Your NES Classic Mini Controller, On Your Desktop Computer

The NES Classic Mini was one of the earlier releases in what became a wider trend for tiny versions of classic retro consoles to be released. Everybody wanted one but numbers were limited, so only the lucky few gained this chance to relive their childhood through the medium of Donkey Kong or Mario Brothers on real Nintendo hardware. Evidently [Albert Gonzalez] was one of them, because he’s produced a USB adapter for the Mini controller to allow it to be used as a PC peripheral.

On the small protoboard is the Nintendo connector at one end, an ATtiny85 microcontroller, and a micro-USB connector at the other. The I2C interface from the controller is mapped to USB on the ATtiny through the magic of the V-USB library, appearing to the latter as a generic gamepad. It’s thought that the same interface is likely to also work with the later SNES Classic Mini controller. For the curious all the code and other resources can be found in a GitHub repository, so should you have been lucky enough to lay your hands on a NES Classic Mini then you too can join the PC fun.

The mini consoles were popular, but didn’t excite our community as much as could be expected. Our colleague Lewin Day tool a look at the phenomenon last summer.

7 thoughts on “Your NES Classic Mini Controller, On Your Desktop Computer

  1. I used to be an “Accept No Substitute” guy when it came to Nintendo controllers, but 8BitDo has really knocked it out of the park with their designs and buttons. This is still a neat project, but I’d just order a Bluetooth 8BitDo and not worry about the adapter and cord.

    1. I was thinking along the same lines…

      The USB or Bluetooth versions of the NES and SNES controllers are every bit as good as the Nintendo Classic versions, and don’t suffer from the minuscule cord length that the NES Classic shipped with.
      That they don’t require an adapter is just icing on the cake.

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