Nintendo Switch And NES Alternatives You Probably Didn’t Know Existed

Nintendo Switch And NES Alternatives You Probably Didn’t Know Existed
The NES Classic is somewhat hard to find and the Switch is yet to be released but there are a few alternatives to retro gaming that you might want to try. Photo : Cinemassacre/YouTube

Nintendo Switch is not set to arrive until March 2017 but it has the web already buzzing with all the hype it has garnered months before its official release. The comeback of the NES classic has the same effect especially with its comeback success with 30 retro games that are classic to Nintendo. Both consoles are Nintendo's most coveted at the moment. Even amidst the excitement, the lack of supply can be a real problem for avid gamers looking for a hybrid mobile console. The good thing is that we found a slew of other alternatives for the Switch and the NES that you probably didn't know existed - until now.

Nintendo Switch Alternatives: Smach Z And GPD WIN

Both the Smach Z and GPD WIN shares the same functionality. As a handheld gaming PC, the SMACH Z is touted to be upgradeable. It comes in two variants: the SMACH Z and the SMACH Z PRO. The device sports rather powerful internals: an AMD CPU clocked at 2.1GHz, a Radeon R7 GPU, a six-inch touchscreen with 1920x1080p resolution and a promised battery life that could last up to five hours. The major difference between the SMACH Z model and the PRO is that the latter will sport bigger RAM at 8GB instead of 4GB and a bigger internal storage of 128GB instead of 64GB. Basically, the SMACH Z PRO will be twice as big and more efficient when it comes to performance.

When it comes to games, the SMACH PRO can benchmark games running at 720p resolution like Overwatch on an average of 30 FPS, the Tomb Raider: Survival Edition with a higher average of 40 FPS and the Metro: Last Light Redux set in between at 35 FPS. Aside from that, both devices support streaming for PS4 and Xbox One, which is not something you will experience with the Switch. Since the SMACH Z works just like a traditional Windows PC, it can also play videos, stream music or podcasts and run all kinds of emulators. Not only that, the SMACH Z also supports 4K video streaming. It has an extra battery, a gyroscope, an accelerometer and an HDMI out port.

GPD WIN, on the other hand, works similarly to SMACH Z. The GPD WIN is marketed as a portable laptop that easily fits your pocket with just a 5.5-inch touchscreen with a lower resolution compared to SMACH Z at 1280x720. Its internals include an Intel Atom X7 Z8700 processor clocked at 1.6GHz with maximum speeds reaching up to 2.4GHz. An Intel HD Graphics GPU with 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM is also included with a 64GB internal storage and can still be expanded using a Micro SD card slot. There's also an available USB 3.0 connectivity and an HDMI out port. Compared to the SMACH Z, the GPD WIN promises to last six to eight hours when fully charged.

Streaming music, playing videos, browsing the Internet and even using Microsoft Office suite is all possible on GPD WIN since it's a portable laptop. As for playing games, the GPD WIN can run Overwatch, Fallout 4, and other older titles at around 30 FPS but this still depends on the settings. Compared to the Nintendo Switch, both the SMACH Z and GPD WIN are not limited to Nintendo-exclusive games and provide more freedom for gamers who want to try out other game titles on the go.

NES Alternatives

Compared to the Nintendo Switch, NES has more alternatives that you can consider. The even smaller version of the 1980s classic console has more fans than ever with its 30 retro games made even better than before. But since the NES is very hard to come by, wishing to get your hands on a console just like it for retro gaming is becoming more appealing. Here's our list of alternatives that you could try.

Analogue Nt Mini

If you want a solid alternative for the classic NES, then Analogue Nt Mini would fit the bill best. The NES can only play 30 retro games remastered for the Classic Edition of the console. The Analogue Nt Mini, on the other hand, can play more than 2,000 NES titles as well as Famicon games. It supports classic accessories too like the 8Bitdo NES30 which is a replica of the wireless NES Classic Controller so short cables are no problem at all. More than that, the Analogue Nt Mini packs a pretty impressive resolution of 1080p via HDMI. It also looks sleek and stylish with an aluminum body.

Raspberry Pi

If you are a fan of retro games and you are tech-savvy at the same time, getting the Raspberry Pi is the better console for you. Overall, this console has a very simple setup. What makes it fit for the tech-savvy is that it works well with installs and downloads and that it emulates plenty of systems like Atari, Game Boy, NES, Nintendo DS, PlayStatio 1, PC and more. Lifehacker even has a step-by-step guide on how you can build your Raspberry Pi and make it your very own retro game console for just $35.

Retro Freak

With a name like this, the Retro Freak is without a doubt the console for avid fans of retro games. Why, the Retro Freak console supports retro games from 12 classic systems that include NES, Genesis and SNES to name a few. Another good thing with Retro Freak is that you can install an SD card on it and start playing your favorite game collection. There's a proprietary controller but other gaming controllers are okay too as long as they are USB-powered. The premium version of this console also comes with an NES cartridge adapter a classic pad.

Nintendo 3DS And Wii U Virtual Console

Of course, the nearest alternative for the Nintendo Switch and the NES would be their predecessors. The 3DS already support a host of old school game systems like SNES, Game Boy and Game Boy Color to name a few. For Wii, some of the gaming systems already supported are DS, Nintendo 64, SNES and NES.

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