The NES Classic shaped up to be one of the hottest selling entertainment items this holiday season. Systems were sold out everywhere, which wasn’t very surprising considering Nintendo’s (rumored) strategy of creating an artificial scarcity with their new releases. The NES Classic is a miniaturized version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System released in the mid 1980’s. Unlike the original system which required bulky cartridges for each title, the NES Classic is both smaller and completely digital – eliminating the need for external games since they’re built right in! The revamp launched with 30 pre-installed games, featuring many of the most iconic Nintendo titles such as The Legend of Zelda, PacMan, Metroid, and of course – Super Mario Bros.
While the NES Classic boasts an impressive line up of titles and negates the need for external cartridges, there are over 700 officially licensed games that released over the life of the system. The lack of the ability to play titles outside of the limited 30 game release has frustrated some gamers, leading to an inventive and creative hacking / modding scene. This past week, two different modders have reported that they have successfully added ROMs of extra games and expanded the small offering the system offers by default. One modder was Japanese, meaning that the process may not be possible in other regions, but Russian modder Madmoney has released a tool and instructions that apparently work worldwide.
It should be noted that the modding scene for the NES Classic is incredibly young and these hacks and modifications are relatively untested. If you do decide to try to mod your system, do so knowing that you risk “bricking” (i.e. destroying) your system in the process. That said, many players are reporting that the process, while relatively complicated, works as intended. A plus side to the hack is the ability to add games directly to the game library and even choose custom artwork. The fact that the modification works and blends added titles seamlessly into the lineup of official games definitely makes the new games feel a little more like a legitimate inclusion.
The NES Classic is available for $59.99 at most major retailers, though you may have trouble getting your hands on it due to the high demand!