This new, 8-bit synth album can only be played on a Japanese NES

As if the vinyl craze weren't enough of a vintage throwback, meet the latest trend — releasing an album exclusively on the Nintendo Entertainment System. Even more: It’ll only play on the Japanese edition of the hardware, aka the Famicom.

Japanese video game accessory manufacturer Columbus Circle has announced plans to release the album 8 Bit Music Power on a Famicon cartridge, marking the first time in 21 years a commercial cartridge has been released for the system. The 12-song album uses the hardware’s constraints as a challenge and puts together some tunes that would be right at home in the background of some 8-bit classics.

“This was just a project among old Nintendo fans around us,” a company spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. “We were surprised at the overwhelming reaction we’ve received. Fans and major retailers in the U.S. asked us to make the product available there.”

The album features tracks by vintage video game composers who have worked on titles such as the PlayStation’s Ape Escape and the NES’s Star Soldier. Along with the tunes, the cartridge also features some cool 8-bit visual accompaniment (since, you know, it’s already plugged into the TV to play). The cartridge is set to hit Japanese shops on Jan. 31 and will retail for approximately $30.

There’s no U.S. release planned at the moment, and if you’re thinking about importing this thing, you’ll need either an adapter or a legit Japanese Famicom to play it (the NES and Famicom use different cartridges). But hey, if you’re looking for one heck of a quirky post-Christmas gift, this should definitely fit the bill.

(Via The Wall Street Journal)

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