How can I play classic NES/SNES games on my TV?
December 27, 2011 3:58 PM   Subscribe

I want to do NES/SNES emulation, and play the games on my HDTV. What's the best way to do this (details inside)?

I have a PS3, and AppleTV (just bought, so I guess version 2?). Can I use either of those to do the emulation without spending a week pulling my hair out getting it to work, or voiding my warranty? Or maybe there a good device out there I can buy?

I am in the Netherlands, but from US
I don't want to build a PC/use my laptop
I don't want to get something that needs physical cartridges
I don't want to spend more than 100 euros.
I'm a geek, and I've done my share of modding, etc, but I'm kind of tired of that route, so if it isn't easy, I don't want to do it.

Also, I'm thinking about getting a Wii, so if it is much easier to use a Wii for this let me know. I'd rather not rely on the Virtual Console though, since it doesn't have many of the games I want to play.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
If you get a first gen apple TV, you can install MAME plus a ton of emulators on it really easily.

You should be able to get one used on craigslist or ebay for under $100
posted by empath at 4:31 PM on December 27, 2011

Oh sorry, didn't noticed you already had version 2... It's a pain in the ass to jailbreak the new one, from what I understand.
posted by empath at 4:32 PM on December 27, 2011

Best answer: Using a Wii to do this is super easy (depending on what version of the operating system the Wii has), if you are not opposed to using ROMs you get off the internet.

you will be installing the 'Homebrew Channel' using these instructions. After installing the Homebrew Channel, you can then install the emulators and use an SD card to hold the ROMs
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:03 PM on December 27, 2011

Best answer: If you're willing to violate the T&C's / possibly void the warranty on a Wii, the Homebrew Channel is a pretty easy-to-install softmod for running emulators.
posted by lantius at 5:04 PM on December 27, 2011

in the instructions I linked to the easiest methods to used are the "Bannerbomb" and "Letterbomb" ones.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 5:07 PM on December 27, 2011

Response by poster: So it looks like the Wii is the easiest way of doing this. How smoothly do SNES games play on the Wii?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 5:05 AM on December 28, 2011

Like butter, in my experience. It's not powerful enough for the super-accurate emulators that try to emulate the physical state of every chip, but it plays demanding games like Yoshi's Island with no problems I've ever seen.

We've got an old PATA hard drive hooked up to one of the USB ports on our Wii, and it's great! It's only an 80gb drive from before the universe was created but it's more than enough space for everything we want to do with it. We generally install stuff straight to it rather than play off disc, these days -- Monster Hunter loading times, for example, were cut in half.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:31 AM on December 28, 2011

Response by poster: As a followup: I bought a Wii. Installing the homebrew channel was very easy, as was installing the necessary emulators. Play is smooth. So the Wii is the way to go, I think.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:29 AM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

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