Nintendo surprised quite a number of folks when it revealed the NES Classic Edition (NES Mini) out of scenic nowhere a few months ago. The redesigned console is smaller than the average hand, and featured an HDMI output that allows you to play a selection of NES classic titles on a modern television. Seeing that this thing is basically a glorofied (but sitll pretty cool) emulator, you wouldn’t think that there’s much going on inside of it. If you believe that, well, you’re wrong!

Review units of the system have been sent out, and one curious fellow over at GameSpot decided to crack open the small box and expose its insides. As a result, some tech-savvy folks over at Reddit took a look at the images and were able to deduce the system’s specifications. Here’s the rundown:

  • SoC: Allwinner R16 (4x Cortex A7, Mali400MP2 GPU)
  • RAM: Hynix (256MB DDR3)
  • Flash: Spansion 512MB NAND
  • PMU: AXP223

Taking those hardware specs into consideration, it turns out that the tiny little NES Mini is actually packing a bigger punch than that of the 3DS! And, even more surprising, it’s even more capable than the original Wii! [Insert dramatic music sound effect here]

Here’s the specs of the 3DS:

  • CPU: Dual-Core ARM11 MPCore, single-core ARM0 (804 MHz ARM11 MPCore quad-core + extra weaker single-core in New 3DS)
  • RAM: 128MB FCRAM, 6MB VRAM (256MB, 10MB VRAM in New 3DS)
  • GPU: DMP PICA200 GPU (804 MHz DMP PICA200 in New 3DS)


And now for the Wii:

  • CPU: IBM PowerPC “Broadway” 729MHz
  • RAM: 88MB, 24MB MoSys 1T-SRAM, 324 MHz, 2.7GB/s bandwidth
  • GPU: ATI “Hollywood” 243 MHz

You may not have known that the 3DS/New 3DS is actually more capable than the Wii to an extent, but it’s still pretty surprising that the NES Mini is more capable than all of these systems seeing that it’s not a full console. So, why exactly does it have so much horsepower when it’s so simplistic? Well, this is most likely due to the fact that it has to emulate and output the games at a full 1080p signal. On the other hand, the 3DS’ screen is 240p (yes, seriously) and the Wii is only capable of outputting up to 480p. With that said, the NES Classic Edition needed to be more powerful than those systems in order to output at a full 1080p resolution without any performance issues. Not bad for a supercharged emulator!

I guess we can really use the 90s Nintendo slogan again: “Now You’re Playing With Power!”

A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.


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