In the bygone year of 2014, GBAtemp received an SD2SNES, perhaps the hottest SNES flashcard of its time, for review. Five years later, I sit here with its big brother, the SD2SNES Pro, to bring you an up to date look at what's new, what's the same, and what's changed over the years. With the SD2SNES Pro sharing much with its predecessor, I encourage you to check out @Qtis' review right here before diving into this.
With our review published in 2014, much has happened in the way of progress for this popular cartridge. At the time of publication, the latest firmware was v0.1.6. Though supporting the vast majority of the SNES library, notable exclusions included both the SA-1 and SuperFX special chips. Though a mere 35 games between these two chips, the likes of Kirby, Yoshi's Island, Star Fox, and Super Mario RPG remained unplayable. Of course, thanks to the cartridge's FPGA chip and the continued efforts of creator ikari_01 and others, most notably RedGuy for their SA-1 and SuperFX support, things are now different.
My favourite change might just be the stylish new label.
Whether you have an SD2SNES or its Pro variant, you can enjoy compatibility with an almost-complete library of games. Though it will perhaps never be perfect, the incompatibility list, kept up to date here, now fills less than a screen and consists of relative obscurities. A part of me remains sad I'll likely never get to experience Crayon Shin Chan's Super Famicom appearance, but it's a sadness I will hold closely. On top of this increased compatibility, both cartridges now boast cheat support, something still in the works as our original review was written. I've used it a little and to my knowledge it's just dandy, but if there are any particular cheat and game combinations you're curious about, let me know and I'll report back.
On the hardware front, you'll find one major difference: the FGPA. Upgraded from the Spartan to the Altera Cyclone IV, there's a good bit of extra power available for use. Whether this is applied to an official save state solution (an unofficial one already existing and compatible with both models, with a few limitations), adding compatibility for those last few games, or even Super Game Boy emulation, there's a lot to look forward to in the future. That is, however, in the future. At the time of writing, there's actually very little difference between the two devices, and certainly little that should make a current SD2SNES owner want to sell up and grab the latest model. For newcomers however, the SD2SNES Pro retails at the same price as the original cartridge, with the original now discontinued or discounted across the various online storefronts. $200, or around £160, might be a lot to stomach for a flashcard, especially for some of our younger members coming from one of free solutions for the most modern consoles, or the dime a dozen flashcards of the DS era, but the quality here speaks for itself. It is the best on the market, and it's only going to get better.
If there's anything you want to know, be it games tested, footage recorded, comparisons made, don't hesitate to let me know. I have this beautiful beast sat beside me and a trusty RetroTink for some crisp 480p footage.
SD2SNES Pro Store Link