The Secret History of Knockoff Consoles

The Secret History of Knockoff Consoles

Knockoff games consoles may have served a more noble purpose than you thought.

Read Full Article

Sure, they were probably made in Chinese sweatshops, but..

"Legitimate consoles" are, too.

The NES Deluxe Set launched in 1983 at a cost of 299 dollars, which would be a little shy of 700 bucks today-not exactly pocket change, especially if you're spending your free time standing in bread lines.

Out of all the exaggerated Soviet stereotypes, you choose the most cliched ones?

But overall, not a terrible article. One could write a book about the various hacks and bootleg games that came out over the years. Out of curiosity I looked up all the various Pokemon bootlegs that came out over the years- it's both funny and interesting.

I was born in Poland in 1989, so im aware of the Pegasus, i even used to own one, they were pretty popular in my town. I still remember the 9999-1 that had Super Mario Bros. and Galaxian, my first games XD. O and i should not forget the Contra pack that had contra along with other games, and the ability to set the number of lives. Ah, nostalgia.

Well now I know what the hell that N64 looking NES playing monstrosity I used to have was...that thing was cool as heck for the time.

Born in Lithuania 1990. This was my gaming until mid 90's.

Mostly "99 in one" Famicom carts full of Nintendo games (Super Mario, excitebike and so on)

I'm from Romania so during that time we had a cheap knockoff of the Sega Mega Drive 2 (which I still own) called Terminator that my friend had and we used to play on that.

Whenever my cousin would visit me I would bring my SMD2 to my grandmother's house and we would play the hell out of that console: Streets of Rage in coop and Revenge of Shinobi taking turns to see how far people would go.

This kind of stuff makes me glad I was born in the US...

My first console was the Terminator 2 bought on flea market in Poland(i am not from Poland but close to its border) i still remember how we would go shopping for new cartridges trying to figure out which had the game that was on the picture on it and how all kids with the console used to swap cartridges between themselves. Good old times.
My favourite bootleg NES game
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOi5uet1QMs

...and now I understand how Dendi (from the Ukranian DOTA2 team Na'Vi) picked his name...

EDIT: Also, the whole "...if you grew up in Bosnia... you had a Pegasus" part. I doubt that. Bosnia was a part of Yugoslavia back then, as was my country (Croatia), and we had regular NES and SNES consoles. Also, PC gaming was widely popular. The prices were hiked up somewhat, though, but the games and the hardware was readily available. Yes, shitty knockoff consoles were sold, but they were widely know for what they were and only served to maybe trap an unwitting relative or two on holidays...

Terminator representin'!
I had a red one, came with red and gray controller. That thing was the shiznit in the 90's.

I wonder if they kept going after the 16 bit era. All the fakes nowadays seem to be exactly that, pretend game consoles that basically can't do anything at all and contain unplayable Tiger handheld-style carts just so they can legally claim they really are game systems. It's not for lack of available technology; I know you can get reasonably competent iPhone and iPad knockoffs that are poor quality but are still capable of actually running Android apps. (See Stuart Ashen's site for some examples.) That circuitry had to come from somewhere. Stuff it into a fake Wii case instead of a touch-screen pad and you could at least compete with the Ouya. (Zing!)

Mark Hill:
But what if you grew up in, say, Poland or Bosnia? Then you probably played the Pegasus, another NES clone released in the former eastern bloc under similar circumstances.

Mega Pegasus for Reindeer?

Estonian here. Also grew up on knockoff consoles. Had the Dendy Jr. and a "Subor"...way too much to say about it really. But someone made a great documentary about video gaming in the post soviet years

EDIT: Perhaps I should add a quote from the video to spark your interest:

"An SNES cartridge during that time costed as much a few months of medium salary labor"

Funny, I have a Russian friend named Sergei.

Captcha: Seems legit

- He'll be relieved that you're on his side captcha

I had a Dendy! It was fucking awesome!

It's pretty much the only reason I had any exposure to gaming early in life (Whussup Battletoads), which then led to some RTS games, and so it went on and on. Moving to the U.S. helped, that's for sure. :P

Good times all around.

Jandau:
...and now I understand how Dendi (from the Ukranian DOTA2 team Na'Vi) picked his name...

EDIT: Also, the whole "...if you grew up in Bosnia... you had a Pegasus" part. I doubt that. Bosnia was a part of Yugoslavia back then, as was my country (Croatia), and we had regular NES and SNES consoles. Also, PC gaming was widely popular. The prices were hiked up somewhat, though, but the games and the hardware was readily available. Yes, shitty knockoff consoles were sold, but they were widely know for what they were and only served to maybe trap an unwitting relative or two on holidays...

I completely agree. I was also born in Yugoslavia (Serbia) and I have never heard of Pegasus. I'm 34 years old and I have been an active gamer since I was 7. We had genuine computers and consoles: Commodore (my first computer), Amiga, ZX Spectrum, very popular Sega Mega Drive (Genesis in NA), Gameboy etc. Also it's strange how article addresses Bosnia and Serbia like different entities when it comes to gaming market in the past. That part seems poorly researched.

It was the same country and the same market. If something was popular in Bosnia, then it was definitely popular in Croatia and Serbia...you know cause I lived there and stuff. Bogus console knockoffs were present of course, just like in any other country in the world, but no one really cared, cause we had the real stuff available.

EDIT: Also Yugoslavia (and therefore all of it's republics Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia etc.) WAS NOT a part of former eastern bloc, but in fact a member and one of the founders of Non-Aligned Movement.

That last little attribution stating Mark Hill writes for Cracked makes so much sense. This is essentially a Cracked article in style and form, but lacking a list.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here