Retro Champ Handheld Console Now Available for Purchase, Plays NES and Famicom Cartridges

A new way to play retro games

My Arcade™, a leading manufacturer of retro gaming collectibles and accessories, announced today that its handheld Retro Champ™ game console is now available for purchase at MyArcadeGaming.com and Amazon.com for MSRP $79.99. The Retro Champ plays both NES™ and Famicom™ cartridges on a built-in 7” screen or can output to a modern TV using HDMI out.

With the Retro Champ, fans of the classics can easily enjoy games from their collection without the need for a legacy console. Enthusiasts can test out cartridges on-the-go or enjoy the classic couch-side experience by connecting it to an HDTV and pairing it with up to two Super GamePad™ wireless controllers. The handheld device also contains a built-in cleaning kit to keep old cartridges in top shape. Whether a retro gamer, casual player, or cartridge-hunter on the move, the Retro Champ adds a layer of mobility, convenience, and versatility to the devotee’s game collection.

My Arcade has two Retro Champ purchase options, the console by itself, and a bundle with accessories for significant savings. More details on each below:

Retro Champ Console [MSRP $79.99]: Contains the Retro Champ handheld console and power supply. Ideal for classic game enthusiasts interested in playing console in handheld mode and not concerned with playing multiplayer, or wish to purchase their Super GamePad Wireless controllers separately or at a later date.

Retro Champ Bundle [MSRP $110.00]: This bundle features the Retro Champ handheld console, power supply, plus two Super GamePad wireless controllers and a 12’ HDMI cable.

“From its inception, the Retro Champ was designed with retro game enthusiasts in mind,” says Amir Navid, SVP Product Development and Creative Director at My Arcade. “We wanted to make a console that enabled collectors to quickly and conveniently test or play their classic games and import titles on-the-go. Furthermore, we wanted retro gamers to enjoy their vintage game titles with friends and allow them to easily connect the console to modern TV sets. To that end, we’ve made the Retro Champ compatible with our Super GamePad wireless controllers for multiplayer gameplay in TV or desktop mode. We feel strongly that this console will resonate with the community, whether you are an avid collector or simply want to play those old cartridges lying around your garage.”

Retro Champ Key Features:

Built-in Screen and Rechargeable Batteries: The Retro Champ’s compact design is more portable than classic consoles, that when paired with its built-in rechargeable batteries and 7” screen, make it the perfect travel companion for retro enthusiasts. One battery charge lasts for about 3-5 hours of gametime.

Cartridge Cleaning Kit: Blowing on cartridges never worked! The Retro Champ includes a retractable game cartridge cleaning kit that includes cotton swabs and a vial that users can fill with their cleaning solution of choice (solution not included).

Aspect Ratio Switch: Toggle between two aspect ratios, classic 4:3 and 16:9 widescreen, with the flick of a switch. Users have the option to experience their collection at their original aspect ratio or take advantage of their screen’s full size.

HD TV Compatibility: Turn the Retro Champ into a home console using HDMI output to connect to an HD TV.

Wireless Controller Compatibility: Users can sync up to two of My Arcade’s Super GamePad wireless controllers for couch co-op or solo play.

Sound: Enjoy the iconic beeps and boops of yesteryear out loud with a front speaker or privately via 8mm headphone jack.

Check out more pics of the Mother Original Soundtrack

The motherload of pics

The Mother Original Soundtrack saw release in Japan on Dec. 25th, 2019, and a number of people have already snatched theirs up. If you want to get a better look at what the albums look like, and see what's included in the liner notes, you can see all sorts of pictures in the gallery above.

Mother original soundtrack album to get a second pressing in Japan

Oh mother!

Turns out Japan was really into the idea of the original Mother soundtrack on vinyl. Preorders for the album almost instantly sold out, leaving many wondering how they could secure a copy. Thankfully Hobonnichi has announced plans for a second pressing in Japan, due to the overwhelming response. You can expect this second pressing to come out sometime in January 2020, while the very first round launches December 25th, 2019.

Switch Online Famicom Controllers 40% off until Jan. 10th, 2020

Nintendo's deal extends to Japan

Just as is going on with the Switch Online NES controllers in NA/EU, Nintendo is offering a special deal for Switch Online Famicom Controllers in Japan. The controllers are up for grabs at 40% off until Jan. 10th, 2020, dropping the price from ¥6,578 to ¥3,900.

MOTHER Original Soundtrack releasing in Japan on Dec. 25th, 2019

The mother of all albums

Sony Music Direct are releasing the MOTHER Original Soundtrack in Japan on Dec. 25th, 2019 as a double vinyl album, which is priced at ¥5,500. Check out the track listing for each record below.

【Disc1】

Side A

01: POLLYANNA (I BELIEVE IN YOU)
02: BEIN’ FRIENDS
03: THE PARADISE LINE
04: MAGICANT

Side B

01: WISDOM OF THE WORLD
02: FLYING MAN
03: SNOW MAN
04: ALL THAT I NEEDED (WAS YOU)

【Disc2】

Side C

01: FALLIN’ LOVE, AND
02: EIGHT MELODIES

SideD

01: THE WORLD OF MOTHER (EXTENDED VERSION)

Famicom titled Dead Zone gets an English fan translation

A classic text adventure

Fan translation group Stardust Crusaders put together an English translation for Dead Zone, a Famicom Sunsoft text adventure from all the way back in 1986. The game focuses on Cark, a space colony builder who is transported to an underground robot graveyard. Cark sees a beam of light that tells him to visit to a space station to see his girlfriend Mary. It's up to Cark and his robot companion Carry to find their way out of the current situation.

Shigesato Itoi recalls his initial pitch for Mother/Earthbound Beginnings to Nintendo, and how it left him depressed and in tears

A fantastic story from the man himself

An absolutely fascinating interview with Shigesato Itoi, the creator of Mother/Earthbound has surfaced, and it includes a very detailed look at how the original Mother/Earthbound Beginnings game was pitched to Nintendo. Check out a summary straight from Itoi himself below, which is just a small snippet of the full interview.

“I owe a lot to Mario. I have asthma, and I start coughing when I lay down. I’ve always had a hard time sleeping, and for a while I had to sit up at all times or else I just couldn’t stop coughing. The only things I could really do while sitting up at night were read a book or play a game. So I’d wake up and grab a controller, and Mario would see me through my asthma at night. ...It’s more like I felt indebted to Nintendo.

...one day I finally started playing a copy of Dragon Quest that someone had given me. It’d been sitting around for a while, but it was raining and I had nothing better to do. ...I started it with pretty low expectations, and before I knew it, I was having a great time.

...It was fun. At first I was simply enjoying the game, but then it occurred to me that there’s someone out there who’s entertaining me through this game.

Yeah, it’s like laughing at a comedian’s joke and realizing, “Hey, that person on stage is the one making me laugh!” After a while I found myself thinking about what kind of things I’d do if I made the same sort of game. I wondered why all the role-playing games that were popular at the time had swords and magic.

Games were more unpopular back then. I was defending them on TV, saying something like, “Manga used to be taboo — you’d be scorned for having manga as a college student. Video games are in the same position today, and although it sounds a little extreme, I think games will eventually be an even bigger part of our culture than manga.”

People at Nintendo wondered who I was after that, and Yamauchi said he wanted to meet me. They invited me to their office to ask me what I thought of a game, and after that, we chatted for a while. That’s when (Shigeru) Miyamoto came in. We ended up becoming really close — we got along quite well from the start. I told him I actually had an idea of my own, and pulled out some copies of the notes I’d taken, asking him if he thought it would work as a game.

I pictured them jumping up from their chairs, saying, “Wow, what an idea! We must try it!” It was a dream of mine that they’d make a game using that idea, but instead the conversation just kind of stopped at Miyamoto asking me how serious I was about it. Itoi, how involved do you plan on being in it? Being totally involved in a project can be very demanding.” He sounded very solemn.

He probably assumed I wasn’t interested in being involved. Plus the extent to which he warned me ended up being on a totally different level than the extent to which I assumed it would be demanding. ...From Miyamoto’s perspective, it’s easy for someone to say they want to make a game. It’s the ‘making’ part that’s incredibly difficult. Just like it’s easy to say, “Some old guy in overalls is gonna jump around and save the princess.”

...I knew I wanted to make a game, but when my resolve was questioned, I was very sad about it. ...I went back to Tokyo totally crushed. I thought Miyamoto and I had hit it off well at first, but then I was like, “What a taskmaster.” (Laughs)

He did say to me, “Give me some time to figure this out and see how we can get a team together.” So he was earnest in making it happen. But from my perspective, since he didn’t say how interesting it looked, I’d assumed that meant he didn’t like it. ...I’d never made a game before, so I interpreted his response as, “Well, it’s not great, but if you’re going to keep insisting on it, I guess I’ll think about whether we should bother putting a team together. As someone without any experience, it was easy to get paranoid.

He was kind enough to take it seriously. I didn’t know anything, so I just mumbled a thank you and quickly headed home. They gave me a ride in a black car and treated me well, but I just got more and more depressed. I’d been expecting a torrent of praise, but by the time I got on the bullet train back to Tokyo, I was actually in tears.

...It turned out that it was all in my head. He put together a team for me. Their internal teams had their hands full, so he went to the trouble of reaching out to a company that would help me make the game. ...I met up with the development team at a tiny Japanese restaurant so that they could gauge how involved I’d actually be in all the hard work Miyamoto had warned me about, and so we could get to know each other.

This interview, conducted by Game Center CX, gives an extremely personal and interesting look at Itoi's work with Nintendo, as well as Itoi himself. Make sure to take some time and read the full thing.

A look back at the Sharp Famicom Titler, a piece of hardware that lets you edit NES videos

1989 was an amazing time!

Costing 43,000 Yen, or roughly $400 at the time (now approximately $800), this is the Sharp Famicom Titler. An NES/Famicom combined with a Genlock system, so that you can edit videos, or combine other input sources, 1989 STYLE.

Thanks to ibbsters for the heads up!

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