Nokia N900 Plays NES Emulators? You Never Heard That.

By  |  Monday, November 30, 2009 at 5:29 pm

The first rule of classic console emulation is that you don’t talk about classic console emulation, but that’s exactly what Nokia did to promote its new N900 smartphone, and now the interest of Nintendo’s legal team is piqued.

According to The Independent, Nokia posted a video clip of the N900 running Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros. 3, among other classics, using emulators. The official video and accompanying Nokia Conversations blog post have since been removed, but I’ve found what appears to be the same video here, for now. It mentions how some emulators let you tweak the N900’s controls for the best set-up, while others even take advantage of the phone’s touch and tilt capabilities.

Nintendo wasn’t aware of the video until The Independent reached out for comment. “We take rigorous steps to protect our IP and our legal team will examine this to determine if any infringement has taken place,” Nintendo UK PR manager Robert Saunders told The Independent.

I doubt Nintendo could jeopardize the ability to play emulated games on the N900, just as the company can’t dictate whether emulators may run on your computer. And although Nintendo’s legal page clearly states that it believes playing emulated games is illegal, there’s no shortage of places to find emulators and the ROMs that contain game software. At best, some sites refrain from distributing ROMs of popular franchises, such as Mario.

If there’s any legal trouble, I think it’d be related to using Nintendo games to promote Nokia products, presumably without Nintendo’s permission. In that regard, Nokia messed up. After all, you don’t hear Google talking up emulation in Android phones. But now that the truth’s out there, I think it’s pretty sweet that the N900 can run classic Nintendo and Super Nintendo games with emulators. Not that I’d play them, of course.


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2 Comments For This Post

  1. The Critic Says:

    old news *yawn* we been playing nintendo games for a good bit as emulators have been available for about as long as ones for the pc have when it comes to the history of smartphones from windows mobile to symbian,

    Nes, snes, Sega, & even mame,,,

    but with the processor capabilities of the arm cortex 600mhz will definitely make a difference as far as frame rate with the extra ram helping also.

    I have owned a new n-series device every 3 months for the last 4 years. LoL

    Now for once i might have enough ram not forcing me to crash out from to many apps open while multitasking always been the real issue for us way to severely obsessed users.

    from the Nokia 7650,3650,6600,n80,n73,n95,n95-8gb,N96,N97 and soon i will have my Nokia N900 from amazon. There are many loyal followers of Nokia thats why they hold such a strong value point on the market but recently i think they have gone nowhere technology wise and inventive ideas seem to be lacking greatly over the last few years over saturating the market with buggy clones of the same garbage hardware and very ancient symbian O.S.

    This is the time to own the market and if they don`t step up they will drown horribly. The N900 is a start but they need something with more appeal. Thinner sleeker and more visual stunning menu and layout. As far as all the features they have always worked well but desire more responsiveness. I dont think they will survive sometimes though due to lack of making interesting apps and ovi market is horrible.

    the big rant i know what else can you do when you type 78wpm and know enough that these dumb chumps that make the big bucks do wrong you could be doing so right.

    Maybe i will become a developer to make an impact but at the rate of technology this phone will be old news by the time i develop something.

  2. Tommy Says:

    Using a game gripper it becomes even sweeter 😀

1 Trackbacks For This Post

  1. iPhone App Store Flirts With an NES Emulator, Briefly | Technologizer Says:

    […] certainly possible that Apple’s trying to avoid legal hot water — Nokia attracted some unwanted attention by advertising that capability on the N900 — but I also think Apple is inclined to reject NES […]