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Classic Consoles Are Clearly Doing Something Wrong

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:25 PM
William Worrall
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:25 PM
  • Classic consoles are popular products that come with pre-installed games from previous console generations.
  • The Genesis Mini was released back in September and has already been hacked so that more games can be added.
  • Companies need to just add these features by default.

Classic consoles are all the rage right now. After Nintendo busted out the NES and SNES classic, Sony took a swing at the concept as well . Even if the PlayStation classic had its issues, that didn’t stop Sega from following suit. Each of these consoles also suffers from the same problem.

Most classic consoles come with pre-installed games. They also do not allow users to add their own games to the system. The only exceptions to this are the C64 and C64 mini. Regardless, the important fact is that these consoles do not allow you to add your own games. So, obviously, gamers figured out their own way around this.

Classic Consoles Are All Hacked Pretty Quickly

Barely three months after it was released, Sega’s Genesis Mini has been hacked. The NES classic was hacked only two months after its release , while the SNES classic had only a month before more games could be added . In short, it is clear that gamers who want more games on their mini-systems will find a way to do it.

More than that, these hacks are easy, although there is a slight risk involved. Most of the hacks basically involve plugging the system into a PC and running a program. In the case of the Genesis Mini, you can even add artwork and release information by using the same very simple program.

The question is: if companies know at this point that people are just going to hack these systems anyway, why haven’t they just added it as a feature by default? It’s not like it would hurt the systems at all, so why not just give the people the options they want?

Sega Genesis Mini - Classic Consoels
The Genesis Mini comes with 40 games until you fill it full of your own picks and then it can carry over 100 games for some reason. | Source: Sega

The Reason This Feature Is Missing

There is a reason that this feature is missing, and it’s pretty easy to figure out in the case of the Nintendo classic consoles. Nintendo seems to have a vendetta against emulation as well as against their consumers. It wasn’t all that long ago that they went after some of the biggest ROM communities online .

If they were to turn around and allow the adding of software to their system, it would probably send mixed messages. You might also make the argument that allowing players to add their own games leads to some shaky legal ground, but I find that hard to believe. Adding your own software doesn’t have to mean illegal ROMs but can instead refer to homebrew.

Several companies out there have made games which only work on emulators. It would be cool to see these sorts of titles supported out-of-the-box. As it currently stands you can only play the games which companies have deemed it acceptable for you to play. Not that it matters. No matter what companies try to do, players will always find a way to get the games they want onto their systems.