Nintendo’s NES Classic console was one of the biggest surprises of the 2016 holiday season, selling a staggering 200,000 units in November alone. That’s more NES Classics flying off the shelves than Wii Us.
For a small box running a proprietary Nintendo Entertainment System emulator pre-packaged with 30 games, it’s very impressive. But the limitation of only 30 games is frustrating for some players. Why not more? And that’s exactly the question that has grown into a budding hacking/modding scene.
Within the past week, two different modders have reportedly hacked the NES Classic to play additional games beyond what’s included on the console. One modder is from Japan, meaning his work is done on a Japanese Famicon version of the console and will require additional work to see if the process also works for the NES Classic. Nevertheless, modder honeylabs released his custom tools and instructions to load edited game ROMs two days ago. Whether the process works for the NES Classic, however, was never solved – but for a good reason.
One day ago Russian modder Madmonkey released his own version of the NES Classic hack, along with the tool to edit ROMs into a playable state. While the process takes a bit of work, users from various online communities are already confirming that the hack works. The best part is that the hack otherwise maintains the original GUI of the NES Classic, allowing owners to simply add the new games to the scrolling list. It even allows hackers to customize the game art associated with each game.
It must be reiterated that the modding scene for the NES Classic is extremely nascent. Modders attempting to alter their console risk “bricking” the platform, rendering it inoperable. More than that, because methods of modding are so new, it’s easy for other modders and hackers to co-opt the code and produce software that can infect PCs with viruses. Within the past 24-hours a simplified version of Madmonkey’s modding tool has been released named hakchi2 that’s been shown to include a virus.
For those who already own an NES Classic Edition, it’s hard to argue that the 30 games included are some of the best games available on the platform. For some, though, a few important games are missing and the possibility of adding more is too good of an opportunity to pass up. Either way, it’s rather exciting that Nintendo’s released a console in 2016 that gives players the opportunity to play all of these great NES classic titles on their HD TVs.
The NES Classic Edition is available now, though still in short supply on store shelves, for the price for $59.99.