Hear me out, I'm not asking about questions like "What Xbox is this?"

There are a various console clones (such as "Famiclones") that have been produced in across Europe and Asia, especially in the 80s and 90s. Are questions asking for help identifying a console, its manufacturer, or discrepancies between the console it is based off of on-topic? I'm afraid that these questions will be too broad, as we may never be able to identify all of the clones. How about the more infamous ones, such as the PolyStation 64?

  • Can you cite examples? I don't think people generally care about identifying clones without some outstanding reason.
    – nabulator
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 4:59
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    @nabulator Here's an image of the one I referenced in my question, the PolyStation 64. I would be very curious to know the compatibility of original Famicom carts with this bootleg.
    – JAL
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 12:37

4 Answers 4


I'm not sure if this type of question would be too broad. After all, if you post a picture and ask "What's this?", there is only one correct answer.

We already have a handful of questions under the tag , as discussed here:
Is asking for the title of a retro game on-topic?

There's also been a couple of questions asking to identify old connectors and components.

I'd not be averse to seeing a few console questions.

  • 1
    Thanks. I was afraid of scope since I'm generally against "identify this game" questions here.
    – JAL
    Commented Jan 30, 2017 at 12:38

I don't think "identify this console" is much different from "identify this system" in the context of Retro.

Many of the early home computers were glorified gaming systems anyway.

In fact, we should expect and welcome questions like "identify this old part" and "identify this third party thing" as well.

It satisfies the notion of a good QA, and I think it satisfies the notion of scope for Retro.


IMHO on-topic, with the caveat that a question like "Name all the Famiclones you can think of" wouldn't count. I think something like "I have this Famiclone, does anyone know the story behind it?" would also be quite broad and possibly offtopic too. I'm talking questions like "I have this Famiclone, can someone answer XYZ about it" (eg "does it have any compatibility problems with the Famicom" - something with one right answer) would be perfectly fine.

  • Yes, all other normal rules of topicality and broadness would still need to apply. "I have the console shown in the picture below, what CPU does it use?" would be specific enough just like "I have the XYZ-99 console, what CPU does it use?" (in either case, there is only one or possibly a small number of correct answers), whereas "I have the XYZ-99 console, what can you tell me about it?" would be equally off topic due to broadness as "I have the console shown in the picture below, what can you tell me about it?".
    – user
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 8:55

I don't think this would be considered too broad. Let me tell you why I think that...

Let's pretend you are watching an antique show such as "American Pickers". In that show, you see a man that has a sword. He believes that it could be antique but isn't 100% sure. So, the show has it appraised and discovers that it's a clone made recently and it's not worth much.

In that scenario, the sword was realistic enough that only the experts knew what it was worth or what kind it was. At the end, everyone gets an education.

Second scenario: The sword turns out to be an ancient Japanese sword worth thousands.

Again, we get some education and possibly some entertainment.

Replace "American Pickers" with Retrocomputing and "sword" with Console X.

If the original poster truly doesn't know what kind of console (or computer) it is, then I don't see the harm in asking.

  • I find this especially funny since I work for the History Channel. Thanks.
    – JAL
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 20:34
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    @JAL HA! That's awesome! My wife and I are huge fans of that show, actually. If you ever run into those guys, tell them I said Hi. LOL
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 20:37
  • Well, technically I work for the parent company (A+E Networks) leading the mobile team for all brands and apps. Talent does periodically come into the office, I will let you know. Download our apps! We have a new History Channel app for iOS coming out soon (Android in a few months)!
    – JAL
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 20:41
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    @JAL Android? iOS? No thanks. Unless the app comes on a floppy disk (3.5", 5.25" & 8" OK) or a cartridge, then I'm not interested. I will consider tape format as long as the load time doesn't exceed 18 minutes. ;-)
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 20:49
  • @cbmeeks Would you be okay with a downloadable MP3 digitized from a tape?
    – user
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 8:57
  • @MichaelKjörling no, I do not like MP3 or any other corporate, rip-off, proprietary technology.
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 14:11

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