Arduino Nintendo NES screen?

hello, From a programming point I was curious if anyone manage to interface a arduino with a Nintendo Nes system to display some text on the screen? This is just a fantasy project I always wanted to try and learn if it is possible. I know of others who Dump Game cartridge using arduino But that is all.


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It's possible. You will need a lot of pins so a 2560 would be a good uC for the job.
A NES or SNES cartridge has:

  • 1 or more ROM chips for the game data, sprites, music, etc.
  • a boot ROM to authenticate the game to the system and pass the boot sequence
  • 0 or more RAM chips for storing game save data - will be paired with a coin cell battery
  • 0 or more logic buffer and/or inverter chips
  • 0 or more RAM chips for system memory expansion/buffering
  • 0 or more GPUs - So far as I know this was allowed for in the design but never implemented due to cost, but I'd love to be proven wrong on this point so I can buy and understand it better

Essentially a cartridge is typically a glorified read only parallel access ROM. Emulation of this with an Arduino is quite possible given the massive speed of 16MHz compared to the NES. To do this you must first understand the pin out of the cartridge, which I just happen to have: NES_Famicom_Pinouts.pdf (27.3 KB)

You will also need a copy of the boot rom. Which I have somewhere amongst my 2.2PB of data. Soooooo, you may have to search for it yourself or buy a couple cartridges and rip it.

But the big concern is Why?
Were I interested in the concept I'd much prefer to make an Arduino run a cartridge rather than emulate it.
Just my 2 cents.

Hello er_name_not_found, Thank you so much for the information. And you havesome good points "Why". Well my answer is why not. I always wanted to do more with the NES system. Make a glorified Serial monitor Or a text terminal and even maybe to talk to another NES system. Who knows. The limit to me is yes understanding the pinout and programming which is not my strong point. I can do the hardware that is my thing. But programming is well something else.

This will help me big time.Thank you I will keep this up until i figure out how to get this to work or fail. But it is something I always wanted to do.

p.s.s I did see the cartridge working on the arduino for dumping the rom. But that is all.


Then learn about the bottom port of the NES. I haven't dug into it too much but you may find it is attached to more areas than the cartridge.

I did find this for the bottom from a youtube video once.


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