It's only been on store shelves for a little over a week, but the SNES Mini has already been fully hacked, letting brave owners load up their miniature consoles with a suite of additional games.
Now, before we go any further, it's worth noting that the hack requires the use of ROMs, the legality of which is forever spoke of in shades of grey, while tinkering with the SNES Mini in this way will invalidate your warranty. So proceed at your own risk. But there's been suggestion earlier that Nintendo itself is prepared for this to happen, and even added an Easter egg within the NAND.
But the Hackchi2 hacking tool, developed by hacker ClusterM, is a very simple piece of software to use, making it an approachable project for any SNES Mini owner.
Simple to use
Download the software from Github, and the Hackchi2 software will walk you through every step of the process – aside from how and where to acquire the additional ROM games.
Hackchi2 opens up the 300MB of internal storage of the SNES Mini, letting you use space that would be reserved for saved games to instead be filled with ROMs, automatically converted into a format the SNES Mini can read.
It even retains all the original functionality of the console, including save states, rewind and filters, as well as adding a convenient button combination for resetting the console without having to push a button.
Though it's a very user-friendly tool, there are some things to know before getting started. In English-speaking territories you should aim to use US-region ROMs where possible, to avoid a clash between the US 50Hz and PAL (European) 60Hz refresh rates.
It seems even European SNES Mini consoles are tuned to support primarily the US standards. And there are reports of minor increases in bootup times for those fully-loading their consoles with complicated file folder structures, which may make the streamlined conveniency of the SNES mini slightly diminished.
Still, if you've been holding off for the Black Friday sales before committing to a SNES Mini as there were a few of your 16-bit favorites missing, you've now no excuses to dive right in.