Archive for September, 2009

GameBoy Style Reset Mechanism for the NES

05/09/2009

Remember how the Nintendo GameBoy series lacked a reset button, but you could do a soft reset by holding B + A + Select + Start? Sadly, none of Nintendo’s home consoles had this feature, but it wasn’t really needed, provided that you had a physical reset button on the console itself. So I added this feature to my NES. Why?

I’m a really lazy person. I like to automate stuff as much as I can with my electronics skills to avoid unnecessary efforts. I have a wall-mounted TV, so one of my favorite things to do is lying down on my bed and play some classic NES games. I think that the American NES was designed with the couch potato in mind, since the controller cables are really really long, especially when compared to its Japanese counterpart.

I own lots of Famicom multicarts which I play on my NES with a converter. I’ve got some really good multicarts with a respectable number of unique games, saving me the hassle of repeatedly shuffling through cartridges when I want to play several games, all I need to do is push the Reset button and choose another game from the menu.

But wait, I have to get up from my comfortable position and go all the way to push the Reset button on the console, then back! That kind of negates the purpose of the multicart in the first place. There’s no easy way to return to the menu screen other than resetting the console. I’ve seen some mods where people physically extend their system’s reset button using wire and a toggle pushbutton, and also modified controllers with reset buttons on them. I don’t like any of these approaches because I like to preserve my system’s original aesthetics and also because I want a solution that works independently of the controller used. I was thinking how could I extend the reset function in a non-invasive way, when I recalled the GameBoy series using B + A + Select + Start as a soft reset sequence. Eureka! an idea was born.
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