Thursday, September 28, 2017

SNES Classic Edition - Observations and Captures

After the wildly popular NES Classic from 2016 Nintendo has followed up with the release of the SNES Classic. While there are many outlets covering this exciting new device (and how it's essentially the same HW as the NES Classic), I'd like take the opportunity to cover a few particular points of interest.

Image Quality

Like discovered on the NES Classic, the SNES Classic also applies a random noise filter to the game image each frame. This random noise changes R, G, B sub pixel values by up to +/- 4 or 5 values to provide a more "analogue" look that makes solid color fields less flat. All games tested are presented in a 3x integer scale. This results in a 672 pixel high image (224x3) with borders that surround the game image on all sides.

4:3 Display Mode

One welcome improvement with the SNES Classic is it's 4:3 Display Mode. Unlike the NES Classics fractional point sampling that results in pixel "flicker" on horizontal scrolling, the SNES Classic does something a bit more sophisticated. The perfect pixels 768 wide image is stretched horizontally to 877 pixels using a low pass filter style filter to average pixel values between two adjacent pixels with different source values.

Star Fox 2

While I've assembled a repro and played the existing Star Fox 2 game, it's a real treat that Nintendo has officially released the "final" build! Screen captures of the title screen in each of the 3 display modes. Enjoy!

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