****NOTICE****
The sale of these games have now been banned by Nintendo’s US Court injunction! Read more in my updated post.
****END NOTICE****

Remember when I mentioned the cool SNES controller that was filled to the brim with NES games?

pplayer_001Well, I did the deed. I went and picked one up! I now own a very cheaply made, bootleg ridden handheld NES TV game.

OK first things first: I don’t know what to call this thing!

The box calls it simply “Power Player.” But the instructions call it “Super Joy III TV Game.” One controller is labeled “Power Player” and the other says both “Super Joy III” and “Super Joystick TV Game.” So who knows what it is???

Let’s just call it: Power Player.

Sheesh.

My Mini-Review:

The Concept:
A handheld controller with built-in games. No game carts needed. Great idea! Just how many 8-an-16-bit games can you cram into a single chip anyway?

The makers of the “Power Player” seems to think 76,000 is a goodount. This whole “TV Games” concept of a controller with built in games isn’t that new. Devices such as the “Power Player” have been spotted at Flea Markets years before the “TV Games Atari” appeared. However, the TV Games device is legit – this thing is so totally bootleg it isn’t even funny.

What You Get:
1 Super Joy pad, 1 Power Player pad with joystick, 1 light gun, 1 AC wall adaptor, 1 set of A/V plugs.

Setup:
The Power Player can run off of a wall adapter or batteries! To play, just plug in the RCA plugs into the right jacks on your TV. Could it be any easier? Hot Tip: If you have a TV in your car, then this would be great for the kids to pass the time in the backseat.

Controllers:
The meat of the “Power Player Super Joystick” is the Super Joy pad III. It is very lightweight and doesn’t feel very sturdy at all. But it fits into the hands well, and comes with a long A/V cable so you can sit back a ways from the TV. One note: the blue joystick in the middle of the pad does nothing. It is decoration only, and doesn’t work worth a flip. It won’t even move.

In addition to the main N64-esque Super Joy pad, you get 2 additional controllers. One looks like a Sega Genesis controller, but with a screw-in joystick. Um, ok. Whatever. If they are going to include that, why not do the same for the Super Joy pad? Weird. Anyways, the other controller is the light gun. And I do mean GUN. Look at this thing!

I wonder if you drove by someone who’s kid was pointing this at the back of the driver’s seat – what would you think was happening? I think the gun looks too real, and should have been colored like the one on the box. Regardless, it is included for games like Duck Hunt. Both of these plug into the front of the main Super Joy pad. I don’t know if you can use NES controllers, since I don’t have one to test with.

I put up a gallery of photos I took of the one I bought. I will remove the pages a week or so. Go have a look.

Play:
When you fire it up, guess what? It’s FUN TIME.

No really, it says so right there, so it must be true!

There isn’t much to say about the game play. All the games are mostly as you remember them, except that several don’t have startup screens. Kinda nice actually, it lets you get right into the game. Otherwise, if you played the NES, then this is pretty much like that – but with a better controller.

The Games:

 

Apparently this little doo-hickey has something like 76 games inside on a little chip.

No, wait. Make that 100 games. No, how about 76,000!

OK, it has 76,000 options on at least 76-100 games. Some games start on different levels (like Super Mario, world 3-1 and so on) So when you hear 76,000 games, just realize those are only variations of a small set of titles.

[Actual image from Power Player via my TV card]

The games have unusual names, but most of them you can figure out. Some are not what you’d expect: the one called “Pac-Man” is not the arcade game, not even Pac-Man at all so don’t get your hopes up – totally false; “Toy Story” isn’t based on the Disney movie; and so on. The names are made-up, probably “Engrish” so, keep it in mind. With 76,000 titles to come up with, I imagine they weren’t too creative!

I found this on the web, so I can’t be sure it is complete:
1942, Clay Shooting, Formation Z, Mario Bros, Speed Tank, Aladdin III, Clu Clu Land, Front Line, Milk & Nuts, Spoon, Antarctic, Combat, Galaga, Millipede, Star Forcee, Arabian, Contra, Golf, Monkey, Star Gate, Arkonoid, Desert Tank, Gyrodine, Ninja I, Super Dynamix, Balloon Fight, Devil World, Helicopter, Super Mario, Baseball, Dig Dug, Hogan’s Alley, Painte, Tekken, Binary & Land, Donkey Kong 2, Ice Climber, Pin Ball,Tennis, Bird Week, Door Door, Joust ,Podyan, Tetris II, Bomb Jack, Duck Hunt, King of Fighter, Popeye, Toy Story, Bomber Man, Elevator, Lode Runner 2, Road Fighter, Twin Bee, Brush Roll, Excite Bike, Lunar Ball, Sky Destroyer, Urban Champion, Burger Time, Exerion, Magic Jewelry, Slalom, Wild Gunman, Calculator, F1 Race, Mappy, Space, world Soccer, Circus Chablie, Five Chess, Marcross, Spartanx, WWF & Zippy Race.

Expandability:
Under the Super Joy pad there is a slot where it would seem that you could insert your NES carts.

I’ve read though, that this slot only works for Famicon carts (used in the Japanese version of the NES), and not with our US NES carts. Something about a region lockout and different number of pins in the slot. I don’t have any NES games, so I can’t test this. But, it is a neat idea.

Versions:
This is where it gets tricky!

The one I have is the “Power Player 3.

The front of the box has a gold foil sticker that reads 76000 and the box, in the upper corner has a model # of “XA-76-1E.”


Annnnd….I saw another one, SAME model #, same box, but it had 120,000 games!!!

Power Player 12000-in-1
Power Player 12000-in-1

But the 120,000-in 1 box had NO gold foil sticker, and the gun was a bright color (green, red, etc.).

Otherwise you’d think it was a 76,000 in 1 model.

To add to the confusion, the 120,000-in 1 DID have arcade Pac-Man, but did not include Donkey Kong, Jr., and Super Mario Brothers had the music playing too fast. I felt the benefit of Pac-Man (which I don’t care for, I dig Ms. Pac-Man) wasn’t enough to justify the loss of other games, so I passed.

BUT to make it even more confusing…there IS a 76,000 in 1 with the REAL Pac-Man. The Model # is something like NA-76 (no sure of the first 2 digits, sorry). Keep your eye open, and PLAY BEFORE YOU BUY!

Confused? Just wait. Now, I see that there is already a “Power Player 3.5” available (including all the above plus Pacman – Real Arcade, Donkey 3, Original Tetris, Paper Boy, Defender II, Space Invaders, Gradius, Super Conta, Track & Field, Warpman, “plus many more games and great arcade sounds”).

The only way to tell is that the 3.5 version has a sticker over the 3.0 model number, which now reads “PP-1.”

superjoy PP1 Model
superjoy PP1 Model

There is also “Power Player Y2K” which is an older model, but still being sold. The Y2K version has “Y2K” on the box artwork.

Power Player Y2K

Power Player Y2K

There may be other models or variants. How can you tell the apart? Check the label in the upper right corner.

Either variant is probably fine, but newer is better. Just be sure you get one of the most current “III” models. If the mall kiosk has the 3.5 mixed in with the others, I may just go exchange it.

How To Get One:
I first saw these being sold at a Kiosk in the mall three years ago (different model then). I passed on it, because I knew I could emulate any NES game on the PC or Dreamcast. But then I had non-buyers remorse. I realized the “Coolness Factor” of this was too high, and from then on, really wanted to get one. I never saw them again, until last Christmas. There was another Kiosk with stacks of these Power Player pads, but they wanted $75 for them. Too high for me, but they were selling some. Again, I really wanted to get one, but my common sense wouldn’t let me. Then last week, I was walking through the same mall and heard the familiar Super Mario Brothers “doo doo doot do do dooo” and turned around right quick! They they were again. The same shady Kiosk, rented by some unknown person, manned by college kids trying to make ends meet. “How Much?” I asked, and he told me $55, no tax. Hm, this gets shadier and shadier. Still too high. But I began to obsess about it.

I went back, and of course, some other kid was running the booth. I can’t disclose what happened next, ’cause I was asked to keep it on the downlow, but short time later I walked out with my owm “Power Player” box, humming a happy tune.

Email me if you want one, maybe I can help you out.

So how can you get one otherwise? You can order them online from the manufacturer, or scan through Google or Froogle.

Conclusion:
What a great way to re-live your youth! Many of your favorite games in a controller you can take nearly anywhere (as long as there is a TV to conncect to). Great for the kids, or just testing to see if you remember where the Warp Zones are in Super Mario!

Depending on who you buy it from (and where, and when), you could pay anywhere from $20 – $55 for one. If you get a lower price, then, this is a great deal. It really isn’t worth more than $30, but if you are a serious/obsessive collector, and have the money, then you probably won’t mind. The way Nintendo is cracking down on emulators via their new emulation Patent, I wondering how long these will be around. Bottom line: Lots of fun, get one while you can!

Now, if they’d just make one of these with Super Nintendo games!

BONUS:
Did you find yourself thinking “Hmm, wonder if I could hack into this thing and make a portable NES player?” No? Well, Ben Heckendorn of the Atari 2600 Portables Site (http://www.classicgaming.com) did, and actually made one! Go forth and see what can be done!

****UPDATE****
Due to the popularity of this topic, and to better organize the conversations, I have had created a forum dedicated to the Super Joy Power Player, but it has since been closed.

Comments on this topic are now closed
****END UPDATE****