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Super 8

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NESconsuper8convertor

The Super 8 on an SNES.

The Super 8 was an unlicensed peripheral for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES, known in Japan as the Super Famicom) video game console designed to allow the system to run games developed for the Nintendo Entertainment System (known in Asia as the Famicom). It was also occasionally sold as either the Tristar or Tri-star.

The Super 8 utilized an NES-on-a-chip (NOAC) integrate circuit to duplicate the functionality of the original NES hardware, and connected to the SNES's own cartridge port. The device itself featured three cartridge ports. Two of these ports connected to the onboard NOAC, and were designed to fit NES and Famicom cartridges, respectively: despite otherwise featuring exactly the same hardware, North American and European NES game cartridges used a 72-pin design, resulting in slightly larger cartridges than the Famicom, which used a 60-pin design. The third port was designed to fit standard SNES cartridges, and merely connected with the SNES's native hardware, so that the user would not have to remove the Super 8 in order to play SNES games. In spite of this, some issues would occasionally arise, and it was common for some games to not function correctly; for example, in the compilation cartridge Super Mario All-Stars + World there are many occasions in which the screen rolls, rendering gameplay practically impossible.

A similar idea was later employed for the Tristar 64, an accessory for the Nintendo 64 console with the ability to play both NES and SNES cartridges.

The Super 8 also plays Super Famicom games, as there are no tabs to block the insertion of the flat back cartridges. Nonetheless, European model SNES users were still only able to play European SNES games. The Super 8 does not act as a SNES converter in any way, the European model is, however, effectively a multi-region NES, and will play most NES/Famicom games regardless of what territory they were intended for.

Still, some games, like Battletoads, do not function correctly on a Super 8/Tristar[citation needed].


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