The NES Classic Edition, which was a miniature remake of the 1985 Nintendo Entertainment System, was released to the market in November of last year. And despite its popularity and overall success, there was one particular defect to the device. That is, only 3 preinstalled games could be played - nothing more and nothing less.
But as TechCrunch notes, one hacking group has jumped over this hurdle. The hack first appeared in the forums of GBX, a Russian retro gaming community. A YouTube video was posted that showcased step-by-step instructions. The publication goes on to state that other NES Classic Edition owners have since tried the hack and have correspondingly succeeded in the same.
The NES Classic Edition is - other than its size - visually similar to the original Nintendo Entertainment System. But it does not connect to WiFi like most modern game consoles, nor does the cartridge act as more than a visual effect. Getting more games into the console, as much as a necessity it seems to be, was not meant to be a possibility.
The hack is therefore not a simple one and it requires some level of technical know-how. Interested individuals will need to know how to boot the Linux-based NES into FEL mode, as well as hack the kernel and then inject the ROM files - which in itself requires a special tool. There is more to the process than just that, but an everyday person is not advised to touch the NES Classic Edition without any help. The device is hard enough to acquire, without breaking it open.
There is more risk, as well, since not all games - or emulators - will be compatible with the NES Classic Edition. The publication gives the example of "Blaster Master," which is not included in the pre-installed roster. And because the game and its emulator were not properly tested and may therefore not work with each other. Each added game is a 50/50 chance. But then there is the question of where to get these emulators as well.
And of course, the warranty of the unit does not cover hacking. So if the anything does go wrong with the unit, Nintendo will not fix or replace the NES Classic Edition, which is already hard to get a hold of. When it all boils down to the fact, hacking into the retro game console is a decision that has to be made with caution and gusto.
As Business Insider notes, at least one hacker has successfully uploaded upwards of 50 games to the NES Mini -- for a total of 80+ games. The payoff really is extreme, as all the features of the console still work, including the safe extension. The only hurdle is technical knowledge or knowing someone with technical knowledge.
The NES Classic Edition comes pre-installed with 30 of the most beloved retro games, including "Donkey Kong," "Final Fantasy," "The Legend Of Zelda" and several "Mario" titles. But with the hundreds of NES titles out there, the recent hack was only a matter of time. On retail, the console costs only US$60.