Obscure Hardware Snes Clone (Super Prosystem 16)

Discussion in 'Rare and Obscure Gaming' started by brPariah, Jan 7, 2016.

  1. brPariah

    brPariah Member

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    Hello, I'd like to share with you an awfully neglected and unknown piece of video gaming history. First and foremost, I ought to delineate its sheer scarcity and rarity. It's the Chips do Brasil's Super Prosystem 16, a 16 bits SNES clone released in 1994 solely in Brazil. Regarding its quality, I can confidently argue it has the same image and audio fidelity as an original SNES, given that I'm able to compare it side by side with a one chip SNES. Since I play them both with composite video, I'm frankly not capable of perceiving any difference whatsoever between the clone and the original hardware. Its composite video quality is much better than my Mega drive's (as with any SNES). Its colors are vibrant and vivid and the picture is sharp and defined.

    [​IMG]

    Its has a rather peculiar design. The official Nintendo licensed company, Playtronic, sold the USA version of the SNES in Brazil, so Chips do Brasil adopted the Japanense/European design, with some minor differences. As it can be noted, the cartridge slot is actually square instead of being oval around the edges like the original design, so it can actually fit cartridges from any region without any physical restrictions. The European SNES would require a mod to do so.

    [​IMG]

    Another interesting aspect of its design is its standard video input which does not require the SNES proprietary cable. It also has a mono or stereo switch on the back.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a picture of the Super Prosystem 16 with a third-party Dynacom TPC-5 controller. Its resemblance to the mega drive is quite striking. As a matter of fact, I ordered a Chips do Brasil Snes controller which looks like a 6 button genesis controller. I don't have the original Prosystem controller that came packed with the console, but it has an entirely different design and it supports turbo for every individual button.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here's pictures of its internal components. I'm not really tech savvy so there's not much I can say about it other than my personal and unreliable opinion. To me, the PCB looks quite sturdy and well built. It is designed to lock the cartridge when turned on.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In this picture, the Super Prosystem is playing Lamborghini American Challenge in composite video. I'm not sure if it can be perceived by the photo, but the picture looks great and to me it's on par with my one chip SNES.

    AS TO ITS HISTORY AND RARITY, there are many things to say. It was released in 1994 to compete with the original hardware and, as a matter of fact, it would be quite a fierce challenge for Nintendo and its licensed company. It had a considerably lower price and it came packed with two turbo controllers, besides natively supporting PAL-M and accepting cartridges from any region. Nonetheless, in the very same year of its release, Tectoy and Playtronic promoted a successful legal breakdown against piracy which forced the Super Prosystem 16 to be prematurely pulled out of stores and possibly destroyed by the authorities. This is the key factor for its rarity. I've seen the serial number of 3 different Super Prosystem 16 and the highest S/N was around 2750. Mine is in the following picture:

    [​IMG]

    I deem it a very interesting piece of video gaming history, a tragic one at that, as I've never seen another real Hardware SNES clone from its time. I consider it to be unique in the entire world. A mystery to me is where it was manufactured. I actually think it is unlikely to have been produced in China because otherwise there would be many other SNES clones. Nonetheless, there are counterfeit SNES, but other than the Super Prosystem 16, I've never seen any other independent SNES clone.
     
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  2. Yakumo

    Yakumo Pillar of the Community *****

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    A very interesting system and possibly the only snes clone that isn't one of those crappy 1 chip solutions.

    The controller by the way is a rip off of the pretty bad Competition Pro 2 Turbo controller which was available for various consoles including the Mega Drive and SNES.
     
  3. Pikmin

    Pikmin Resolute Member

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    Thanks for sharing
     
  4. djelaba

    djelaba Benzin !, Site Supporter 2013

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  5. Bramsworth

    Bramsworth Well Known Member

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    As soon as I saw the pcb I immediately thought "Well, it IS a clone no matter how good quality, so they must be holding something together in there with glue.." Sure enough, there's some big globs in the power area back there.

    Never knew such a thing existed though. Thanks for sharing!
     
  6. Johnny

    Johnny Gran Turismo Freak and Site Supporter 2013,2015

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    I remember seeing that on magazines ads back in the day, but i don't really remember ever seeing one in stores.

    The one i actually saw being sold was the ProSystem-8, a nes clone that used the same controllers they made for the Super Prosystem 16.

    [​IMG]

    And yes, they made this same controller available for the MegaDrive: http://segaretro.org/Super_Pro-2

    Anyway the only product from Chips do Brasil i ever had was a Pro-1 controller, basicly a cheap copy of the MegaDrive controller for the Master System: https://segaretro.org/Pro-1
     
  7. brPariah

    brPariah Member

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    I'm a bit out of time, but I'd like to add up a little detail regarding the Prosystem 8, in reality it is no more than a generic re-brand of some random Chinese console. Chips do Brasil was quite shameless with this console and just sticking their logo on it doesn't quite make it theirs. The Super Prosystem 16, on the other hand, doesn't seem to have anything remotely alike it.

    The following pictures are the EXACT SAME CONSOLE BUT WITH A DIFFERENT BRAND! How despicable of Chips do Brasil! Just like modern day TecToy, how the mighty have fallen....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I took those pictures from actual sale listings from MercadoLibre. Here's a pic of the original Prosystem 8 from google for comparison. In my personal opinion, it's anything but rare.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. proarturs

    proarturs The force is with me

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    It would be interesting to know if this thing can play SuperFX games like Star Fox.
     
  9. karsten

    karsten Member of The Cult Of Kefka

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    I'm curious about the audio chip solution they chose...
     
  10. Johnny

    Johnny Gran Turismo Freak and Site Supporter 2013,2015

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    I kind of agree with you, but for stuff like this you have to put some other things into perspective. Gradiente, for example, had the balls to copy the Atari 7800 console design and a Mega Drive controller to "create" the Phantom System, a Nes clone. CCE turned the MegaDrive controller upside down for their Turbo Game. Dismac made the Bit-System, pratically a NES design "cousin". The infamous Dactar and AppleVision, almost carbon copies of the Atari 2600 clone, when Polyvox already had the license to manufacture the official console around here.

    It was a different era because of the government policies that helped Brazilian companies feel encouraged to release generic / copied products. Just look at the of the computers from the 70's and 80's. If you start checking the companies names and looking at their products, pratically all of them haven't created anything, just copied what was succesful elsewhere. The few that survived, like CCE and Gradiente, are nowhere near as important as before. Even Lenovo couldn't care for the CCE brand.

    By the way, the market reserve law still hurts us today even if it's not as bad as before. We still have companies like Leadership and Multilaser dump shit chinese products as their own, with government protection. Tectoy survive only because current videogames and electronics pay heavy taxes... Also let's not forget the insane number of shit eletric / eletronic companies making "Filtros de Linha" to be sold as surge protectors and "estabilizadores" being sold as voltage regulators even when most eletronics today have full-range 90-240V PSU's....
     
  11. msm

    msm Member

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    Actually the glue is on the Controller ports not the power area.
     
  12. DeChief

    DeChief Rustled.

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  13. brPariah

    brPariah Member

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    THIS IS EXACTLY IT, even the CONTROLLER IS THE SAME! Great find, I'm actually amazed you happened upon it! The price for this console, on the other hand, is absolutely ridiculous. It smells like scalping. I paid 85 dollars for mine, granted it is not the exact same console (tbh, it is the same thing) (I even found a Super Prosystem 16 CIB for 120 dollars last week, which made me feel ripped off), but this seller is taking speculation to a whole new level. And it begs the question for a proper disclosure as to its history. Maybe it is the kind of thing that will remain a mystery and befall the sad fate of oblivion. How did this console end up re-branded by Chips do Brasil and what is its obscure origins? For this ludicrous price, it deserved at the very least a proper description. I'm 100 % sure it's not a prototype as Chips do Brasil attempted to mass produce it (most likely it's a clone from China, as to how it never reached every nook and cranny of the planet like the Mega Drive clones did, I'll never know), even though the Prosystem 16 ultimately ended up failing miserably due to the legal breakdown on piracy.
     
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  14. DeChief

    DeChief Rustled.

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    It's definitely not a prototype, you are correct. eBay sellers unfortunately like to "play up" their items and make them seem more valuable and to try to justify their crazy prices, like 999 euros! I think it's quite an interesting console, you never really see SNES/Super Famicom clones, only ever the Famicom + Super Famicom 2-in-1 clones really.
     
  15. Mystic_Merlin

    Mystic_Merlin Active Member

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    It's actually quite a common clone in Asia. I believe it was made in Taiwan, like most clones of this era. Here's an alternate version:
    11090419670851_440.jpg
    11070122772225_195.jpg
     
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  16. americandad

    americandad Familiar Face

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    I want one,now! How much moniez does it costs?
     
  17. Mystic_Merlin

    Mystic_Merlin Active Member

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    Not much, as most clones, but you don't see them often outside of Asia. Actually I came across one at a flea market but it was in such a bad condition I hadn't the courage to clean it up and left it there.
    Check some Taiwan video games auction sites or market places / forums.
     
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  18. brPariah

    brPariah Member

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    I'm surprised you know about this console, given that it seems to be undocumented and unheard of in the West. I tried to reverse search the pictures you posted but it led me nowhere, there were no results regarding this clone. As a matter of fact, I'd believe it is an entirely different clone to the Prosystem 16 due to its differing design (it seems more simplistic and it apparently doesn't feature the eject button!), albeit the controller from the second picture is almost the same as the Prosystem's, however, it lacks the turbo function for each individual button. Since you seem know about it, could you link an auction or a forum discussing this particular clone? For how much have you seen it being sold? Also, where did you get the pictures? I got absolutely NOTHING on the internet about this console, not even your pictures were indicative of anything, if it were so common, wouldn't there be some kind of information concerning it? How come its existence is basically unknown? There's a myriad of clones in Brazil, and they are all properly documented on the internet, even the Super Prosystem 16, which is extremely scarce due to its limited production.
     
  19. americandad

    americandad Familiar Face

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    Here you go, that's about 75 usd
    https://tw.carousell.com/p/21315545/
     
  20. Mystic_Merlin

    Mystic_Merlin Active Member

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    You'd be even more surprised at how many videogaming items I've came across in 13 years living in Asia you wouldn't find much info about or even a picture online ;)
    Here I attached are a few samples
    Google alone won't help you find information about those items unless you know the precise name in its "native" language it was sold.
    Every market has its specifics in Asia: Russia, China, Taiwan, HK, Thailand, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia...and obviously you have a dozen forums/websites in those regions covering this topic.

    In the 90s, most of the underground or gray hardware was manufactured in Taiwan, HK or PRC. It was then labeled, marketed and sold under different names depending on territories and distributors. You would have some minor cosmetic changes or bios customisations but the hardware would be essentially the same.
    I don't have a picture of the exact same clone you posted on hand but I've seen it several times with different names.
    So maybe your "brazilian flavor" is quite rare but again, almost no hardware clone was made outside Asia back then.
     

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