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It's been a long standing tradition in the world of electronics to take a popular gadget and combine it with its not-quite-as-popular-but-should-be-according-to-the-manufacturer addon device. Sega slapped a Genesis and a 32X together to form the Neptune, for example. Philips has combined a VCR and a DVD player into a single unit. Sony did it with the cassette player and FM radio. And yes, even Nintendo did it with their Famicom and Famicom Disk System.

Produced by Sharp and officially licensed by Nintendo in 1986, the Twin Famicom is a single unit that contains all the parts of a Famicom (the Japanese Nintendo Entertainment System) and its popular disk-based companion, the Famicom Disk System. It possesses the ability to play both game paks and disks, and a switch on the unit toggles between modes. Game paks plugged into the top of the unit while disks were inserted into the front. Available in both stylish red and black cases, the unit includes the two hardwired controllers that the Famicom was known for as well as a smaller version of the Zapper light gun.

And now, the specs...

  • 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: Game Paks and FDS BIOS
  • Audio: 5 voice, two channels square wave, one channel triangle, one channel noise, one channel PCM (see 2A03 for details)
  • Graphics: 256x240 pixels, 64 sprites, display 25 colors out of 53 (see NES PPU for details)
  • Interfaces:
    • integrated Disk Drive
    • Two controller ports
    • Extension port
    • Output Audio-Video

Like the Famicom Disk System the unit was never released for sale outside of Japan, but in this era of instant communications it's possible to find one for sale on the Internet or online auction. They command a rather steep price for 1980s technology - upwards of $200 - but they are out there to be had if you absolutely have to have one.

Special thanks to yerricde for the specs

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