Over the past few weeks, the newest handheld from Nintendo has been in the homebrew spotlight for its versatility and portability. Released in the same week as next-generation consoles, the Super Mario Bros Game & Watch is a modern rendition of one of Nintendo’s most classic devices. Packing in the color screen, 2 Mario titles, and even a clock like the old days, the modding capability is quite high. Like the NES and SNES classic, these retro tributes have become quite commodified for their inherent emulation capabilities. With the same interest in the Super Mario Bros Game & Watch, the device has finally been getting big updates to its modding capabilities. Published in a video by hacker StackSmashing, he discusses the current state of homebrew and even how to modify your own device at home.
One thing that becomes increasingly clear as you watch the video is the complexity of the hack. StackSmashing showcases how he and fellow modder, Konrad Beckmann, made significant progress on modification tools. From the complicated methods of pulling the source code and even creating tools to fully back up and restore the device’s memory to ensure no lost data. Currently only available on Mac and Linux, the GitHub repository allows users to make modifications to the device’s memory without risking any inherent loss in the device’s functionality. Yet, the modification to the device is extremely extensive needing a few tools to actually port the memory to a computer. Due to the USB-C not carrying data to the CPU, a soldering hardmod is required to allow for a memory dump. So while this means that NES games can be played on the device, there’s still work to be done before GameBoy titles and other homebrew tools will be developed for the handheld.
What do you think about the current achievements for the newest Nintendo pocket device? Are you going to be opening up the hood to play other NES games? Let me know if you’re looking forward to more in the comments!