Famicom World

Famiclones are Famtastic!

Nintendo Co., Ltd., sold the Family Computer in Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan. And that’s it. But that doesn’t mean those are the only three countries that had Famicoms. Sometimes Famicoms were imported elsewhere, like Korea. But, most often the Famicom was duplicated (often illegally). These duplicates are called “Famiclones” — a clone of the Famicom.

While only three countries saw the official Famicom, many more countries across the world, including Korea, Thailand, Argentina, the United States and others, got Famiclones. (Some argue that the Nintendo Entertainment System is a Famiclone, and in a way it is.)

Famicloning was illegal until 2003, when the patent on the Famicom expired and duplication became legal. Prior to 2003, however, Famiclones were available just about anywhere. Companies, such as Micro-Genius, made lots of money selling high-quality Famiclones. Others created portable Famicoms — like the one you see to the right. In this section, you’ll learn about Famiclones.

One of hundreds of Famiclones sold around the world.
One of hundreds of Famiclones sold around the world.

Handy FamiEight

The Handy FamiEight doesn’t look super cheap, and the Start and Select buttons even light up up when touched. Nice.

Micro Genius Family Computer

The Micro Genius Family Computer is a pirate console made by Micro-Genius. It's a Famiclone, but not a legal one.

Super Joy III

The Super Joy III might not look at all like a console at first glance. It looks like an N64 controller.

Yobo FC Game Console

Free from fear, one of the first legally produced Famiclones also happens to be one of the best: the Yobo FC Game Console.