Your NES classic can run the SNES Mini games, and (probably) vice versa
The SNES Mini is not officially out yet, but multiple people, including hackers, have managed to get their hands on Nintendo’s hot device (or, in some cases, its firmware) ahead of time.
The most exciting discovery so far is that the hardware of the SNES Mini is very, very close to that of the NES Mini. As a matter of fact, except for a few differences, they run on identical hardware.
Minor updates to the popular NES Mini hacking tool hackchi2 have allowed hacker madmonkey1907 to run the SNES Mini firmware on a NES Mini. (Update: madmonkey1907 has stated he did not use Hackchi2 to do this.)
You read that right, it is possible to run those SNES games and the full SNES Mini firmware on your existing NES Mini. And it should be pretty much doable now, assuming you know where to get the SNES Mini dump (which we won’t link to here for obvious reasons).
There is no reason to believe the opposite wouldn’t be doable (running the NES Mini firmware and games on an SNES Mini), although the few public attempts to do it so far have failed. Obviously, with so few people who actually have the hardware in their hands, it feels like it’s only a matter of time before this becomes possible.
In general I feel this is great news, simply because Nintendo have made these devices pretty hard to acquire. So those of us who did not manage to get a NES Classic (or conversely those who could not grab an SNES but already have the NES classic), will have opportunities to play the games from the other console if they want to.
At a personal level, I’m excited with the idea of buying a Mini Super Famicom here in Japan, and put the US or EU rom onto it. Not that I don’t like the idea of playing the games in Japanese, but the list of EU/US games appeal more to my own nostalgia.
ClusterM is already busy working on hackchi2 to ensure it will work for SNES Mini users as soon as possible. With a large community from the NES classic being able to jump from day 1 into the internals of a very similar device, there’s no question that modding the SNES mini will be doable very early. Some people are already talking of the possibility to dual boot the two firmwares on a single device, and more exciting mods.
Last but not least, ClusterM revealed that Nintendo have left a nice message for tinkerers inside the SNES classic. What a nice gesture!
Enjoy this Mini,
Disconnect from the present, and
Go back to the nineties.
Of course, for many of us, the biggest challenge will be to actually find a place that sells the SNES Mini…
For those wanting to know more on the progress of SNES Mini hacking, this thread on reddit has been pretty good on details.