by Dark Watcher
The year is 1995, and Funtech Entertainment Corp decides to create the first original video gaming system made in Taiwan.
At first glance one might mistaken the Super A'Can as a clone of Nintendo's Super NES. In truth the console is a mixed bag, but definitely not a clone of any console released. The Super A'Can is a 16-bit console that appears to borrow elements from a few other popular consoles. The outer case and controllers strongly resemble the Super NES. The controller connector pin-outs are identical to the Sega Genesis. Internally however, the A'Can uses a dual Motorola processor configuration similar to SNK's Neo Geo. Tthe 16-bit Motorola 68000 CPU was found in the Neo Geo and Genesis. Instead of an 8-bit Z80, it uses a Motorola 6502 found in the NES.
An interesting console that appears to have stayed under the radar of many collectors. It appears that the console was never released outside of Taiwan. Twelve games (all by Funtech) have been confirmed for the system.
HANDS ON REVIEW
In 1995, Funtech Entertainment Corporation released the first original gaming system in Taiwan - the Super A'Can. Produced and
sold exclusively in its native country, the console and controllers feel very fragile, constructed of thin plastics that belies its
strong, dark grey outwardly appearance and extremely high price tag. This system is often mistaken as a Super Nintendo
Entertainment System clone due to both the physical design and the processor powering this unit. A closer inspection of this
rare oddity reveals a different picture.
Appearing just at the end of the hugely successful 16-bit era, the Super A'Can utilizes dual Motorola processors to deliver its gaming experience. The first of these central processing units (CPU) was the 16-bit Motorola 68000, which was also the driving core used in the Sega Genesis and Neo Geo AES systems. The 8-bit Motorola 6502, which originally debuted inside the Nintendo Entertainment System, comprised the second CPU. This dual engine rendered games using a 32,768 color palette and was quite powerful compared to the rest of the 16-bit systems.
This processing power would have been a significant advantage for the Super A'Can if this console was released in 1989 instead of 1995. 32-bit technology was already being fully utilized within the gaming market at the time of its release and the Super A'Can was technologically obsolete before it hit the store shelves.
The twelve (12) confirmed games, with an additional nine (9) protos rumored to be in existence, were released in rather large, SNES-like
cartridges. Games were presented in cardboard boxes featuring flamboyant artwork and included a plastic game holder along with
the instruction manual (also well presented). This matched the fun and playful design of the systems packaging. Overall
game graphics and play are very similar to the Neo Geo and SNES. Bold, vibrant colors are pleasantly displayed in 2D
environments. One of the best games for this system is C.U.G., a Super Mario type clone.
The Super A'Can failed miserably due to utilizing outdated technology and being initially offered for sale at an exorbitant price. Very few of these systems were sold and it has been reported that Funtech Entertainment Corporation lost $6 million USD in this venture. Unsold units were disassembled and were parted out to various companies in the USA and abroad.
Collecting for this console is an expensive proposition, due to the limited number of units that were manufactured and the exclusivity to the Taiwanese market. Expect to invest heavily if pursing this console. Unfortunately, games are just as rare as the system itself. As you could have guessed, Super A'Can systems and games are most commonly found from Taiwanese sellers.
Overall, the Super A'Can is a pretty rare console solely due to its failure in the gaming industry. There is nothing extraordinary about the system or the game library for it. Only serious console or game collectors should pursue purchasing the Super A'Can - the system itself does not warrant the high investment by the casual gamer.