NES Classic Edition: Hackers tweak mini NES to emulate titles from SNES, Game Boy

| Feb 13, 2017 12:06 AM EST

A hacker has tweaked Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition so the retro console plays titles from SNES, Sega Genesis, and Game Boy.

Nintendo's NES Classic Edition has become a popular device for hackers who want to play more than the retro console's 30 built-in games. Since the North American launch of the NES mini console in November 2016 it has been tweaked to play an expanded game library and run a custom version of the Ubuntu operating system. A YouTube user also just hacked the console so it emulates games for classic consoles including SNES, Sega Genesis, Game Boy, and Game Boy Advance.

The hack was done by the YouTube user Soulctcher. It runs the computer program RetroArch that allows players to access video games from several old-school consoles including SNK Corporation's Neo Geo.

The RetroArch compile for the NES Classic hack was built by the hacker madmonkey.  It was first posted on  Reddit but later transferred to a gaming community site.

A "bash" (Unix shell) script lunches RetroArch via shortcuts for NES, SNES, and MegaDrive cores, according to Auto World News. The RetroArch compile uses the Hakchi2 app and includes instructions to use it.

GitHub user ClusterM developed Hakchi2 in January. It allows mini NES users to switch between different games without pushing the reset button.

The app includes a shortcut to get back to the home screen. Gamers have to press down and the Select button at the same time. This ends the need to press the Reset button to load a suspend point or change games.

Some industry experts have been claiming hackers would tweak NES Classic Edition. The retro system only includes 30 games. That figure is an Infinitesimal percentage of the over 700 official titles launched for the original NES/Famicom console.  

Nintendo could have added an online shop feature to the mini NES so owners could buy extra games. This would have helped to prevent hacks.

A similar case involved Sony's PlayStation 3. When PS3 ended Linux support it added new limits to the gaming system and encouraged hackers to find security holes, according to Forbes.

The Nintendo Switch, meanwhile, will try to prevent hacks. It will be region-free, which will help to reduce the need for tweaks to de-regionize it. The Japanese gaming giant could also open up the Nintendo eShop's  Virtual Console.

Here are suggestions for the SNES Classic Edition:

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