The Sharp Twin Famicom in black
|Type||Video game console|
|Generation||Third generation (8-bit era)|
Famicom Disk Card
|Controller input||2 controller ports|
The Twin Famicom (ツインファミコン Tsuinn Famikon ) was produced by Sharp Corporation in 1986, and was only released in Japan. It is a licensed Nintendo product which combines the Family Computer (Famicom) and the Family Computer Disk System (FDS) into a single piece of hardware.
The basic parts of the Twin Famicom include a 60-pin slot for Famicom cartridges, a slot for Disk System's Disk Cards, a switch located right below the cartridge slot which allows the player to choose between "Cassette (カセット Kasetto )" or "Disk (ディスク Disuku )", the power button, the reset button, and the eject buttons. FDS disks can be removed using the yellow button below the disk slot. The mechanism that it uses is similar to ones that are used in contemporary floppy disk drives. The eject button for cartridges is located between the power and reset buttons. It usually causes the cartridge to "pop" out of the slot, much like the way bread slices do when coming out of a pop-up toaster.
The system does not allow both slots to be used at the same time. The switch that changes the mode from disk to cartridge works in a manner in which choosing to use the cartridge slot will block the disk drive, and vice versa. However, in some systems, only the cartridge slot will be blocked, but it is impossible to change to cartridge mode while the disk is being read.
- Main Processors: 6502 modified at 1.79 MHz
- RAM: 2 KB work RAM, 2 KB video RAM, 32 KB extra work RAM in FDS mode, 8 KB extra video RAM in FDS mode
- ROM: FDS BIOS and 60-pin "cassette" (cartridge) slot
- Audio: 6 voice, two channels square wave, one channel triangle, one channel noise, one channel PCM, one channel 6-bit wavetable synthesizer.
- Graphics: 256x240 pixels, 64 sprites, display 25 colors out of 53
Besides the very fact that it has put together two pieces of video game hardware into a single package, the Twin Famicom comes with some extra features. Like the Famicom, it has a port that allows games like Moero TwinBee to support more than the usual two players and to which the matching version of the NES Zapper can be attached. There also is a second port of a slightly different shape for connecting another Famicom via the black RAM unit that comes with the standard Famicom Disk System. This allows another standalone Famicom to use the disk drive on the Twin Famicom.
Another unique trait of this console is its color. Whereas most Famicom units come in the familiar red and white color combination, the Twin Famicom was sold in two colors: red with black highlights (AN-500R), and black with red highlights (AN-500B). There is also a re-released version with a slightly different case design, turbo controllers, and different color schemes, black with green highlights (AN-505-BK) and red with blue/grey highlights (AN-505-RD).
Unlike the Famicom, which used an RF adapter and required a TV that had the equivalent of Japanese channels 1 or 2, the Twin Famicom used RCA connectors, making it easier for overseas fans of the Japanese gaming market to play games using their TVs.