Hackers discover a way to install emulation software on the NES Classic Edition that allows it to play Sega Genesis, Game Boy, and Super Nintendo games.
The NES Classic Edition has proven to be a major success for Nintendo, with the console sold out at retailers worldwide and selling 1.5 million units at last count. The console’s popularity can be attributed not only to the 30 classic NES games built into it, but also to hacks that have allowed owners to greatly expand its library. Now hackers have expanded the NES Classic Edition library yet again, making it possible to play games from numerous systems on the device.
According to a report by Nintendo Life, hackers have made it possible to install RetroArch software on the NES Classic Edition. With RetroArch installed, it’s possible for NES Classic Edition owners to play Sega Genesis games, in addition to titles from the Game Boy and Super Nintendo. The RetroArch hack essentially turns the NES Classic Edition into a retro gaming juggernaut, but since it relies on ROMs, its legality is questionable at best.
Even though hacking the NES Classic Edition to play ROMs of retro games may be illegal, it’s likely that many owners of the system will make the effort to modify their console to do just that. Widespread piracy could end up being a fairly big problem for the NES Classic Edition if hacks like these continue to be popular, and could influence whether or not Nintendo decides to re-release some of its other older home video game consoles.
Then again, the fact that it’s possible to hack the NES Classic Edition to play games from other system libraries, like the Sega Genesis, in addition to other NES games, could be a major selling point for some consumers. It could even be part of the reason why the NES Classic Edition is selling six times as fast as the Wii U.
On the other hand, the ease at which people have been hacking the NES Classic Edition and adding more games to its library could be detrimental to Nintendo’s other business ventures. For example, Nintendo is expected to bring its Virtual Console service to the Nintendo Switch, but if gamers already have free access to classic Nintendo games on the NES Classic Edition, they may not be tempted to pay for them on the new system.
Moving forward, it will be interesting to see if Nintendo takes any steps to combat piracy and other hacks that have been released for the system, like the home button hack. While hacking may be an issue it addresses in the future, it seems like Nintendo is just trying to enjoy the NES Classic Edition’s incredible success for now, and ship as many units to retailers as possible.
NES Classic Edition is available now.