Various media outlets are beginning to get their hands on the upcoming Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition, and it was only matter of time before someone dismantled this miniature work of art to see what's going on inside the shell.
GameSpot senior reviews editor Peter Brown tweeted a photo showing the internals of the NES Mini, and suggested it would be impossible to add new games unless the flash memory was desoldered:
While it's probably only a matter of time before some clever boffin finds a bypass to add SD card support for those naughty NES ROMs, it looks like for now you'll be limited to enjoying the 30 preloaded games.
As always let us know what you think of these revelations with a comment below.
I'm sure Nintendo have made it good and tamper proof as this will likely be the emulator for NES VC games on Switch. They could have put these better emulated games on Wii U but sure they could have also given us Gamecube VC games. Those also are likely being held back for Switch.
If you look at the NES Classic Mini's shell and what's inside, it definitely looks like it was possible to make it smaller. But perhaps would have lost proportionality if it tried to do so. Or maybe they were worried about heat even though I don't think that would be a concern.
You made me laugh with 'boffin', haven't heard that for a loooooooong time.
Hopefully there's an easy work around. I imagine some people will be buying these just for their shells and sticking a Raspberry Pi inside.
@jimi NES ROMs are pirates?
Looks like the pcb might be made to also fit in the famicom mini.
@jimi I'm sure this article meant to call 'naughty' the act of tempering with the NES Mini to let it load more ROM's, and not necessarily the act of downloading games you didn't buy.
Also remember that downloaded or otherwise freely obtained ROM files aren't necessarily piracy either. Emulators are part of daily lives on streams such as Twitch, and by far most people use them on games they actually own, but prefer to use emulators for easier control of the stream, which old consoles don't offer without additional equipment.
@samumarisuro Good point, I forgot about that. It's certainly much shallower. The PCB in the Famicom Mini is most lengthways in the shell whereas if they put it sideways in our version it could have been made smaller but then they'd need extra wiring.
Alright, so you consider that downloading roms for games you already own is piracy.
In that case, what's wrong with pirating NES games you already own? If you really wanted to dump the rom yourself, you could. But the only people that would support would be whatever company you buy the hardware to dump roms with, not Nintendo.
Good. 30 games is more than enough and even if it would be possible to do this, then you probably wouldn't have them pop up in the menu with all the added functionalities, like those save slots, so would have been an inferior experience anyway.
@jimi Riddle me this. What's the ethical difference between buying a used copy of the original cartridge and downloading it? None of the cash you spend on a used copy goes to the people who made it.
I'm not talking about games that are still being sold in some form, like on the VC. Most NES games are not, and are functionally Lost Forever.
And I'm not even talking about the law. The law is notoriously outdated when it comes to this stuff, and it's never enforced in part because the people who enforce it know this.
I'm just talking about ethics. And my conscience is clear.
@MyLegGuy Downloading games you already own is still illegal, though. It's only legal if the ROMs/ISOs you have are ones that you have copied from the cartridge/disc yourself.
Insert rocket science here.......
For me, 30 games is more than enough. I probably finished about one third of that on the original NES when I was a kid and had a lot more time to play games.
That guy's initials must mean he's an expert on the matter.
That's not a good enough reason.
I was expecting a moral reason. ( Other than that you should follow the law, of course. )
It may be impossible to support the developers, but you can still support Nintendo by buying the games on the Virtual Console.
Which is impossible if you don't have a Nintendo Console that has virtual console games, or the game isn't on Virtual Console.
Not that I'm saying that anybody should buy a game on the Virtual Console if they already own it.
I'll say this. The mini console is cute. For the holier than thous that say playing the ROMs is bad and is morally wrong, I say poppyCock. I'm buying a mini and I have a GPD XD portable that plays all the old school NES, SNES, GEN, Gboy/Color/Advance, N64, Dreamcast, and more. I wouldn't of bought this great piece of machinery if those games were accessible to begin with. That VC is so rubbish. The only reason I am buying one is for a gift because I would like my nephews to experience some old school goodness.
@MyLegGuy Right. I played the Mother 1 ROM ages ago, for example, and then jumped to purchase EarthBound Beginnings the moment I heard it was available. I don't COMPLETELY lack a moral compass when it comes to this stuff. =p
@River3636 Funny you should mention the Dreamcast, since its ability to play burned CDs is one of the most major reasons it continues to have a devoted following at all! Especially since quite a few of the original GD-ROMs are literally starting to rot. (Look for pinhole-like marks under high light.)
To anyone who says that killed the DC in the first place, the combined failure of the Sega CD/32X/Saturn giving it an unrealistic amount of debt to cover along with the gargantuan threat of the PS2 striking at the worst possible moment played a far, far bigger hand in its demise. It was doomed from the start.
@BaffleBlend - Exactly, If the games were available to us we would buy them. I can't purchase Ultima Exodus for NES on VC. I'm going to have to get the ROM. Where the Heck can I purchase Battle of Olympus? Not on VC. I'm nabbing that ROM. So please and spare me to all those goody too shoes. Where can I get Crystalis? Not on a 3DS or WiiU. I'm nabbing that ROM.
@jimi a pirate is someone who takes something from someone. that someone loses that item.
copying media is not pirating. nobody loses anything. the item is not taken it is being copied.
@BaffleBlend - I love dreamcast, but the emulators for it run a little slow. I wish I would have the balls to emulate some gamecube games on my Mac.
The gui and vc emulation is pretty unique and it would be shoddy to just slap some game up there and think it looks the same. Presentation is a big thing too.
Lot of holier than thou people here who've clearly never gone over the speed limit or trespassed while collecting a rogue ball. I see no problems with ROMs if there is no alternative. I don't have enough time to play the games I have bought never mind any ROMs I may have lurking on a computer somewhere. I also haven't got any emulators downloaded to play them anyway.
OMG, pirates!!1..... I'm trying hard to feel guilty for downloading a copy of a thirty year old game, but.. I don't. I'm happy to pay for the convenience, but if that option isn't available, well...
Why are the pirates so offended? If you are wrong you are wrong. It isn't "holier than thou" it is fact. Using a tu quoque ("well you act like you've never done something wrong!") doesn't change that fact. The question is are you ok with it. That's all. Yes I pirate, but I acknowledge that it is wrong, but for me the convenience outweighs the expense and time for some games. However I don't pretend that what I do isn't wrong and I am pirating less and less. Getting too old for jail lol.
@SLIGEACH_EIRE 'I'm sure Nintendo have made it good and tamper proof as this will likely be the emulator for NES VC games on Switch. '
I don't understand. This won't be the NES VC for Switch, this is a standalone unit and games can't be added.
Are you saying this emulator will be used on the Switch therefore they made this unit tamper proof? What difference would that make, it's not like tampering with this unit will hurt the Switch VC.
"some clever boffin"
Not sure what a boffin is exactly but I'm going to steal that.
@jimi I rip my own ISO's. It's very difficult and expensive to rip ROM's, so having a legal physical copy in addition is good enough. (Unless those are also hard to come by, like Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War and Thracia 776.)
Fascinating, it seems like the hard mod business may yet be resurrected...
@6ch6ris6 It could be argued that a certain portion of non mod related, full copies downloaded from distribution sites represent potential lost sales. That could be called "stealing." But as it becomes more difficult to acquire certain games (like the JP only Fire Emblems) and certain hardware used to patch and play retro games (like the Retron 5), this issue becomes muddled. It's also a lot easier to copy ISO's than ROM's.
I would say that if it's a brand new game that just came out, then yes, it's "bad pirating." However, if it's an old game, has never been released in your region, is in highly limited supply, and has never officially been translated into your language, then in that case I would say it's "okay pirating." The more conditions fulfilled, the less "not okay" it is.
@PlywoodStick Nice nuanced perspective there. I wish more people would think like that.
@Ryu_Niiyama I don't think all the defensive comments about piracy here are because we feel offended. Well, at least I don't feel that way, and I too am not pirating anymore last few years.
It's just that few people enjoy those old shortsighted views, such as sticking the label 'piracy' on console modding or NES games obtained from other sources than original Nintendo carts or VC downloads.
Of course human ethics and the law are different, and of course all these ROM sites are an illegal source of games, but if we label any downloader's motive as piracy then we can call half our population criminals.
Point is, lawfully speaking all uploading and downloading of copyrighted games is wrong. But ethically speaking, it's okay to share and download copies of games you own from and to any source. Just try to prevent playing/using any software you haven't bought.
Where can I get Illusion of Gia? VC. Nope. I'm nabbing that ROM. I give a hoot and a hauler about what people think. I have purchased over a 100 titles on VC and some I have purchased 3 times. I'm looking at you Donkey Kong Country. I could even say I purchased it 4 times if you count the original copy. So please and spare me. I don't think it's wrong. I purchase games regularly when they come out. I am not about to attach a old console on my flat screen. That is just silly. Where can I find Ducktales 2? Is there a remake? Nope. Is it on VC? Nah. I'm nabbing that ROM.
@Slaz The thing is human ethics vary by person. No two people have the same ethics set. Supposedly you have similar culture sets to those around you (family and ideally community and nation) but that isn't guaranteed and is pretty unrealistic even though we cling to the notion. I found that out the hard way when I came out to my folks.
However laws are universal (within the territory that they apply to of course) and are a the standard by which we are supposed to mold our ethics. Of course they aren't in fallible as laws are often designed after a dominate ethics set (see Jim Crow laws in the US) but in an ideal world they are our limitations to keep us from letting our morals harm others in some fashion (including financially).
Hence why I said if you can live with what you do or not is your business but it doesn't change the nature of what you are doing. If you break the law you break the law. People try to pretend like those that point that out are making a false equivalency most of the time though. That's why all the tu quoque responses start popping up. No you don't have to be perfect to acknowledge that something is wrong, as you are just stating a fact. I will easily tell a pirate that piracy is wrong from a legal perspective and I just need a patch and a pegleg at this point (or at least I did). I don't care about a persons morals (in general) because I already know they are different from mine. So long as your morals don't cause physical, emotional, mental or legal harm to others you can feel whatever you want about something. So nothing I've said argues from a moral perspective at all.
As for the people making the whole preservation arguments not being able to find a viable consumer version of a product doesn't entitle you to a copy of it and doesn't absolve you of wrong doing. Again, if you are willing to take the risk and can live with it that is on you. However don't get mad when people point out what you are doing is legally wrong.
Can't leave anything alone
"As for the people making the whole preservation arguments not being able to find a viable consumer version of a product doesn't entitle you to a copy of it and doesn't absolve you of wrong doing. Again, if you are willing to take the risk and can live with it that is on you. However don't get mad when people point out what you are doing is legally wrong."
No offense, but can I vomit now or later? I'm wondering where or what the risk is if any?
ROMs are such a grey area because there are potential legal defenses on both sides–but no one’s truly tested these arguments before. I'm wondering what is the wrong doing? I was also wondering if I can purchase a copy of Destiny of an Emperor. Can I find it on Wii? WiiU? Is it on the 3DS VC? Nope. I'm nabbing that ROM.😛
@River3636 Not sure why you need to vomit. My comment still stands. No offense taken, your response makes 0 sense.
@Ryu_Niiyama - Whatever. We have different morals. You still didn't answer the question, but that's OK because I like your avatar. I am still nabbing that ROM...
Clever Boffin sounds like a food item that will give me +5 intelligence.
@River3636 sigh. I would think the answer to your question is fairly obvious if you actually read my previous posts in their entirety. Also, again: I am not arguing on morality. I am arguing on legality. But Nintendo does a better job than I do at explaining that legality:
Thanks for the like on the avatar. Perfume is the best band ever!
1. a person engaged in scientific or technical research; i.e.
"a computer boffin".
2. a person with knowledge or a skill considered to be complex, arcane, and difficult.
@Ryu_Niiyama sigh. Nintendo just explained "their position" on the legality which is pretty much yours. I'm content with mine. I am also content with GPD XD portable. It has given me the gift of retro goodness. Like I have previously stated I have purchased over 100 VCs. Why? They are better quality. I prefer them. If there is no way to purchase a game than I'm nabbing that ROM because it is the only alternative.
@River3636 I have a physical copy of Illusion of Gaia from back when it came out. . It's about 27$ on Amazon right now, so that's not too bad to buy just to have a physical copy along with a downloaded ROM. Once you start getting into things like Lufia II, Seiken Densetsu 3, and Panzer Dragoon Saga, though, then I have fewer reservations.
@PlywoodStick no it is not stealing. stealing would be if the digital item would be lost from the original source. but it is not. it's being copied. that is just something totally different.
and a copy is just like you said: a POTENTIAL loss in sales. potential! just because someone copies a game doesnt mean that the person would have bought the game if copying didn't work.
@6ch6ris6 Yeah, that's why I put "stealing" in quotation marks; it's not straightforwardly taking something that wouldn't be returned. Especially considering, as you mentioned, the user might not have been able to buy a copy under reasonable conditions anyways.
However, it's a debateable subject in digital terms, still being shaped in differing interpretations of how old laws apply to new nonphysical items, and what new laws to make. We should seek to make sure new laws are not heavy handed on this matter. Depending on various factors like age and release conditions, some games may be deemed "high priority" in certain locations of the world to protect profits, while others may be deemed "low priority" to ensure access to otherwise inaccessible games.
The concept of DRM-free adds another wrinkle, too. A game that is bought DRM-free has no hard restrictions, especially from a legal perspective if only shared with family and friends. There isn't any debate in that case, it can't reasonably be interpreted as stealing when the platform explicitly says you can copy at your leisure. So I think if more platforms would adopt DRM-free concepts, then any legal barriers to copying would fall in turn.
Th two 6 wire connectors (probably controller connectors) look promising. You might be able to attach original NES ports to it at this point. The NES only uses 5 of its 7 controller wires. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Nintendo used the same NES shift registers that they used in the 80's.
@PlywoodStick - about 90% of the games I've nabbed I have owned. The other 10% is just curiosity and locality. I guess you can call me a ROM nabber. It's not my fault. Once I got the GPD XD portable,(look into, it so good) I have been nabbing everything. It makes it so easy. Imagine if you had a 3DSXL with one screen that gives you access to 1000s of games with a few touches. What would you do? I know what I'm doing. I'm nabbing. I am a kid in a candy store. A wolf in a hen den. A lion in a gazelle herd. I'm still finishing Ultima:Quest of the Avatar so I haven't even touched the surface of this hard ware. It was the best $150 I spent. I have had this system for 3 months now and I'm still on NES for the most part. I have the Dreamcast version of Skies of Arcadia which I haven't played yet (that alone is worth $150). All I want to do is Nab, Nab, Nab.
While some assumed it would be easy to hack, I expected from the beginning that it would be tricky to add games. There have been devices that were easily hacked and I'm sure Nintendo was well aware. They've stated from the beginning that the USB was for power and I suspect that's at the hardware level. Still, people are resourceful. It will be interesting to see if anything can be done to it and how quickly. Even if there's success, it might not be doable for regular folks.
@Ryu_Niiyama Yeah, I agree that my line about ethics was kind of biased. But at least over in my local area I'm confident in saying that the "general consensus" doesn't bother downloading of old games from illegal sources. Sure there are people illegally downloading as many stuff as possible to reduce costs, and those who oppose doing that and stick to legal options, but I've never came across any harsh feelings about the matter.
Over the years I've seen dozens of flamewars about piracy on the internet though. I think it's the kind of discussion that's very hot on the internet, but relatively tame during teatime talk.
If there's no capacitors on the bottom of the board, these should last a while. Kind of like a Tandy 1000 HX. Sweet!
@Slaz Agreed about the reality vs the web. When you pirate you feel like EVERYBODY pirates...nope its just you and maybe two of your friends. So nobody talks about it. I just don't want to be the one that people are like "did you hear she got sent to jail for downloading?" Since I know I can't pay a fine. Getting too old for that one.
@River3636 (shrugs) Seeing as the entire point of the original post that you quoted from me and thus started this conversation over was an argument from a legal standpoint and not a moral one, I'll reiterate my point. I take no issue with what you are doing. You do you. It is still wrong legally but so long as you are ok with that and feel the benefits outweigh the cons then your decision is valid. It feels like you missed that premise in my earlier posts in your attempt to justify as to why you download roms. I don't care why you do it...I'm not even condemning you for doing it. But that doesn't change that fact that it is legally wrong.
Anyway I'm done with this. I only replied because it seemed like we were looking at this at opposite angles and since you used my post as your starting point for this convo I like to make sure I'm not misunderstood. Have a nice day.
@Ryu_Niiyama - Your still on that. I think you secretly want to do it. It's quite easy. Everybody is doing it.(lol). Aren't you tired of doing everything right. How about being wrong. You know deep down you want to. You don't have to tell anyone. No one will know. How could they.
LOLOL ... I sound like a devil or a villain or something, but come on..
You' re not misunderstood just a wee bit paranoid. I think it's kind of cute. You have a good day too.
Edit: OMG.. I just read my comment. I was talking about nabbing ROMs. I hope you don't misunderstand me.
@jimi You could just rip it from the cartridge itself, you know.
I just got Ducktales 2 CIB for $10 last week. It's a fun game.
EDIT: The NES version
@NESguy94 - I nabbed that ROM.
@River3636 Definitely a comment for the record books to bring up later.
@PlywoodStick Which one?
@PlywoodStick Oh that one. It did come out wrong.
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