Leave it to the hackers to find a workaround for a product in just under two weeks. Released on 13 November as part of the title’s 35-year anniversary, the Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch included the likes of Super Mario Bros (of course), The Lost Levels, a Mario-edition Ball, and a console-slash-clock set-up with a full-colour LCD, four-directional control pad, and the ‘A’, ‘B’ and pause buttons. Well, not anymore.
A hacker-coder duo with the respective names of stacksmashing and Konrad Beckmann has made it possible to play other retro classics like Doom, Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, and Contra on the device, which is quite the impressive feat.
This journey down the memory lane is hardly easy, however. In addition to opening up the console to add custom ROM files, there’s also a need for external software to streamline the process. Stacksmashing is looking to publish a guide and share the how-to hacks with the masses someday, so do keep an eye out for that.
It’s likely that this will be the first of many more experimentation attempts to come. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity, and it’s certainly no different for hardware-tinkering – with luck, we might even see more NES titles heading towards the Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch. Ah, the possibilities.