It took long enough, but patience paid off – I got an NES Classic Edition. Oh, sure, it isn’t something many people are talking about anymore, but it’s still an item fetching high prices on eBay and Amazon, and since it isn’t in stores at all anymore, well, you’re hard pressed to get one if you didn’t already. I was lucky enough to have someone I know want to sell theirs to me for cheap.
So, the question you’re probably wondering is, did I mod it? The answer is of course, yes. The process is pretty trivial, as shown in this article, and allows you to throw a vast majority of NES games, both licensed and unlicensed titles, so long as they don’t use uncommon hardware in their original forms – the emulation system inside the NES Classic only supports so much hardware, and can’t handle some later, more complex games.
As I said, the process was quite easy, and has been updated since the above article was made – there are now methods to put additional emulators for SNES and Genesis games as well as NES games on the system. Hell, there is even a Linux distro for it, but that’s not what we are discussing here. The fact that you can have an HDMI based custom little box to play NES games that you enjoy is pretty awesome.
The system is what it is – while you can do more with it, I generally try to keep my usage of these kinds of things pretty basic, so I’ll probably just stick to NES / Famicom games for the foreseeable future.
It is worth mentioning that the system does have some odd quirks – it has “epilepsy protection” which causes some types of colored flashing to be slowed down to protect those who have photosensitive seizures. This casues some elements of games to not display correctly, which is somewhat noticeable in the built in games, but is very easy to notice in games like Captain Skyhawk, if added on via modding – a rainbow explosion when an enemy base is destroyed will become a slowed, blurred mess rather than flash as normal. This actually makes the game unplayable in some sections, but thankfully this is a feature you can turn off when modding.
There is a slight audio lag in the system, for some reason, and it’s something no one has quite figured out. It’s slightly annoying, and it seems to be rather random between system owners, TV’s, and all, but regardless it is something that is present in the console and is just odd.
Beyond that I don’t have much commentary on the console after about a day of ownership. As it was it would have been a good enough little box, but in being able to be modded it becomes something so much more awesome, for a person who can enjoy classic NES games and the like.
It is worth mentioning though that the NES library is, quite honestly, pretty damned boring. Just keep that in mind before you go paying $100+ for one in the hopes of modding it and having 700 games on it: You probably won’t play many of those games, and the ones you try you probably won’t actually enjoy.
Still, at the core, this little thing isn’t too bad at all. That’s about all I can say about it.