Word around the internet these days is that Nintendo is planning on offering Super Nintendo games as part of their current online multiplayer service. The move would unite fans of classic games from the 16-bit the world over, however, an intrepid embedded software developer named Michael Fitzmayer has beat the Big N to the punch. He calls his project the SNESoIP (SNES over IP), and the device acts as a Wi-Fi adapter for original Super Nintendo hardware.
The Super Nintendo is no stranger to network protocols. In Japan, Nintendo launched their Satellaview satellite modem that enabled players to “tune-in” for limited time in-game events. While in the States, there was the X-BAND network service for a time in select markets that brought true online multiplayer to select games like Mortal Kombat II and NBA Jam Tournament Edition. Unlike Nintendo’s own Satellaview hardware though, SNESoIP is fully bi-directional, and since it’s open source there’s plenty of opportunity to support every Super Nintendo game with a two player mode.
The latest iteration of SNESoIP was developed using an STM32F103 dev board. Fitzmayer originally made a working prototype in 2013, but has recently dusted off the project in order to finalize the design and form a community around the device. Over on Fitzmayer’s’ GitHub repo, there’s a framework for the project along with a link to join the SNESoIP Discord server. It’s all a work in progress at the moment, but it’s great to see folks iterate on designs of the past. SNES emulators may have had online multiplayer functionality for some time now, but there’s nothing quite like playing games on the real thing.
To see Fitzmayer’s original project in action, check out the video below.