Tech Up! EON Super 64 HDMI Adapter Review

By Renan Fontes 30.07.2019

The Nintendo 64 was never Nintendo's most graceful console. Despite being home to some of the greatest games ever made, the company's third major home console has proven both difficult to emulate and to play on modern televisions. The challenge in emulating the console leads to fans needing to play on real hardware, but the fact of the matter is that the Nintendo 64 simply does not look good on modern televisions. Hardly an issue for collectors and hardcore fans of the N64, but most looking to revisit the console will find themselves blocked unless they go out of their way to get the console looking good. Thankfully, the EON Super 64 provides an incredibly convenient, and necessary, face lift to N64.

The fact of the matter is simply that most retro consoles won't display well on modern, HD televisions. The further gaming moves away from component cables, the worse older games are bound to look. There are ways to get around such visual issues, but they can be at times unwieldy. It's entirely possible to mod the Nintendo 64 to display properly on HD televisions, but the necessary cost and effort might prove too much.
 
The EON Super 64 is a simple enough workaround to this issue. A plug and play HDMI adapter, the EON Super 64 plugs into the console's rightmost back port where the component cables would normally go. Upon being plugged in, one simply needs to connect an HDMI cable between the adapter and their television. Using the EON Super 64 really is as easy as just plugging it into the console.

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Unlike EON's other plug and play HDMI adapter, the GCHD, the EON Super 64 plugs into its respective console with a bit more ease. It doesn't fit in as tightly, but this is actually a positive all things considered. The way the GCHD locks into the GameCube can be off putting, but the EON Super 64 slides in with relative, reliable ease.
 
From there, results are as immediate as turning on the console. Super Mario 64, in particular, shows off the EON Super 64's talents quite nicely. Character models are noticeably clearer, backgrounds are cleaner, and the overall resolution is much smoother. Best of all, the peripheral brings with it no lag whatsoever. The Super 64 doesn't tamper with the experience other than prettying up the picture considerably.

Image for Tech Up! EON Super 64 HDMI Adapter Review

It should be explicitly noted that the EON Super 64's main goal is to make Nintendo 64 games look as nice as possible, and in the most convenient way. What this does, unfortunately, means that it isn't the best option available for image fidelity on the Nintendo 64 when it comes to pure visuals, but that doesn't mean the Super 64 is the worse option.
 
Financially, it is on the pricey side, but its price justifies the ease of use, and the quality it offers is genuinely high, just not the highest there is. With that in mind, those looking to truly deep dive into their Nintendo 64 might want to look elsewhere, but anyone just looking to play games will more than likely be pleased. It might not be a great value, but it is a good value.

Image for Tech Up! EON Super 64 HDMI Adapter Review

There's something truly magical about booting up The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and watching the opening unfold. The Super 64 brings titles to life as if they were just released. Any individual game immediately becomes a time capsule, one that feels right at home in its era while also being easy on the eyes.
 
Of the games tested on the Super 64, all of which were clear visual improvements. Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask, Star Fox 64, and Banjo-Kazooie comes to life in ways that they wouldn't with just component cables. The fact that high quality Nintendo 64 visuals can be achieved just by plugging the adapter into the console really cannot or should not be understated.

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Interestingly, the Super 64 features a Slick Mode to smooth the picture even further. By pressing a button on the adapter itself, Slick Mode will be activated, making the image quality slicker. This is a bit of a double edged sword all things considered. On one hand, it helps chip away at the Nintendo 64's inherent edge. On the other hand, it can be the visuals bleed together a bit too much while also hurting the text quality for some titles. It's nice that Slick Mode is included as an option, but its benefits vary from game to game.
 
That said, the Super 64 is a massive boon to the console on a whole. In the most technical sense, it isn't the "definitive" way to play Nintendo 64 games, but it's the most financially responsible and convenient way to do so on modern televisions. More importantly, the Super 64 just makes older titles look darn good. It's easy enough to plug in or remove, but it's doubtful that consumers who purchase the Super 64 will be removing it anytime soon.

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10
While expensive, the EON Super 64 undeniably offers users the most convenient way of playing the Nintendo 64 on modern televisions. It is worth noting that the overall picture quality perhaps isn't as high as it could be, but the change in scenery that the plug and play HDMI adapter provides is plenty extraordinary as is. More importantly, the peripheral is clearly targeted at an audience who wants to play their N64 as comfortable as possible, and the EON Super 64 does just that. There's simply no denying the sheer ease of quality the EON Super 64 brings to the table.

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