Nintendo Entertainment System Hacks.
July 29, 2008 3:17 AM   Subscribe

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was the most popular console of the 80s but the unstoppable march of time and the introduction of more advanced 16 bit consoles inevitably ensured its demise. But you can't keep a good console down and now it's back, thanks to the work of some dedicated mods out there. But it's not quite how you remembered it. I mean, I don't remember the NES ever coming in the form of a belt, do you? Or a coffee table, for that matter. Those insane NES hackers have even gone and put an NES in an NES cartridge. There's also an NES in an NES controller, an NES in a lightgun, a wooden NES, an NES alarm clock, an NES wallet or finally, an NES guitar. Want to see more? Check this out.
posted by Effigy2000 (22 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
I had a G4 Cube that I planned to put a Mac Mini into, but I had to leave it in Philadelphia. Still, the NES Mac Mini looks like a fun replacement.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:29 AM on July 29, 2008

I was a Sega Mega Drive kid myself. Go Sonic!
(That link brings back some memories of primary school sleepovers...)
posted by e-state 4.0 at 3:39 AM on July 29, 2008

On piratebowling's PixelStitchery site, she has an excellent embroidery of an NES controller.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 5:10 AM on July 29, 2008

Oh man. I'm gonna need to find my old system. It's time to get a-moddin'.
posted by twirlypen at 5:28 AM on July 29, 2008

There HAS to be something on Think Geek!
posted by TikiGiki at 5:50 AM on July 29, 2008

posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:41 AM on July 29, 2008


if I told you I still use a powermac G4 cube, would you be jealous or would you shudder and bury your face in your hands?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 6:43 AM on July 29, 2008

Just give me a working NES, and I'll be happy.
posted by aftermarketradio at 6:57 AM on July 29, 2008

The coffee table is the best thing ever. Want!
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:02 AM on July 29, 2008

Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start !
posted by p3t3 at 7:05 AM on July 29, 2008

Hah it was "select, start" I think for 2 player games...been so long but that stuff sticks with ya for life.
posted by samsara at 7:22 AM on July 29, 2008

Dudes, c'mon - Genesis does what Nintendon't
posted by porn in the woods at 7:23 AM on July 29, 2008

You can also use them to make 8-bit music and become popular enough to play at the Kennedy Center. ( YMCK kicks arse )
posted by zap rowsdower at 7:39 AM on July 29, 2008

if I told you I still use a powermac G4 cube, would you be jealous or would you shudder and bury your face in your hands?

I'd be jealous! Those old cubes are beautiful...
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:29 AM on July 29, 2008

YMCK's music is indeed cool. But they use VST Plugins, not actual NES hardware. If you're an 8-bit purist, you'll need one of these. Then you may also want to get into some hardcore hardware mods like modding the NES for stereo sound.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 8:35 AM on July 29, 2008

There's also a plugin for Firefox called FireNES that allows you to play NES roms right in your browser window.
posted by daHIFI at 8:45 AM on July 29, 2008

TechnoLustLuddite, I just got my midiNES last week. It's every bit as awesome as it should be. I'll be checking out your mods links later, thanks for those.

/glows with pride of ownership
posted by lekvar at 9:35 AM on July 29, 2008

@aftermarketradio: It's apparently ridiculously easy to fix your old NES.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 10:45 AM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]

First I thought it was just weirdness in the FPP, but then I saw it in people's comments to, so I have to ask: "an NES"?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:52 AM on July 29, 2008

Watching the video for the NES belt buckle link, I noticed two things that make me suspicious. First, there's a big jump cut from the guy walking up to the television, and actually playing SMB. Second, there is some sprite flicker going on with some of the goombas. While I can never ever remember seeing sprite flicker when playing SMB on my childhood NES, I distinctly recall downloading SMB for the Wii and wondering why random sprites would flicker. Granted, I've never played an original NES on an LCD tv, but I can't think of anything about that combination that would cause random sprite flicker. I'm not saying that the NES belt buckle couldn't work, but that video looks faked to me. Also, there was something fishy about the JFK assassination.

Jokim Ziegler
"an NES"?

Yes, an en-ee-ess.
posted by owtytrof at 12:06 PM on July 29, 2008

Cool post. And yeah, replacing the 72 pin connector in a flaky NES is really easy and will revitalize your system. Just make sure you clean your carts too, otherwise you'll ruin your nice new connector. You can buy a kit off Ebay that has a new 72-pin connector, the security bit to open carts and cleaning ointments and unguents. Just try cleaning a cart with the old Q-tip and alcohol method, then open it up and see what a crappy job that actually does.

The "NES on a chip" has enabled some very cool hacks. Like this "Portendo." And did you know that a lot of the el-cheapo NES ripoff games that you can still find at flea markets (and you used to find at malls before Nintendo cracked down on them) use Famicom 60 pin connectors in their cart slot? That means that for about 5 bucks you can buy a 60-72 pin converter and plug original NES carts into the cheapo knockoffs. (Like this for example). And then maybe hook it up to one of these. Endless possibilities!
posted by Otis at 12:57 PM on July 29, 2008

Yeah, thirding the new 72-pin connector. $10 + 5 minutes with a screwdriver = brand new NES. If the problem is a lack of any NES whatsoever, I see them selling, reconditioned and guaranteed, for $50 all the time. A good deal for your entertainment dollar.
posted by lekvar at 1:08 PM on July 29, 2008

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