Mayflash NES/SNES to Wii Adapter Overview

This generation of consoles has made retro new again. Brand new retro-style games like Megaman 9 and 10 are popping up and it’s almost as if the NES era is getting a renaissance. The only problem is that playing them with modern controllers pulls one out of the experience.

Late last year Mayflash, my new favorite Chinese peripheral manufacturer,  released an interesting controller adapter for the Wii. With this adapter, one could use NES or SNES controllers on the Wii by connecting them to the adapter and then the adapter to a Wiimote, essentially fooling the Wii into thinking these older controllers are in fact the Wii Classic Controller. This means all those classic games can be played with a real classic controller.

Mayflash package design has come a long way in the past few years. No Engrish and pretty good graphic design!

Getting the adapter to work is simple and easy – Just plug in the adapter to the Wiimote and your classic console controllers into the adapter.

While this all sounds great to most of the people who read this, some of you might be asking yourself “Why would I want to use an NES controller on the Wii? Those things are so uncomfertable!” or “Why bother with an SNES pad when there’s the Wii classic controller?”

In both cases, it’s really a matter of preference and nostalgia. Holding the Wiimote on its side emulates the style of control that the NES provided. Holding a real NES controller is a lot more satisfying. If you didn’t grow up with an NES, getting used to the brick design can be difficult. The Wii Classic Controller is basically a dumbed down copy of the SNES pad with two thumbsticks attached. Most games that support the Classic controller do not need either thumbstick and they just sort of get in the way. Most retro gamers agree that the original SNES controller is one of the best ever designed, so why wouldn’t you want to use it on the Wii?

Unlike many prior mods that allow you to use an NES or SNES controller on the Wii, this adapter doesn’t require you to padhack your old controllers. They can still be used on your classic consoles and the Wii as well.

This may sound all too good to be true, and unfortunately there is a snag. While original Nintendo made SNES controllers work on the adapter without a hitch, Mayflash designed their adapter with a DB-9 pin connector for NES controller functionality. In Asia, most NES-clones (commonly called Famiclones) use this type of controller connector.

Because the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) used a proprietary 7-pin controller plug,  DB-9 Famiclone controllers cannot be plugged into the real hardware and 7-pin NES controllers cannot be plugged into Famiclones.

Thus, out of the box you can only plug in SNES controllers and DB-9 Famiclone controllers.

Connected are a Handy FamiEight Famiclone DB9 controller (left) and an OEM SNES controller (right)

This may sound like no big deal as Famiclone controllers are dime a dozen and cost even less than that. Many also feature build in turbo fire.

However, Famiclone controllers are made as cheaply as possible in China, and are thus universally of poor quality. Using real controllers is much more preferable.

Being unsatisfied with just using my Famiclone controllers on the Wii, I set out to take my Mayflash NES/SNES to Wii adapter apart and rebuild it with actual NES functionality.

In my next post I’ll detail how you can do what I have done: modify your Mayflash NES/SNES to Wii Adapter with a fully operational NES 7pin controller, allowing you to use your classic NES gear on your next-gen system.

Stay tuned.

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8 Responses to “Mayflash NES/SNES to Wii Adapter Overview”

  1. Highly descriptive post, I loved that a lot. Will there
    be a part 2?

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      A part 2? why would you need a a part 2? what more do you need to know?

      • I can’t get my mayflash wii snes/nes adapter to work with my Nintendo controller. I have an adapter plug, but when I plug the Nintendo controller in no thing registers. The Snes controller works just fine. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. I can give you a direct email if that works better.

      • satoshimatrix Says:

        Okay, a couple things: What kind of “Nintendo controller” are you using? An NES-004? Something third party? A Famiclone controller?

        (Unless Mayflash has changed things only recently) the two controller inputs on the side of the device are SNES seven pin, and Famiclone DB-9. When the adapter initially came out, there was no way to interface an NES 7 pin controller with this without modding, which is what I did. Eventually though, Mayflash started to include a little wire adapter that adapts NES controllers to Famiclone DB-9 pads. You need to use this if you don’t want to mod your adapter.

        Also, keep in midn this will cause the NES or SNES controller to behave as a Wii Classic Controller, not a GameCube controller or Wiimote. It thus will only work with games that support the classic controller.

      • Sorry for the weak description first time around. I will try to give all the proper info this time around. I am using a NES-004 controller and I have the mayflash version that did come with the Famiclone DB-9 pads to NES converter cord.

        So I have the NES controller plugged into the 9 pin-to-7 pin converter cord and that cord plugged into the Mayflash adapter. When I use this with virtual console games or with my Nintendo emulator on my Wii two thing happen – 1. Most times nothing. The controller will do nothing as if it is not hooked up. 2. When it does work sometimes – the a & b button will both do the same thing. For example in Mega Man 2 both buttons jump. Neither shoots. One button does a bit higher jump than the other.

        This issue is really stumping me and I am not sure what to do here?

        When I use this with a Super Nintendo controller plugged in with SNES virtual console games or my SNES emulator on my Wii – no problems at all. Works perfectly with no lag.

        I hope this is enough information to work with. I would greatly appreciate your help with this. Thanks.

        -Steve

  2. Sorry for the weak description first time around. I will try to give all the proper info this time around. I am using a NES-004 controller and I have the mayflash version that did come with the Famiclone DB-9 pads to NES converter cord.

    So I have the NES controller plugged into the 9 pin-to-7 pin converter cord and that cord plugged into the Mayflash adapter. When I use this with virtual console games or with my Nintendo emulator on my Wii two thing happen – 1. Most times nothing. The controller will do nothing as if it is not hooked up. 2. When it does work sometimes – the a & b button will both do the same thing. For example in Mega Man 2 both buttons jump. Neither shoots. One button does a bit higher jump than the other.

    This issue is really stumping me and I am not sure what to do here?

    When I use this with a Super Nintendo controller plugged in with SNES virtual console games or my SNES emulator on my Wii – no problems at all. Works perfectly with no lag.

    I hope this is enough information to work with. I would greatly appreciate your help with this. Thanks.

    -Steve

    • satoshimatrix Says:

      Ah I see the problem is you’re using software for the Homebrew channel, which isn’t designed to read every possible configuration of the Wii controller. This will work for officially written software, but unfortunately individual programs written for the Homebrew Channel have flaws like this. Sorry, but SOL.

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