Hyperkin SupaBoy portable SNES console hands-on (video)

Sure, all the morning's news may have been surrounding a vowel-augmented console from Nintendo, the Wii U, but a certain other Nintendo console that has fewer vowels is also seeing some well-deserved love here at E3 2011. It's the classic SNES, and its been reborn as the SupaBoy, courtesy of Hyperkin. It's a handheld version of the console that's basically intended to fulfill a gamers' desire for portable classic gaming but without having to ask for advice in the Ben Heck Forums. Click on through for some impressions of this handheld wunderconsole.

The device we were given access to is an early unit that represents where the current prototypes are, but won't represent final hardware. For one thing, the 3.5-inch screen isn't the final unit, so we're not able to quote any vitals about resolution or brightness. Likewise the battery pack also is subject to change -- it's 1,500mAh right now, but Hyperkin hopes to get it up to 1,800 before release. You know, for better longevity when untethered.

Right now this early version feels a bit flimsy, but in terms of features and functionality it hits all the right marks. On the back of course is the full console slot for accepting proper SNES titles, including a cartridge lock to hold in finicky ones. Naturally the full complement of SNES controls are here -- four face buttons, start, select, D-pad, and shoulder buttons -- and there are dual controller inputs as well if you brought your own.

We played a little F-Zero and TMNT on the system and everything played just as we remembered it, though in the case of the former the Mode 7 graphics haven't exactly aged well. Currently Hyperkin is hoping to get the system shipped by the end of the year and has an estimated price of $79.99. We'll find out in about six months whether it manages to hit its marks.

Zach Honig contributed to this report.