|Power Player Super Joy III|
|Release date||1999 or earlier|
|Alternate name(s)||Super Joy, Power Player, Power Games, XA-76-1E|
The Power Player Super Joy III (commonly known as the Super Joy) is a line of unauthorized Famiclone consoles that were sold in North America, Brazil, Europe, Asia, and Australia (and therefore, based on the region, came as NTSC, PAL, or SECAM). It is the successor to the Power Joy Classic TV Game.
The system resembles a Nintendo 64 controller and attaches to a TV set. NTSC, PAL and SECAM versions are also available, based on the region it is sold in. Super Joy IIIs were also packaged with a light gun (for NES/Famicom shooters) and a second controller resembling a Mega Drive controller, intended for a second player.
The Super Joy's buttons are mapped differently from that of the Nintendo 64 controller. The C buttons of the Nintendo 64's controller function as A and B on the Super Joy, and the N64's A and B buttons are the Start and Select buttons on the Super Joy, respectively. Finally, the N64 controller's Start button is the Reset button on the Super Joy. The control stick does not function and was added for visual appeal. Super Joy IIIs were available in black, gray, red, white, or blue.
The consoles have 76 built-in games, although marketing frequently claims to have more than 1,000 ways of playing them. Hence, the game count of 76,000 is listed as a gold sticker on the box. Most of the included games had been originally released for the NES or Famicom, but some were created by the manufacturer. Most of the games had their title screen graphics removed to save space on the ROM chip and to reduce risk of liability.
After this product gained some popularity, the Power Player 3.5, an improved model with more games, was released. A wireless version of Power Games was also released, and a version without preloaded games; this model also has ridges in the cartridge slot.
The Super Joy III become one of the most controversial Famiclones after Nintendo discovered it; they took strong legal action against importers and sellers, and obtained a temporary injunction against the import and sale of video game systems with counterfeit Nintendo games.
On December 16, 2004, the FBI executed search warrants at two kiosks at the Mall of America in Minnesota and also searched storage facilities rented by Yonathan Cohen, an owner of Perfect Deal LLC of Miami, Florida. The consoles, purchased wholesale at $7 to $9 each, sold for $30 to $70 each.
In January 2005, after 1,800 units of the Super Joy III were confiscated, Cohen was charged in Minneapolis, Minnesota for selling Super Joy III units at kiosks at the Mall of America and other malls across the nation. In April 2005, Cohen pleaded guilty to selling pirated video games.
Nine days after Cohen's guilty plea, forty FBI agents arrested four Chinese nationals working in an international piracy ring and seized 60,000 Super Joy IIIs in searches in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan and Maple Shade, New Jersey.
As of Spring 2005, NrTrade stopped selling Super Joys, but they still retain stock from other companies. Super Joy IIIs are still in production in China by Sinango but not as widely distributed.
In November 2005, Cohen was sentenced to five years in federal prison and was required to run ads in mall magazines to inform the public of how he sold pirated games at Mall of America kiosks.
By 2006, most shopping malls stopped selling Super Joy IIIs. However, they are still sold by other dealers (e.g. flea markets), or are resold at inflated prices.
Distribution in Italy
The Power Player Super Joy III was distributed via the Teleshopping channel Telemondo during the early 2000s advertised by telemarketer Roberto Artigiani, the console retailed for €69.99 plus a "small" unspecified shipping fee bringing the total cost to at least $76. The channel marketed the console towards a family audience claiming to be a "cheaper" and better alternative to other consoles on the market at the time despite lagging severally behind in terms of technical power and build quality, along with being significantly overpriced. Throughout the infomercial Artigiani attempts to compare the Super Joy III with the then new Playstation 3 and other current generation consoles to make the console look more modern by boasting about the Super Joy III's supposed 76,000 games, cheaper price, ease of use and "outstanding graphics". The infomercial also shows off gameplay of games such as Super Mario Bros, Contra, Yie Ar Kung-Fu, Tag Team Match: M.U.S.C.L.E., Tengen Tetris and Duck Hunt to exemplify just how many games the Super Joy III had to offer, although most gameplay of light-gun games shows just how inaccurate the packaged light-gun was in certain units. It is unknown whether Telemondo faced any legal action from Nintendo for the sale of the Super Joy III although they and Artigiani later went on to market and sell other Famiclones featuring pirated Nintendo games such as the Mega Power.
The Super Joy III comes in a colorful, yet somewhat generic box. The word "game" does not appear on any side, nor is there any text that would indicate what the unit actually does or what its features or capabilities are. The game count ("76000") on the front is in fact a gold sticker applied to the outside of the cardboard box, and it is ambiguous at first what this number actually means. The only information provided (cartridge capability, presence of internal games, etc.) is on a single small sheet of instructions, which are inside the shrink-wrapped inner portion of the packaging which would not be visible to the consumer until after the product is purchased and opened.
There are a number of scenes depicted on the front and back of the box, but all of them are artistic stylized drawings or retouched photos—none of them are actual game screenshots. The box end flap includes three illustrations of the main controller, one each in black, gray, and blue, with checkboxes next to each to indicate the contained color. The system was also available in red, however, which is not depicted on the box end flap even though it is the displayed color on the rear of the box. The rear of the box also shows a green light gun, whereas all of the available systems (red, black, gray, and blue) appear to have been shipped with a silver gun.
The original packaging in the US depicts a number of scenes depicted on the front and back of the boxes, but all of them are artistic stylized drawings or retouched photos—none of them are actual game screenshots. Most famously, an unlicensed still image from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace is featured on the front of the box.
The product is marked as having small parts, and being for age 3 and up.
Cartridge compatibility with Super Joy IIIs vary:
- Some models have a 60-pin cartridge slot that supports most cartridges designed for the Famicom. (May require trimming of the case plastic to allow cartridge insertion)
- Some models have a smaller size 68-pin cartridge slot, which occupies the space previously used for a battery pack 
- Some models have no external cartridge slot.
- Variations in games being built into the system board, or being in an external (removable) cartridge placed in the cartridge slot
- Most have a battery pack (4 AAs), which is omitted if the battery space is a cartridge slot.
- Has an AC adapter (DC9V, 350mA (Center Negative)).
- Has two RCA jacks for composite video and mono audio outputs.
The Super Joy has a number of known design or manufacturing issues:
- The battery pack (if included) is designed to fit four AA batteries, yet is often undersized slightly such that four AAs will not fit and the battery pack lid cannot be closed.
- The center terminal of the RCA video jack is only supported by a single solder connection on the circuit board, and can lift the trace off of the board when the plug is inserted. This causes a black or blue screen on the TV set, or an intermittent video signal, and is usually remedied by soldering a secondary wire to ensure that the electrical connection is continuous even if the contact moves or separates.
- Used Super Joys often have the non-functional center joystick broken off.
- Directional pads on the main controllers are fragile and often break.
- The reset button may not function on LCD TVs. The light gun will not work on most LCD TVs due to display latency.
- Some units overheat and melt during use.
- On version 3.0 of PPSJ, all these items duplicated themselves circa 1,000 times, hence the claim of 76,000 games when the true count is 76. Version 3.5's description is more accurate and only names every title once.
- In the games list, there is a message at the top that says "FUNTIME 76000 IN 1" or "FUNTIME 76 IN 1".
- Additional games can be played if a Famicom cartridge is inserted, or a NES cartridge is used with an adapter, although some hardware variants require the plastic housing to be trimmed to fit cartridges in the Famicom slot.
- Many of the game titles in the selection menu are abbreviated, misspelled, use alternate names, or are incorrect (e.g. Burgertime and Tekken). In this list, an effort has been made to use the proper name for the games, with the PPSJ menu name in parentheses for known differences.
- The menu selection sounds were taken from the famous unlicensed NES title, Action 52.
- When the system starts up, the words "FUN TIME" flash on the screen.
- In the games list there is a message at the top that also says "Fun Time" but instead says "Fun Time in 1".
- The screws on the back of the cartridge slot can change the built-in menu to have a different appearance and/or list. The available menus are 76,000 in 1, 76 in 1, 12,000 in 1, and 3 in 1 (which only features Nice Code Software).
Built-in games (from various units) include:
- 10-Yard Fight (listed as "10YF")
- Magic Carpet 1001 (listed as "ALADDIN III", and directly taken from the Caltron 6-in-1 cartridge)
- Antarctic Adventure (listed as "ANTARCTIC")
- Arkanoid (misspelled as "ARKONOID")
- Balloon Fight
- Battle City (In the ROM, the title screen says "Tank A 1990", "Tank M 1990", and "Tank N 1990"; in the game selection menu, it is manifoldly titled as "DESERT TANK", "SPEED TANK", and "ABRAMS TANK".)
- Binary Land (listed as "BINARY", and "BINARY LAND" or "BINARY & LAND")
- Bird Week
- Circus Charlie (listed as "TOY STORY", and "CIRCUS CHABLIE" or "CURCUS CHARLIE")
- City Connection
- Clay Shoot (listed as "CLAY SHOOTING") was actually part of Duck Hunt.
- Clu Clu Land
- Defender (listed as "DEFENDER II")
- Devil World
- Dig Dug (listed as "DIG DUG I")
- Door Door
- Donkey Kong, Jr. (listed as "DONKEY KONG 2" and "MONKEY")
- Donkey Kong, Jr. Math (listed as "CALCULATOR")
- Donkey Kong 3 (listed as "DONKEY KONG" or "KEYKONG 3")
- Duck Hunt (listed as "SNOWFIELD SHOOT" and "DUCK HUNT")
- Elevator Action (listed as "ELEVATOR")
- F-1 Race (listed as "F1 RACE" or "F-1 RACE")
- Field Combat (listed as "COMBAT")
- Formation Z
- Front Line
- Galaga (listed as "GALAGA" or "GALAZA")
- Gomoku Narabe (listed as "CHESS", and "FIVE CHESS" or "CHINESE CHESS")
- Raid on Bungeling Bay (listed as "HELICOPTER" or "RAID ON BAY")
- Hogan's Alley
- Ice Climber
- Ikki listed (as "KNIGHT")
- Karateka (wrongly listed as "TEKKEN")
- Lode Runner (listed as "LODE RUNNER 2")
- Lunar Pool (listed as "LUNAR BALL")
- M.U.S.C.L.E. (listed as "WWF")
- Magic Jewelry (listed as "JEWEL TETRIS")
- Mahjong Taikai (listed as "MAJUN2")
- Mario Bros. (listed as "MARIO BROS")
- Mappy (listed as "MICE LOVE CAT", "MAPPY", and incorrectly as "PACMAN")
- Mighty Bomb Jack (listed as "BOMB JACK")
- MotoRace USA (listed as "ZIPPY RACE")
- Ninja-kun: Majou no Bouken (listed as "NINJA I")
- Nuts & Milk (listed as "MILK & NUTS")
- Brush Roller (listed as "BRUSH ROLL" and "PAINTER")
- Pinball (listed as "PINBALL" or "PIN BALL")
- Road Fighter
- Slalom (listed as "SLACOM" or "SLALOM")
- Sky Destroyer
- Space Invaders (listed as "SPACE ET")
- Spartan X (listed as "SPARTANX"), more commonly known as Kung-Fu Master
- Soccer (listed as "FIFA SOCCER")
- Star Force
- Stargate (listed as "STAE GATE" or "STAR GATE")
- Super Arabian (listed as "ARABIAN")
- Super Contra
- Super Dimension Fortress Macross (listed as "MAXCROSS" or "MACROSS")
- Super Dyna'mix Badminton (listed as "SUPER DYNAMIX")
- Super Mario Bros. (listed as "SUPER MARIO")
- Super Soccer (listed as "SOCCER HEROES")
- Tetris: The Soviet Mind Game (listed as "TETRIS 2"), by Tengen
- Track & Field
- TwinBee (listed as "TWIN BEE")
- Urban Champion
- Warpman (listed as "WARPMAN", and wrongly as "BURGERTIME")
- Wild Gunman
- World Soccer
- Yie Ar Kung-Fu (listed as "KING OF FIGHTER" or "YIE AR KUNG FU" or "SPARTAN")
The Super Joy III was later succeeded by the Super Joy IV.
- The Super Joy III was alluded to in an IGN article from April of 1999 (indicating the console was on the market by that point), highlighting that it had become a "minor hit" in Hong Kong at the time. While not mentioned by name, the accompanying pictures seem to state "SUPER JOY III" and "Power Player" on their packaging. The article also mentions that multiple iterations had been produced at the time, with the earliest models not featuring a cartridge slot or lightgun.
- St. Paul Pioneer Press (January 20, 2005) Knockoff games allegedly sold at mall. Section: Local; Page B6
- St. Paul Pioneer Press (April 5, 2005) Man pleads guilty in pirated game sales. Section: Local; Page B3
- Business Wire (April 15, 2005) Nintendo Applauds the FBI — Four Arrested for Allegedly Distributing Pirated Nintendo Products. (Wayback Machine)
- St. Paul Pioneer Press (November 19, 2005) Man gets five years in video game fraud. Section: LOCAL; Page 5B
- strange superjoy 3 (miniature 68-pin connector in battery pack slot location) - Ben Heck Forums
- "Piracy in Hong Kong" - IGN
- Power Player Super Joy III on Vidgame.net (Wayback Machine)
- Review on the Power Player Super Joy System
- Italian Power Player Super Joy Infomercial featuring Roberto Artigiani
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