Nintendo's NES Classic hacked to hold more games

Hardware modders have found a way to add more games to the Mini NES.

Sean Hollister Senior Editor / Reviews
When his parents denied him a Super NES, he got mad. When they traded a prize Sega Genesis for a 2400 baud modem, he got even. Years of Internet shareware, eBay'd possessions and video game testing jobs after that, he joined Engadget. He helped found The Verge, and later served as Gizmodo's reviews editor. When he's not madly testing laptops, apps, virtual reality experiences, and whatever new gadget will supposedly change the world, he likes to kick back with some games, a good Nerf blaster, and a bottle of Tejava.
Sean Hollister
Sarah Tew/CNET

Nintendo's hard-to-find $60 mini-NES Classic Edition only comes with 30 games, with no official way to add more.

Emphasis on the word "official," because hackers in Japan and Russia have found a way to add more games -- though it's not strictly legal.

Here's a video showing an NES Classic with nearly 60 games loaded into its onboard storage, including missing fan favorites like Battletoads, River City Ransom and the original Mega Man.

The hack apparently doesn't even require a screwdriver. According to a guide by Russian modder madmonkey (via Ars Technica), all you need is a Micro-USB cable, a PC, a high tolerance for the possibility of malware and a willful disregard for the law -- because transferring your games this way isn't legal, even if you own the original cartridges. (Open-source games designed for the NES may be a different story.)

That said, the hack is proof that Nintendo's NES Classic Edition/Mini is more capable than we originally thought. Don't be surprised if the company releases followup versions with different game libraries at some point in the future.

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