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GSD-1988 (Nintendo NES clone) review
The Nintendo NES console is the most popular 8 bit console ever. Because its wide popularity, it is also the most cloned console.
Literally hundreds of clones of the original hardware exist, the so called Famiclones. Some of the clones are of really bad quality
and does not offer much than playing some built-in games, but others are more advanced, presenting new design, up to date features and additional software.
When browsing for some retro consoles at the Ilianci stock bazaar, I noticed a lot of Famiclones from various manufacturers.
Some of them looked exactly like the original, while other look like new consoles, have gun and mouse. The only way to identify these consoles what really they are,
is to ask the seller to show you a demo or tell you what games it plays. The most often answer for the console games is
The console comes in a big colorful box, sized 56.5/31/6.3 cm. The box have mascot, the GSD logo and list of the 48 games
included on the top. At the center is a picture of 2 yellow cartridges on the left with the
After opening the package, the contents are sealed in a nylon and put in a Styrofoam. Included from top left to right are a controller, two cartridges, another controller, the console itself (the keyboard), the TV-GAME AC ADAPTOR and the mouse. Included under the cartridges
are also the RF cable and Audio/Video cinch cables. The whole package is very lightweight and easy to transport. The controller cables are short - only 60 cm, while the mouse cable is 72 cm. The mouse is a ball type, small one with two buttons. At least the audio/video cable is
long 130 cm, so I can place the console far from the TV or the monitor. On the keyboard the model is written with red letters -
Installing the console shall be as easy as connecting it to the TV via the RF or A/V cables, insert the cartridge in the cartridge slot, plug the adaptor cable in the console, then plug the adaptor to the power socket and press the power button. Again it did not turned that easy, because the
adaptor did not plug in the Shucko socket. Having already the same experience with the Sega adaptor, I already had the Schucko to USA adaptor, but I wanted to be able to use both consoles at same time. I went for another choose - I bought an Shucko to 3 way Schucko adapter and cut the plastic at the upper part from one of external sockets
then covered it to be safe. The adaptor plugged nicely and it was strongly seated as well. I connected the console with the
Using the console is as easy as any other console. The Joysticks even if not of highest quality are good enough for playing games. The mouse come very handy in the 48 in 1 cartridge at the menu screen then in the games. The mouse is very fast, even if with ball. It can be used for navigation
even when put on leg or other tiny surface. The keyboard keys are hard to press and require extra force applied for some keys, but work and can be used, for example in the G BASIC, or the other titles included with the console. The
When swapping cartridges, they not always fitted nice. Often they sat curved and the console did not start at all. I had a look at the cartridge slot and saw that two capacitors were placed at the way of the cartridges. That is why the cartridges were not put properly so often. The capacitors moved from the force applied, which was hazardous for the console itself. First I moved them carefully far from the slot, but later I decided to open the console, to place them more properly and see the contents of the keyboard. Inside the keyboard were two membranes for the keys and above them a very small board with the cartridge slot. As I did not saw any chip on it, I did not believe they managed to make it without any chips. I removed the main board and the chip was under it, placed as a drop on the bottom side of the board. A cable was going to the right, connecting it with the board holding the power button, the controller plugs and the keyboard interfaces. The small boards and the cheap electronic components on them, for sure reduce the price a lot and make the console possible at this low price. After carefully placing the capacitors away from the cartridge slot I closed the console and continued to play with it.
The Nintendo NES console being the most popular console of the 1980ies had a wide variety of software. Even if with limited capabilities and strict license policy by the creator, it has big amount of games, educational titles and even programming languages, graphics and audio
applications. It had official commercial support till 1995, but after that year, it received a great deal of software, also hacks, translations, patches and even new releases by commercial and homebrew developers. The GSD-1988 console as a Nintendo NES compatible, can play all these
games, with the plus of having applications usable only with keyboard. The 48 in 1 cartridge contain some very good titles for gaming, education, coding or pure fun. I was unable to find any G BASIC manual, but by old experience, trial and error, some small programs worked on it, with the inability to save
them, being a show stopper for coding on it directly. The shop from where I bought it also have other cartridges, and the other shops next to it offer games for these consoles as well. I was told that the single games cost more than the compilations, which is no surprise, seeing all that compilations containing
less than 10 games with different graphics and start levels. Even the
I have only the mouse accessory, included with the console, and it worked like a real mouse - very fast and responsible, not as a joystick in mouse case.
Having a compatible clone of one of the most popular consoles ever is a big plus, especially when having a keyboard, programming and educational kits and some cartridges. I do not regret buying it, even 24 years after its release, it is a nice console to have and tinker with. I like my NES compatible console. I can play the games on emulators which exist for almost any platform, including the classic Amiga. I have played some NES games on my A1200 and A4000 with the CoolNES and AmiNES emulators. Now I can also enjoy playing NES games on very good cloned hardware, directly on the old TV set in lowres resolution with old fashioned controller. The ability to test the games on real hardware is not to be omitted. I can experiment with the G BASIC as well, so it has some educational value too.
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