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.
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.
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.