EON Super 64 HDMI Adapter Review
Retro game systems have been making a comeback over the last couple of years and what was once old, is new again. They are familiar and nostalgia inducing, transporting me back to my childhood each and every time I turn one on. Hell, the SNES, N64, and GameCube were what cultivated my love of gaming and all these years later they are still just as good. As such, I’ve held onto the classics and my living room looks like something straight from a retro systems arcade. Despite my love of this golden era of gaming, plugging a retro system into the TV always feels like a bit of a hassle, complete with a jumbled mess of wires and the graphics aren’t anywhere near what they are today on the latest console generation. Enter the Super 64 from EON.
EON has created this tiny little contraption promising an easy plug and play experience and a graphics boost for the Nintendo 64. Not only that but it’s also supposed to be completely lag free. So do they actually deliver on those promises?
Without knowing much about this new hardware from EON you might’ve pictured something gaudy and clunky; instead the Super 64 is sleek in design, and is small enough that it could fit in your pocket if. The installation of the Super 64 is as simple as can be, save for a wireless option. You just unplug the regular old S-video output cord from your system and slot this into the back instead. Plug the HDMI into that and voila, you’re ready to roll. Dealing with cords and trying to color coordinate the wires to your TV are a thing of the past with the Super 64.
Pixilation Be Gone
The Super 64 HDMI adapter offers up two separate graphic modes: normal mode and slick mode. Both buff up the graphics from 240p to 480p, and while I didn’t notice a huge difference between the two different modes, the slick mode does smooth out the edges and pixilation a bit more. Regardless of the mode, the picture looks more defined, and everything on the screen is just a bit brighter. Additionally I couldn’t see any distinguishable lag on any of the games I tried the Super 64 on. Overall this latest hardware from EON offers a noticeable face lift to any game you decide to play, whether it’s Golden Eye, Donkey Kong 64, or Super Smash Bros. That said, it would have been nice to have the option to kick the graphics up a bit more to 576i, however this isn’t make or break the hardware because of the significantly more polished image over the original.
Aside from the bump in graphical prowess one of the best things about the Super 64 is that despite its name, this little device also works the same way for the Nintendo GameCube. It’s also compatible-ish with the SNES, although you’d seriously have to modify it to fit. As altering it would take away from not only its sleek design, but also its simplicity, it’s probably best just to stick to the N64 and GameCube.
The biggest drawback however is its steep price. At $150, it does a lot for the Nintendo 64 and GameCube graphically and completely without lag, but this isn’t something the average gamer needs to pick up. It’s a bit of a tough sell. Although it does bring a lot to the table, one could argue that you could go the cheaper route and just buy a regular HDMI adapter at your local gaming store and call it a day.
So we know that the Super 64 cleans up the look of the N64, both on screen and off, and it’s totally easy to use. But is it actually worth the $150 price tag? Bottom line EON delivers on everything it promises. It’s a nice piece of hardware that does a great job of fine tuning your retro gaming experience with no lag. Not only that but it’s small and compact, and it’s compatible to ‘upgrade’ not just one, but two systems. If you play a lot of N64 or GameCube and are looking for some beefed up graphics without some crazy mod, as well as a simple and easy design, the Super 64 HDMI adapter is a great investment. It’s also worth it if you are an absolute retro fanatic and only want the best for your classic systems. If however you just have the N64 or you rarely play either of the two consoles it works well with, it’s a lot harder to justify. Additionally, if you are a crazy modder, then this is something you can create yourself with a bit of extra work and a lot less money. At the end of the day this is simply going to boil down to personal preference and how much you desire a sleek new look and feel to your Nintendo 64 or GameCube.
***Product sample provided by the manufacturer***
- Ease of use
- Sleek Design
- EON delivers on promises
- Price point