N8

This past September, we first brought you the news of the upcoming Everdrive Flash Cartridge by Krikzz, to be compatible with the Nintendo Entertainment System. An update from last November brought us updated news of a possible mid-February release date, as well as a demonstration video. While we are still only in the first week of February, it was announced on the official Everdrive forums, that the 8-bit Nintendo version of the anticipated device (now dubbed the “Everdrive N8″), was now made available for sale effective this afternoon.

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The Everdrive series of flash based cartridges is very well known, with versions previously made for such consoles as the Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64 and TurboGrafx 16. For those unaware of the abilities of this cartridge board, it allows you to load ROM images of game files onto a flash memory card, and then after plugging the card into the board, will allow you to play those ROM images on actual console hardware. This 8-bit Nintendo version has been in the works for approximately a year now, and is finally available to an eager group of retro gamers. Just as originally projected, the first version of the new product is made exclusively for the Japanese Famicom, as shown by the 60-pin connector on the above photo. Last September, we were notified that a 72-pin model for the North American NES consoles would in fact be made at a later date, so the production timeline seems to be continuing as scheduled. Of course for those that are impatient and want the chance to use the N8 right away, that can be achieved with the help of a 60-to-72 pin adapter.

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The new item has a lot to offer. It is 100% compatible with NES, Famicom and Famicom Disk System ROM images. In fact, a feature of the FDS ability is automatic disk side swap, which will not require you to take any action when the disks needed to be flipped. It also features an automatic save directly to the SD card, without the need to press reset on the console (unless you are using the Famicom Disk System). Aside from all of these convenience features, the Everdrive N8 also offers full Game Genie code support, built into the device itself. This will make an actual Game Genie cheat cartridge not be required anymore.

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A full list of features, made available directly from Krikzz:

  • Compatible with Famicom, NES*, and Twin Famicom systems, plus other clones
  • Cart supports Famicom, NES and FDS ROM images
  • Automatic disk side swap for Famicom Disk System
  • Expansion audio**
  • Game Genie cheat code support
  • Automatically backs-up saves to microSD card; Need not push reset before shutdown†
  • Mapper support can be extended via software updates.
  • FAT / FAT16 / FAT32 file system formats are supported
  • Supports microSD (SD & SDHC) cards up to 32 gigabytes
  • Quick loading of game files (approximately 4-8 seconds)
  • USB port for home-brew and mappers development (optional)

* Requires Famicom to NES adapter (60 to 72 pin) for NES use.
** Only Famicom can output expansion sound without modification. NES systems require modification to support this feature.
† User should push reset button on FDS to get back to main menu before shutdown.

For those curious, Krikzz has also offered us the hardware statistics:

  • Powerful Cyclone II FPGA
  • 2 x 512 kilobyte SRAM for PRG and CHR data
  • 128 kilobyte battery backed memory; Write save data to microSD
  • Max II CPLD to handle FPGA reconfiguration, BIOS, SD and USB interfaces
  • 1 megabyte flash BIOS
  • Voltage shift buffers on PPU/CPU bus for matching levels between 5v NES bus and 3.3 EverDrive bus. Far better than simple resistor buffers at reducing noise and power consumption.

krikzz

For those that love the concept of emulation, but still prefer using original hardware, the new Everdrive N8 is without a doubt a dream come true. The device is currently available from various internet based outlets around the world, and is typically sold for $109. Currently, some online stores are already showing a sold out flag, meaning that this item is hot! Don’t forget, that in order to use this on an American NES, the 60 to 72 pin adapter is required. As soon as we receive word on an official 72 pin release, we will let you all know!

Official Website: http://krikzz.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=59