NES Hub is an accessory for the mysterious Nintendo expansion port

Mike Powers
NES Hub is an accessory for the mysterious Nintendo expansion port

In brief: X user RetroTime recently announced the NES Hub, a homebrew project designed to tap into the mystical expansion port on the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The hardware will utilize a new connector designed to plug directly into the port and will be open to third-party add-ons.

NES Hub will support four player wireless connectivity (that’s also functional when wired controllers are in use), and will enable the use of SNES controllers with an “inexpensive” add-on. The modder is also experimenting with Famicom peripheral support, and said the device will also introduce “audio expansion” that works exactly like internal solder mods.

As for pricing, that will largely depend on the production cost of the custom connector, we’re told.

The expansion port on the bottom of the NES was intriguing, to say the least. Gamers who accidentally discovered it were left to wonder what it was meant for. Publications of the era rarely if ever spoke of it, leading to all sorts of wild rumors about its intended purpose.

Some believed it was an internal testing port that Nintendo never removed. Others posited it was a docking station for an upcoming hardware add-on, or that it could be used to connect a modem. More far-out rumors suggested it could somehow be used to play games from other platforms.

The truth of the matter is far more disappointing. Nintendo never officially developed any hardware that would take advantage of the expansion port in the US, so it has sat dormant all these years. The N64 and GameCube also had expansion ports that were never officially utilized in the US.

The market for a new accessory for a nearly 40-year-old console won’t be massive, but many have already expressed interest. The nostalgia along is enough to rev up some engines.

RetroTime put out a call for additional beta testers as the prototype has only been tested on a single PAL NES thus far. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out on X.

Image credit: Jason Leung

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