With the SNES Classic about to hit shelves a mere 10 months after the massively successful NES Classic, there have been some questions as to how Nintendo has managed such a quick turnaround for its new mini-console. The answer, it appears, lies in what’s underneath the hood of the system, as the Big N has cleverly re-purposed the exact same technology used for the NES Classic.
Initial suspicions that Nintendo had retained the same hardware arose after Eurogamer noticed a number of design similarities between the SNES Classic and NES Classic, such as the same controller interface, same HDMI and USB placements, and very similar UI and system behavior. After opening up the console, Eurogamer’s suspicions were confirmed as it was discovered that both platforms use the same internal hardware, with the mainboards looking almost identical bar some superficial modifications.
The difference between the two mini-consoles lies with the bespoke Super NES emulation software, which not only emulates the SNES itself but also adds emulation functionality for a number of add-on processors specific to certain titles, such as the Super FX and Super FX2 chips used for Star Fox, Star Fox 2, and Yoshi’s Island. Hardware-wise, this is a smart move from Nintendo, as it not only helped cut down development time of the console, but costs are also kept in check through the use of the same internal mainboard.
Having said that, the fact that the SNES and NES Classic use the same hardware means that a number of implications are brought up. Given how hackers have managed to exploit the NES Classic in order to add new games and even emulation software for other consoles, the identical hardware used in the SNES Classic means that the new console will likely become an easily exploitable target for hackers.
It’s not all bad news, though. The use of almost identical technology means that Nintendo will have a much easier time resuming production of both consoles, not to mention the potential cost savings of using the same mainboard. Given how the Big N recently announced that the NES Classic will be returning in 2018 and that production of the SNES Classic will continue into next year, the discovery that both platforms use the same hardware means only good news for gamers who are still looking to get their hands on a mini-console.
The SNES Classic Edition is set to release on September 29, 2017.