The popularity of the re-released Nintendo Entertainment System took the gaming community by storm. The nostalgia that drove sales quickly saw the video game system sellout with a lingering demand for more. For those that got their hands on the NES Classic, the little retro console only whet the appetite for vintage video games. The throwback console has been hacked in order to expand the game roster on the system and continue to feed those feelings of nostalgia.
While the NES Classic was unpredictably popular, it had a short list of criticisms. Fortune notes one of the central criticisms was the limits of the video game library that was programmed into the console. The device was intended to be a standalone product without further expansion or additions. As such, some hackers took it upon themselves to expand the gaming console’s existing offerings by making modifications of their own.
Digital Trends reports that the mini Nintendo Entertainment System was expected to be difficult to tamper with. In contrast, the ability to run a custom build on Ubuntu provided reassurance that making changes to the hot ticket item was going to be less challenging than feared. As a result, it is expected that the current roster of games can be expanded from 30 to 60 titles. Video demonstrations have already been posted in effort to prove the successful operation of the Nintendo Entertainment System Classic’s additions.
According to Kotaku, a hacker using the handle of madmonkey posted instructions on how to manipulate the NES Classic. The method includes opening a specific save file on the Super Mario Bros. title, connecting the console to a computer through USB, and making modifications while operating in a special mode of function. The hacking mod is known as “hakchi” and it would essentially allow ROM files to be added to the NES Classic console.
Shortly after the original hack, additional attempts to circumvent the NES Classic have surfaced. Kotaku credits a user called Cluster with developing an improvement to the “hakchi” modification with a tool dubbed “hakchi2” The new tool would simplify the process of adding games by copying the original NES data and allowing a rewrite on the console hardware after the desired changes have been made. In addition, Digital Trends recognizes Japanese hackers, known as Honeylabs, for their success in using an SD card reader to introduce further changes.
These recent hacking exploits will no doubt have many gamers looking for ways to expand upon their current nostalgia trip. However, many sources add a word of caution. Altering the fundamental programming of consoles is not recommended for those unsure of what they are doing because of the changes involved in the fundamental programming. Though largely considered false positives at this time, programs have set off virus detection software.
Let us know what you think. Are you open to a little modification to extend the mileage of your NES Classic or are you perfectly content with Nintendo’s pre-selected batch of games? Sound off in the comments and share your thoughts.
By Chris Hansen
Photo Courtesy Nintendo