Nintendo’s Mini-NES Gets Cracked Open, And Here’s What’s Inside

In July, Nintendo announced the Mini-NES (aka Nintendo Classic), a $60 miniature replica of the NES with thirty games built in, and it also comes with one controller, an HDMI cable, and a USB cable (but on USB-to-AC adapter). There are a few downsides to it (like a very short controller cord), but overall it looked like a lot of fun if you don’t want to program your own NES emulator in Linux with a Raspberry Pi. And that wouldn’t be as adorable anyway.

The Nintendo Classic won’t go on sale until November 11th, but some reviewers have already received theirs, and GameSpot’s Peter Brown even opened this sucker up and tweeted a picture of the motherboard:

Bad news: it’ll be difficult to modify the memory to add new games. Good news: it’s running an open-source OS (Linux) and packs a lot of processing power into a little $60 form factor.

Reddit (via PCMag) went to work figuring out what’s in the box:

  • System on a Chip: Allwinner R16 (4x Cortex A7, Mali400MP2 GPU)
  • RAM: SKHynix (256MB DDR3)
  • Flash: Spansion 512MB SLC NAND flash, TSOP48

To put that in perspective, Gizmodo reports the original NES had a processor which could perform 0.43 millions of instructions per second, and the Nintendo Classic’s ARM Cortex A7 can perform 2,850 MIPS. That may seem absurdly overpowered, but the Nintendo Classic has new features, like supporting 1080p HDMI output, different display modes, and saving your progress in up to four places for each of the thirty games. And the components used are all inexpensive, even if faster than necessary to run a Nintendo. These may have been the best deal to bulk buy, and the processing power should make modders happy, too. If only the flash memory were easier to remove.

(Via Gizmodo, PCMag, Reddit, and Peter Brown)