Nintendo’s first home game console to launch in North America was an 8-bit system with support for up to two removable controllers and a 15-pin expansion port on the bottom. But Nintendo never actually released any accessories for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) that use the expansion port.

Over the years, some hardware hackers have decided to make put that port to use though. In 2015 Trapper McFerron used it to send tweets from an NES console. And a few years ago Perkka2 created an NES Expansion Port Sound Generator. Now hardware hacker RetroTime has designed the most versatile NES Expansion Port accessory to date. It’s called the NES Hub.

In a nutshell, the NES Hub is a custom printed circuit board that plugs directly into the NES Expansion Port and brings support for:

  • 4-player wireless game controller input
  • SNES controller input (with an “inexpensive addon”)
  • Experimental support for Famicom peripherals (the Japanese game console that was released a few years before the NES)
  • Expansion audio (enabling support for extra audio features in some Famicom games that wasn’t supported by the original NES hardware, as well as newer NES cartridges)

Theoretically the NES Hub could also support third-party add-ons in the future, like Murasama’s work-in-progress Famicom Disk System Expansion Adapter, which could theoretically allow you to use the Famicom Disk System with an NES.

The NES Hub isn’t an actual product you can buy yet, but RetroTime has a few working prototypes and plans to send some to beta testers before finalizing the design and making the accessory available for purchase (most likely from 8bitmods and a few other niche shops).

via Time Extension

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