AS MOST of the world continues to wait desperately for new stock of the Nintendo NES Classic Edition, you just know that somewhere, someone’s been there, done that, hacked it.
The console runs on Linux, and an enterprising member of our 'running things on things they’re not supposed to run on' club has managed to get Ubuntu Linux running on his machine.
Because why not?
The customised version of Ubuntu is the first successful attempt to mod the console, which has been on the market for less than a week and sold out in less time than that.
The original first went on sale 21 years ago and was, for many, the first console they ever owned.
The full method he used has been posted online but, long story short, it involves connecting a computer to a Famicom (Japanese console, same motherboard) using a serial-to-USB cable and uploading using U-Boot Loader.
There’s really very little point to having Ubuntu on there. There’s no keyboard, and a controller instead of a mouse, and the result isn’t particularly powerful. But in this life, we often climb mountains just because they’re there.
Other hackers have already started snooping around the possibility of sideloading extra games, a process known as 'homebrewing' in Nintendo community-speak. However, no-one has come good so far, although it’s worth remembering that these guys have had their consoles for less than 100 hours.
The console also has an HDMI out, which might be useful for playing films on a big screen. Although you may as well use a Chromecast or something.
The popularity of the Nintendo Classic Mini is such that it has sold out on both sides of the Atlantic, but this has been exacerbated by 'touts' buying up stock and immediately putting it on eBay.
Latest word is that more stock is on the way, in time for Black Friday, but given the buzz around the product's pre-launch, some critics have suggested that the current shortage is being artificially cultivated to drive demand. It’s a tale as old as time. µ
In China, at least
The scales fall from their eyes