NES Classic Gets Cracked and New Titles Added

Russian hackers crack the NES Classic Edition's security to add new games and homebrew titles.


The NES Classic is just a Linux-based microcomputer, so it's not surprising that it's finally been cracked to play new games and homebrew titles. Hackers in Russian retro gaming community GBX posted a step-by-step on how to circumvent the NES Classic Edition's lockdown and add new games.

The subreddit /r/NESClassicMods have translated the cracking process to English and tons of people have already hacked their NES Classics to play new games. However, this isn't a one-step process. As of right now, it's a fairly technical process, and if you're not comfortable with checking MD5 hash sums and reading Linux log files, you should probably wait to try this process on your NES Classic.

Some early graphical user interface programs are being created by those in the /r/NESClassicMods community, and with no internet connectivity on the NES Classic, you never have to worry about this vulnerability being patched out. As for what games work right now, it's anyone's guess. Information on the NES Classic's emulator is scarce, and it may have only been programmed with the peculiarities of the original 30 games that come with the system in mind.

There are programs written that allow you to upload new ROMs and artwork to your NES Classic quickly, and it's up to you whether that's something you want to do or not. Shacknews, of course, does not condone any form of illegally obtained software.

Now that the NES Classic Edition has been cracked, we can expect some interesting things as enthusiasts learn more about the internal programming of the system. Who knows what kind of homebrew and applications will be available for the NES Classic soon?

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 9, 2017 12:17 PM

    Jason Faulkner posted a new article, NES Classic Gets Cracked and New Titles Added

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      January 9, 2017 12:43 PM

      wow that didn't take long...

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      January 9, 2017 1:10 PM

      of course it was the Russians!

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      January 9, 2017 1:36 PM

      I'm just wondering how quickly Nintendo will update the firmware on outgoing units to prevent the mod. Will make the existing models go for an insane amount of cash.

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        January 9, 2017 1:44 PM

        It was their plan all along. Gotta get that artificial scarcity going.

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        January 9, 2017 1:47 PM

        I kinda doubt either will happen... anyone really interested in running the old games can download the entire nes library in about 5 minutes and probably has about 10 devices capable of running the roms.

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          January 9, 2017 2:31 PM

          Yup. With more features like rewind. The NES Mini is great for convenience, but modding roms onto it seems more like "to prove we can" rather than especially useful or practical.

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            January 9, 2017 2:49 PM

            I think you're going to see a significant fraction of NES Classic owners doing this mod. I mean, I hope Nintendo doesn't give a fuck, but I'm not so sure given their past actions.

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        January 9, 2017 2:01 PM

        "outgoing units" Good one

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      January 9, 2017 2:04 PM

      This will help the five people that got one play more games.

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        January 9, 2017 2:23 PM

        An ebay auction just closed for $177.50 USD. I bet plenty of people are still getting Retropies

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          January 9, 2017 2:26 PM

          Yeah, I'm thinking if I ever want to actually do this I'll go this route. Seems like it'd be a fun weekend project.

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      January 9, 2017 2:55 PM

      How are they even connecting to it? Are they adding a USB port or something?

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        January 9, 2017 3:09 PM

        it gets power via microusb they are using that port.

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