Mini SNES Hacking Is Moving Rapidly

Mini SNES Hacking Is Moving Rapidly
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The Mini SNES has been out only a week and already there are videos circulating about how to add your own games. Like the Mini NES before it, this new retro device seems prime for emulation, and progress is moving very fast.

Image via Skullator

There’s no way to officially add new Super Nintendo games to the SNES Classic, an $119.95 box that comes with 20 old games and the previously unreleased Star Fox 2. While people would certainly be willing to dish out extra cash for games such as Chrono Trigger or Illusion of Gaia, Nintendo hasn’t made it an option. So if you want a beefier library, you’ll need to get hacking.

Last week, Digital Foundry discovered that the SNES Classic’s guts are very similar to the NES Classic’s, which means it has a lot of hacking potential.

Back when the NES Classic launched, modders created a popular tool called Hakchi2 that allowed tech-savvy users to load their system up with ROMs. Because the SNES Classic is so similar, those modders are already making huge progress on a new version of Hakchi2 for the mini-Super Nintendo.

There’s already an unofficial build of Hakchi2 floating around, but savvy modders recommend staying away unless you have a good grasp on Python and the SNES Classic’s hardware.

If you’re feeling dangerous, YouTuber Skullator has a video walkthrough of how to use this build. Just be warned: You might brick your console.

Cluster, the developer of Hakchi2, says the official SNES version is almost ready for beta testing, so it shouldn’t be long before there’s a safer, more reliable way to hack SNES Classics. (Although of course there’s always some risk when it comes to modding hardware like this.)

It’s really too bad Nintendo didn’t add a store to this thing, because I’d love to support and officially buy games like Actraiser and Lufia 2. Since that’s not even an option, I might just wind up playing around with mods. (Cut to: Two weeks from now. New Kotaku article by Jason Schreier: “Oops, I Somehow Bricked My SNES Classic.”)


  • At least if you brick your SNES Classic there is a fair chance you can pick up another. My local JB had 3 out on the counter for sale when I was on Thursday.

      • Did mine the other night. It was super simple. Had to throw Hakchi on my C: (I had it on a network drive) before the USB driver would install but otherwise it was a piece of cake.

  • Now we can get the Unirally we need. Also PAL ROMs, because it’s not nostalgia without the games of my childhood 😛

    • unfortunately your childhood was tainted by slower performing ports of original games. i am finally happy to be playing mario kart, mario world, super metroid etc. at the speed they were supposed to run at rather than our compromised arguably easier versions we got.
      some of my mario kart times are already quicker than my cartridge original.
      comparing them side by side would have been interesting though 🙂
      yes to unirally though 🙂 my cartridge’s battery died so i cant retain any scores in it anymore 🙁

      • If it’s anything like replacing the battery in a Gameboy cartridge, it’s actually super easy to do with a steady pair of hands…

      • I’ve briefly heard about this once before.

        What happened? why are pal version slower? and what do you mean by slower?

        • NTSC runs at 60Hz, PAL runs at 50Hz. A lot of games were programmed to run on CPU cycles rather than delta time, so the lower frequency actually causes them to run some ~17% slower. It can be just the actual game speed, but it can also affect the pitch of sounds too. Mario speaks at a much lower pitch in the PAL version of Mario 64 than the NTSC one, it was quite funny when a Mario voice impersonation contest came up – we had this guy come in and go on about how mine was way too low (and therefore I should be disqualified or something, idk). Turned out I was just imitating the PAL-slowdown version I remembered from when I was younger 😛

      • To me those are the ones that are “tainted” 😛
        But I spent the first 20 odd years of my life completely unaware they or that difference existed, so it’s no problem to me.

        Besides, when it comes to things like Battletoads we actually ended up with a superior version, with fixed bugs etc.

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