NES on the Pocket PC and Smartphone

NES on the Pocket PC and Smartphone


Paul McGuinness sent us a few more Blackjack hacks today, some of which are particular to the device, and some that apply to Smartphones and Pocket PCs in general. My favorite, though, is getting an NES emulator running on the device.

I’ve played with the PocketNester NES emulator on my PPC quite a bit. You just download the PPC ARM installer from the SourceForge site, run the installer when you are connected to ActiveSync, and copy some ROMs over to play. It’s painless on the PPC, but it won’t install on the Smartphone.

I haven’t been able to test them, but there are a number of alternative PocketNester ports floating around, including PocketNesterPlus which is said to run correctly on the landscape/widescreen Smartphones. I’ve linked to what I could find. Hopefully one of them will get you up and running on your particular device.

While you’re checking this out, you’re going to need to find some ROMs to play. Instead of just downloading a bunch of old Nintendo ROMs, I always get a kick out of trying homebrew NES apps. The game pictured above is called Grave Digger, and it’s an addictive (maybe twisted) take on the old computer science “game of life” cellular automaton. The goal is to dig up all the zombies, but every time you dig, the adjacent graves will toggle between exhumed or filled.

The reason I mention Grave Digger is that it was written in 2004 as part of Bob Rost’s game development class at Carnegie Mellon. If you start to get into playing retro Nintendo games, it might be worth taking the next step and taking a swing at writing one. The CMU lectures, tests, and a nice collection of NES homebrew resources are available on Bob Rost’s site (as well as a few cool game ROMs). It’s definately worth checking out.


  • Original PocketNester (PPC portrait @ sourceforge – I’ve tested this one) – Link
  • PocketNester (for qvga SP @ surrealnetworks) – Link
  • PocketNesterPlus (for landscape SP @ surrealnetworks) – Link
  • PocketNesterPlus @ modaco forums (most recent? download appears to be corrupt right now) – Link
  • Samsung Blackjack Hacks Wiki – [via] Link
  • Game Development for the 8-bit NES – Link
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