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Mini-Console fakes?

You are going to purchase a mini-console (or you may already have one or two) and you are asking yourself the question: "Are those little gadgets even faked?". Then I'll respond here briefly for you.

Those mini, classic consoles (NES/SNES - Famicom/SuperFamicom), aren't in the way faked you may expect. So it is not like people are trying to sell deceitful identically looking counterfeit consoles. However clones do exist. More often than not do these clones look very different than the real sold-by-Nintendo ones. This means clones are fairly easy to spot, but if you are not careful about it you could might buy something, what you actually didn't want to.

Quick additional information: Controllers? Yeah, third-party controllers do exist. More on this in a posterior paragraph.

Legitimate console examples

When buying one of these mini-consoles the best way to determine whether it is fake or real, is to compare it with pictures of a legitimate example.

Type Image
SNES (EU) / Super Famicom
  • If you are confused why I've pictured an European NES Classic Mini, but you are needing material for an US one: First we don't have specific pictures for that variation and second there is not much difference. The only thing which is different is the backside, but more important is that the shape of the console is the same.
  • The same topic for the SNES. The European SNES Classic Mini (which is pictured in the gallery) has the same shape as the Super Famicom. The only difference is again the backside and additionally the front has printed "Super Famicom" instead of "Super Nintendo Entertainment System".
  • We don't have detailed galleries for the Famicom and the US SNES, so please examine carefully the given picture.

Avoid fakes

  • First of all learn about the legit mini-consoles. (Basically the previous chapter, I am sure you already have read that.)
  • Buy from sellers with real pictures of the product provided.
  • Avoid buying mini-consoles from China on eBay or AliExpress at all costs, you'll get guaranteed a (cheaply made) clone then.

Verify controllers

Third-Party controllers exist, this means controllers not manufactured by Nintendo.

Avoiding these is fairly easy. Compare for example the front and back of a NES Classic Mini third-party controller and an official one:

Type Link
Official Front
Official Back
Third-Party Front
Third-Party Back

So the huge difference is... 3 second thinking pause like in a children's TV show ;) ... of course you're right! All the Nintendo branding is missing.

This is basically the most effective way to tell if it is third-party or official, for all of the different types too of course (like SNES Classic Mini). Just check if the Nintendo branding is printed on it. Needless to say you can inspect the back of the controller too!