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http://youtube.com/RetrophileTV • YouTube web-series dedicated to the best (and worst) of 8-bit & 16-bit retro gaming for the NES, SNES, and more.

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The NES-101, commonly referred to as the “NES 2” or “Top-Loader”, was released in October of 1993 for $49.99. The SNES was released two years prior in August of ‘91, so why would Nintendo release a newer version of their original 8-bit console? The answer is two-fold; NES games were still being developed and released up until December of ‘94, and the low pricetag made it a very affordable alternative to the more expensive SNES around the holidays.
Besides the obvious change to a more-conventional top-loading design, what made the NES-101 different from the original NES-001? One big difference under the hood: the exlusion of the 10NES authentication chip. This chip was included in the original NES-001 and caused the “flickering” red power light issue that would be caused by the system attempting to lockout unlicensed cartridges. The top-loader removed this chip, allowing you to play any NES cartridge you could get your hands on. You’ll still need a 72-to-60 pin converter for Famicom games, but those will work, too.
Even the controller got a bit of a make-over to resemble the shiny new SNES controllers. These controllers are colloquially referred to as “dog bones” and are regarded as much more comfortable than the original design.
These consoles are still sought after by collectors today, so if you come across one at your local game store or flea market, it might be a good idea to pick it up if the price is right.

The NES-101, commonly referred to as the “NES 2” or “Top-Loader”, was released in October of 1993 for $49.99. The SNES was released two years prior in August of ‘91, so why would Nintendo release a newer version of their original 8-bit console? The answer is two-fold; NES games were still being developed and released up until December of ‘94, and the low pricetag made it a very affordable alternative to the more expensive SNES around the holidays.

Besides the obvious change to a more-conventional top-loading design, what made the NES-101 different from the original NES-001? One big difference under the hood: the exlusion of the 10NES authentication chip. This chip was included in the original NES-001 and caused the “flickering” red power light issue that would be caused by the system attempting to lockout unlicensed cartridges. The top-loader removed this chip, allowing you to play any NES cartridge you could get your hands on. You’ll still need a 72-to-60 pin converter for Famicom games, but those will work, too.

Even the controller got a bit of a make-over to resemble the shiny new SNES controllers. These controllers are colloquially referred to as “dog bones” and are regarded as much more comfortable than the original design.

These consoles are still sought after by collectors today, so if you come across one at your local game store or flea market, it might be a good idea to pick it up if the price is right.


  1. ayanematrix reblogged this from retroneonneko and added:
    I miss my NES, Sigh…
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  19. sp00pynipples reblogged this from oscarthegrouch and added:
    i have one of these! it has a game genie too!!