A $220 NES Classic?!? Convert a Wii into a NES for $5.49!

nes-classic-edition-in-hand

A corded, limited-library system? What is this 1986?

 

One of this holiday season’s hottest items is the NES Classic, a 2016, $59.99 re-do of the 1986 Nintendo Entertainment System, complete with 30 pre-loaded games. Due to low production, the NES Classic can be very difficult to find, with prices surging to $220 from Amazon third-party sellers.

For under $10, you can modify your ten-year old Wii to play nearly any NES game ever produced! Super Mario Bros 3, Contra, Mega Man 2, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!, The Legend of Zelda!

After you are done, treat yourself to some Wii NES Classic Controllers and download Super Tecmo Bowl 2017. Not much better than 8-bit Gronk and JJ Watt.

You will need

  • Your Wii, which you stopped playing years ago (Internet connected)
  • A $5.49 SD Card from Amazon
  • Your home PC or Mac for copying files to the SD Card
  • 30 minutes

High-level Overview

  1. Determine and note your Wii’s System Menu Version
  2. Determine and note your Wii’s MAC Address
  3. Format your SD Card using your PC or Mac
  4. Download and install LetterBomb and The Homebrew Channel
  5. Download FCE Ultra GX (NES Emulator)
  6. Downloading roms
  7. Playing NES games

1. Determine and note your Wii’s System Menu Version
To check your system version, open the Wii System Settings by clicking the round Wii button in the lower-left corner of the System Menu. Look in the upper-right corner and you’ll see your version number. The version must be 4.3 or lower in order to proceed.

2. Determine and note your Wii’s MAC address
Select “Wii Settings” to access the “Wii System Settings” menu. Using the arrow on the right side of the screen, scroll to page two and select “Internet.” Select “Console Information.” The Wii Console’s MAC address will be shown at the top of the screen. Write down the MAC address for reference.

3. Format your SD Card using your PC or Mac
Windows
Open up My Computer.
Right-click on the drive that contains the SD card and select Format….
Under File system make sure you select FAT (see picture to the right).
Click “Start” and let the process finalize.
After the formatting is finished proceed to the next step.

Mac OS
Open up Disk Utility
Find your SD card in the navigation.
Go to the Erase tab.
Change the Volume Format to MS-DOS (FAT).
Click “Erase” and let the process finalize.
After the formatting is finished proceed to the next step.

4. Download and install LetterBomb and The Homebrew Channel
(Warning: Although the risk is minimal, you are assuming all risk by performing these steps.
On you PC, navigate your web browser to https://please.hackmii.com/.
Type in the MAC address you noted in Step X.
Check “Bundle the HackMii Installer for me!” and “I am not a robot” checkboxes
Click either “Cut the red wire” or “Cut the blue wire” (It doesnt matter which)
Download the generated zip file and extract the files to your local hard drive
Copy the private directory and boot.elf from the extracted location to your formatted SD card
Insert the SD card into your Wii and power on the Wii
Click on the envelope icon on the main Wii menu to enter the Message Board
Using the on-screen arrows navigating backward, from today to yesterday to two days ago and eventually you will see a bomb icon. Click the icon
In the “HackMii installer” Screen, click Continue and then “Install the Homebrew Channel” and then “Yes, continue”.
Once you receive the Success message, click Continue
Navigate and click Exit
The Homebrew Channel should now appear on your Wii Home Menu
Shutdown your Wii and remove the SD card

5. Download FCE Ultra GX (NES Emulator)
On your PC, navigate your web browser to https://github.com/dborth/fceugx/releases/download/3.3.4/FCE.Ultra.GX.3.3.4.zip.
Download the zip file and extract the files to your local hard drive
Copy the apps and fceugx directories from the extracted location to your SD card
Insert the SD card into your Wii and power on the Wii

6. Downloading roms
Roms are the actual game files, which can be easily found on a number of websites
Simply Google the name of the game and “nes rom” and download the roms (usually zip files)
Copy zip files to fceugx\roms on your SD card

7. Playing NES games
Power on the Wii and navigate to the Homebrew Channel and then FCE Ultra GX
click Load. Turn your Wii controller sideways, using “-” as Select, “+” as Start, button 1 as B and button 2 as A and Enjoy!

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