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NES Classic Edition can run other console emulators

The NES Classic Edition can be turned into a versatile retro gaming console. (Source: Nintendo)
The NES Classic Edition can be turned into a versatile retro gaming console. (Source: Nintendo)
Ever wanted to play Sega Genesis/Megadrive games on a Nintendo console? A recent mod for the NES Classic Edition makes this dream a reality.

There’s no doubt that Nintendo’s NES Classic Edition has been a runaway success for the Japanese gaming giant. Nostalgia is a good motivator to move sales, especially in the gaming world. The miniature console is like a walk down memory lane for those that grew up with the gray box sitting under their TVs. Now, thanks to the efforts of some ingenious tinkerers, that nostalgia trip can expand beyond the 30 NES games included with the Classic Edition.

Upon release, the Classic Edition met with some criticism concerning the inability to add games beyond the 30 titles preloaded on the console. However, recent hacks have opened up the ability to load more NES titles on the device. This is done through software known as Hakchi, which opens up the file system of the Classic Edition so that files can be added or deleted. Some industrious individuals have taken this a step further and loaded custom software onto the console.

Once Hakchi is put on the Classic Edition, a modded version of RetroArch can be loaded. RetroArch acts as an emulation hub; essentially, it’s a shell that can run a variety of “cores,” or emulators. These cores can read game files for their respective console, allowing users to play everything from the Atari 2600 up to the Nintendo 64. The RetroArch mod includes the following emulators:

  • fceumm (NES)

  • nestopia (NES, Famicom Disk System)

  • snes9x2010 (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)

  • gambatte_libretro (Game Boy and Game Boy Color)

  • mednafen_gba (Game Boy Advance)

  • genesis_plus_gx (Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega Megadrive)

  • mupen64plus (Nintendo 64)

For retro gamers hoping to load and play additional games on the Classic Edition, be warned. The process to load any additional games or software is pretty intensive and could damage or brick the console. Needless to say, these hacks will also void the warranty. Still, it could be fun to play Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog on one of the most popular Nintendo consoles of all time.

A video showing gameplay footage and performance is below.


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Sam Medley, 2017-02-22 (Update: 2017-02-22)