by Graham Pierrepoint
The SNES Classic Mini console was released to critical and audience fanfare recently, with its release having quietly crept up for a nice little late summer unleash for fans of all things retro and old school. The system celebrates the best that the early 90s home console had to offer, with a big library of around 21 titles to get stuck into. Among the games, of course, include big hits from the Mario and Zelda franchises, along with cult favorites such as Super Punch-Out and even the first-ever Starfox title. Beyond this, however, it was only a matter of time before the Mini was going to get hacked – and it seems that illegal versions of the console are already swamping sites such as eBay.
It’s been reported that a hack of the SNES Mini has enabled around 75% of existing emulated games for the console to be working fine on the hardware – and that NES titles may well be operating fine, too. This is big news for any gamers looking to beef up the debut library of games that the Mini launches with – with over 500 different games having been released for the system worldwide during its lifetime, it’s not surprising that so many would-be modders are keen to get their mitts on a bigger selection of games – though it is somewhat bizarre that Nintendo isn’t mounting a piracy crackdown of sorts.
What it does mean, however, is that modded Minis with built in ROMs and games are selling for well over the odds through eBay and other platforms. Nintendo has outright advised would-be buyers to avoid spending over the recommended retail price for the machine, modded or otherwise, on the grounds that they will be focusing on ensuring that the console meets demands for the months to come. The NES Classic Mini took just about everyone by surprise – it was a genuine sleeper his towards the end of 2016 and, as a result, it’s become something of a collector’s item thanks to its production run ceasing entirely.
The SNES Classic Mini has emerged as an alternative way for gamers to play much-loved games from Nintendo’s past without having to shell out to buy the original games outright, and without having to make use of illegal ROMs, or emulated versions, of those initial classics. Whether it will revolutionize classic gaming for good or not – who knows – but demand is still huge.