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Hackers crack SNES Classic to add more games and features

Hook the Linux-powered Nintendo mini-console up to your PC to add new games and background images.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The new SNES Classic from Nintendo is a fantastic retro gaming device, offering 21 classic games for $80 (£80 or AU$120), all packed inside a mini console reproduction, complete with two wired controllers. But that's down from the 30 games included with last year's original NES Classic, and it still doesn't include a lot of favorites.

Fortunately, the SNES Classic, like its predecessor, is basically a Nintendo emulator built on a Linux foundation, so it's not impossible to hack. Last year, a programmer named ClusterM uploaded a program called hakchi2 to software repository Github, which allowed gamers to add their own ROMs (in this context, software packages containing versions of classic games) to the NES Classic. Now, the program has been updated to add SNES Classic support.

SNES Classic Edition

Sarah Tew/CNET

The process is a bit involved and not for amateurs, but it essentially requires connecting the SNES Classic to a Windows PC via the console's micro-USB port and running the hakchi2 software. Besides adding new games, you can also add custom background images, which dress up the sides of the screen when playing classic games designed for older 4:3 aspect ratio screens.

Note that not all ROMs work, and there are memory and save game storage issues to contend with. A Reddit channel is dedicated to hacking and modding the console and may be able to provide additional context.

And while hacking your SNES Classic is moderately difficult, actually finding one of these highly sought after consoles may be even harder.