SNES Classic is Getting Hacked

If you’ve managed to get your hands on one of the SNES Classics which have just released, you’re probably having a ball right now.

But did you know that already you can hack the thing and start loading ROMs on it? Yes, it’s been made official, nothing in this world is sacred anymore.

Nah, I kid. But seriously, you get a box with 20 classic Nintendo titles, including Star Fox II, the thing of a thousand legends since the nineties, and that’s not good enough for you? At least test the water before you start filling the tub more, that’s what I say.

So it didn’t take long for super haxers to figure out that the SNES Classic has many similarities with the NES Classic which released last year to brilliant acclaim. So, the program that was previously used for the NES Classic, Hakchi2, only needs to be modified so much before it’s ready to be used on this years SNES Classic. In fact, there actually is an early version floating around in the depths of the internets, but it’s kinda complicated, there’s some Python, and you might brick your system. And since these are limited edition to being with, it might be a good move to just calm down and wait for the official version to come out, you have plenty of games at your disposal, hours of entertainment already there. Use it.

But you know what’s interesting about all this, the fact that essentially what Nintendo made here is an emulation box. Something small, nostalgic, and just powerful enough to play classic Nintendo titles. And you know why people are so adamant about hacking the thing, it’s not because they want to play the games themselves, they want to play the games while using a console that looks just like the original did, though scaled down a bit. It’s a novelty thing, it always has been, people are just trying to take it to another level, and instead of doing it on a computer with a USB SNES pad, they’re getting the closes they can to having an authentic Nintendo experience. Which is great, except it really conflicts with the idea behind the whole thing.

Nintendo is creating these consoles for the fans who’ve been with them since the beginning. This is definitely a nostalgia trip for the children of the eighties and nineties, but the fundamental concept behind the entire thing relies on the console being self-contained and, most important of all, limited. If Nintendo created a system that was open source and connected it to an online virtual console service, it wouldn’t be a novelty item anymore, it would be a full-fledged Nintendo console. The beauty of the Classic line of consoles is that they are reminiscent of a time long past, something that should be treasured and cherished like anything. Art should remain true to the artist’s vision, instead of handing it to a three-year-old to draw with crayons all over it. It may not be the original console, but sort of a restoration. It should be treated the same.

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