Nintendo hacked to fit inside an NES cartridge


Instructables user [dany32412] recently built what is arguably one of the smallest NES consoles we have seen to date. Using a Nintendo on a Chip (NOAC) board, he has fabricated an NES system that fits inside a hollowed out NES cartridge.

He purchased a NOAC system at a local resale shop and got to work disassembling it. As most of these devices typically consist of a game system built into the controller with a Famicom game slot added for good measure, he knew he had a lot of work ahead of him if he was going to convert it to work properly with actual NES games and controllers.

He hacked apart most of the NOAC’s board, leaving just the CPU and the controller interface chip. He then built a custom controller interface board in order to properly map his NES controller’s buttons to the pads on the NOAC. He wired in a 72-pin NES cartridge slot, then added a pair of controller ports and a power switch. Once he had everything connected and tested, it was all secured in a Super Mario Brothers NES cartridge.

Check out the video below of his mini NES in action.

If you can’t get enough Nintendo hacks, be sure to take a look at this portable NES as well as this emulator-based NES in a cartridge.


  1. Steve says:

    Insert a Mario bro cartridge into this and let the yo dawg jokes begin. In all seriousness, very clean and small.

  2. joe hosman says:


  3. walt says:

    this is too cool to be on instructables.

  4. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    For his next trick, lets see a NES system hacked to go inside a NES controller.

  5. CutThroughStuffGuy says:

    The saddest part of all seems to be the fact that it took us 25 years to get to this point.

  6. Pedro says:
  7. Chris says:

    this has been done befor and a guy on the benhack forums put one in an nes controller

  8. SheeEttin says:

    Hmm… Now what if he puts the guts of a cartridge (or something that has a whole bunch of games on a cartridge, if they exist)… inside an NES console? :D

  9. andar_b says:

    “if they exist”

    At the very least, there’s Super Mario All Stars, which I believe is SNES but contains upgraded versions of all the Mario games made up to that point.

  10. This is so perfect. I want to make it, and take it everywhere with me.

  11. t&p says:

    ah I hate those cheap chinese NES on a chip things. The sound is so bad. Bugs. Your better off with an emulator.

  12. Jeditalian says:

    so this is not another hackaday rerun, somebody else built a NES inside a NEScart?

  13. Jeditalian says:

    the actual circuitboard that comes in that cartridge that was used as the case is actually small enough that it could have been kept intact and the cartridge still used as a NES, so you could plug your NES into your NES and oh wait maybe not, the one i have is mario bros + duck hunt and the chip is small enough to be included in the design. i’ll mail it to you, i have no use for it..

  14. GroverDill says:

    This is cool, but I wish that the form factor had placed the NES cartridge plug where the old cartridge connector went instead of cutting a big slot out of the side of the cartridge to add the plug. That way it would look like 2 cartridges plugged into each other in a still unnatural, yet potentially more pleasing way.

    As an aside, I just noticed that it is impossible to further discuss this concept without the entire thing starting to sound really creepy. Let’s just move on as if this had never happened.

  15. Yawn says:
  16. When I saw this on Kotaku, my first reaction was that it’s kind of a ‘meh’ hack because it seems kind of silly to use another cartridge like that. Now, if they’d built the guts into a GAME GENIE or something, then it’d make more sense. Know what I mean? :D

  17. Andrew Parting says:

    Lol nintendo fits inside a nes game… I’d like to see that

  18. IJ Dee-Vo says:

    this is truelly….wow…gratz on an 3pic hack! Made more so by the fact a Mario catridge was used!

  19. Ivan says:

    What I want to see is a complete PS3 inside the Blu-Ray

  20. Kyle says:

    FYI, this is not a “hack” – The NOAC has not been modified to perform a different function – It still does exactly what it did before. The use of the third party atmel board “arduino” was some pretty extreme overkill.

    Also, this has been done a thousand times over.

    HaD, could you post something NEW that is actually a *hack* for once? This is getting booooooringgggg…. You promise a “hack a day” with your name, yet regularly fail at that mission.

  21. dan fruzzetti says:

    this is just too sexy

  22. Miyamoto says:

    Idiot. Really clean looking cart. What a waste. Idiot. -_-

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