Fake consoles? Legally?

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mattwerk
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Fake consoles? Legally?

Post by mattwerk » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:51 am

I was just wondering, as I've been back in England for a week and Europe
for 6 months (was in South Africa for 7 years before then). Do you get
fake consoles here? Like, I remember yonks ago that on the fleamarket
you'd pick up a weird, foreign-looking box with a console in it, that would
basically be a fake NES, but very rarely and of course illegal. Now in
South Africa, this is funny - they sell fake NES and Megadrives, but in the
legal stores. It's a box called a Telegamestation, it used to look like a
Famicom but more lately looks like an old-style PSone. Cartridge based,
all the games come from the NES or Master System. The box advertises
"stunning arcade graphics" and has great pictures of games on the box,
but it's just 8-bit. They also launched one that looks like a miniature PC
tower and with optional keyboard and black-and-white monitor so that
kids could learn stuff on there as well. Anyway they also sell cartridges
with multiple games and repeats (like a 99-in-1 that only actually had 6 games on it) and mostly came from China (where else!). Then about 5
years ago they launched the Telegamestation 2, which looks like a PStwo, also cartridges - and they are Megadrive games!

As for the games, how's this for copyright infringement - the games were
the same as the NES/MS/MD but they often removed the original names
and copyrights from the game. So for example the start up screen for Dr
Mario would be "medical doctor" and all reference to Nintendo removed.

But the crazy thing is that these things are LEGAL in South Africa... I mean, they sell them in the biggest stores and supermarkets. Gone down in price a bit, about ZAR 100 for the old one and ZAR 250 for the "new" one. Loose change really... so, anyone know these things, know anything more about them and how come they can sell these ripped-off, copyright-infringing things in legal stores? Any expats with fond memories of these things (like me, I was beating everyone on Dr Mario head-to-head - though besides Dr Mario and Super Mario 1, other games tended to be crappy or very sluggish - Sonic was unplayable)???

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David
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Post by David » Fri Oct 24, 2008 7:59 am

I remember seeing these in a wee chinese-owned shop in portugal.

looked like a PS1 with an LCD screen attached, and the box had really washed out looking screenshots of Mario Bros, etc on it

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gmintyfresh
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Post by gmintyfresh » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:19 am

It looks nothing like a PS2 :wink:

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David
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Post by David » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:20 am

Actually come to think of it, a little asian-hardware shop near my old house used to sell one of these that was a replica of an N64 controller that plugged into your tv.

had about 100 games on it

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TMR
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Post by TMR » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:54 am

Last i looked, Argos are selling a NOAC-based console with "disguised" games. Edit: here it is in their catalogue, it's called the N-Joypad and i've got one (for a fiver from a Cash Converters), the games are the usual suspects but with the graphics mauled and the tunes occasionally corrupted. It uses "initiating disks", which are flat, round pieces of plastic that push the buttons inside the "tray" to select which ROM to mount at start-up...
Last edited by TMR on Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:05 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Kaptain_Von
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Post by Kaptain_Von » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:07 am

A couple of Christmases ago there was a stall in the Broadmead shopping area in Bristol that was selling the 120 in 1 style NES knockoff consoles which did indeed have 120 NES games on it except that the Nintendo copyrights had been removed and in some cases the games themselves had altered title screens. Others however, had not so you had the odd situation where you could select 'Super Marioland' or 'Mr Doctor' (Dr Mario).

Most pound shops seem to sell at least one of those sort of things at this time of year too. A while back I picked up a 'Rumblestation' for a couple of quid in one.
Cue the music, fade to black...
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Coopdevil
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Post by Coopdevil » Fri Oct 24, 2008 9:20 am

I've got one of the N64-controller ones, not bad and IIRC the games are untouched and under their original names. It has the usual suspects like Arctic Adventure, Dig Dug and F1 Race along with a few oddities like Jewel Tetris (the unlicensed Columns game that apparently was released before Sega's official version - this game appears to have been distributed under a number of different names) and a version of Mortal Kombat. eBay purchase.

From Index (like Argos but went out of business a few years back) I got something called a Rumblestation which has the Color Dreams games (Crystal Mines etc.)and a hilariously bad feature whereby the rumble feature fires each and every time you press the fire button, so it rumbles for jumping, firing, menu selection! Total rubbish and not sorry when it died a death :twisted:

I thought about the N-Joypad as it's only a tenner but there is a full review of every game on YouTube and it looks dreadful. F1 Race has been hacked to have graphics of UFOs and turned into a spacecraft racer but the gameplay still has an petrol engine roar and HI/LO gears! Dig Dug has really bad graphics and plays the Galaga jingle at the start of each level. Maybe worthwhile in a "so bad it's good" sort of thing.

The first one I bought was a 128-in-1 Atari VCS TV Boy this has proper 2600 games but all of them have had any copyright logos hacked out and they live in the menu under false names.

While the legality of these might be dodgy (copyrighted games, Nintendo copyright on chipset etc.) they seem to thrive "under the radar". One of the aisle stalls in the Merry Hill Centre in the West Midlands sells them (or at least did - I haven't been for a while) for about £15/£20 and that's hardly a low rent/out of the way sort of place.
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emalder
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Post by emalder » Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:22 am

A few years ago I bought an Arcade Action 100 in 1 games system complete with x2 controllers and light gun. The console looks like an N64 and plays actually plays Famicom cartidges and NES carts with a convertor.

I only paid £20 for it, guess from where ?

Toys R us !! of all places.

I can't remember if the games had been hacked, I'll have to check.

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famicom69
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Post by famicom69 » Fri Oct 24, 2008 1:57 pm

David wrote:I remember seeing these in a wee chinese-owned shop in portugal.

looked like a PS1 with an LCD screen attached, and the box had really washed out looking screenshots of Mario Bros, etc on it
That sounds terrifying!

I dont know about fake consoles, but there are far too many fake gameboy advance carts in circulation. You really have to be careful when buying second hand from sites such as amazon.

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TMR
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Post by TMR » Fri Oct 24, 2008 2:45 pm

Coopdevil wrote:I thought about the N-Joypad as it's only a tenner but there is a full review of every game on YouTube and it looks dreadful. F1 Race has been hacked to have graphics of UFOs and turned into a spacecraft racer but the gameplay still has an petrol engine roar and HI/LO gears! Dig Dug has really bad graphics and plays the Galaga jingle at the start of each level. Maybe worthwhile in a "so bad it's good" sort of thing.
Honestly? No it's not mate, the only reason i don't regret paying a fiver for mine is masochism pure and simple and they've really buggered up a couple of titles in the process of disguising them... =-)

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GenghisJones
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Post by GenghisJones » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:21 pm

there's almost something more-ish about shonky asian knock off consoles - even though I now know it's crap, I suddenly want a n-joypad...

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emalder
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Post by emalder » Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:41 pm

Just found the item on ebay I mentioned in my earlier post -

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ARCADE-ACTION-11- ... 286.c0.m14

    knight_beat
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    Post by knight_beat » Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:01 pm

    woody.cool wrote:It's not the Vii, is it?
    They have tons of those machines in The Works at the moment. It isn't called the Vii though, it's called the Zoner or something.

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