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Rainbow : a WiFi cart / mapper for the NES !

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Hey there !

This is my very first post here since NintendoAge closed, and I have some pretty cool and exciting news.

But first, let me explain what it's all about... (you can skip directly after the pictures to get to the exciting part).

For 2 years now I've been working on a WiFi project for the NES, to offer the possibility to make online games (and/or download new content, fix bugs, and so on...) !
First prototype was a module that plugs in the second controller port. You can check it in action in this video (English subtitles available): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK1qEAI-mGE
But there were too many limitations, so I decided to move on something more powerful, but also more complex. An NES cartridge, with a WiFi chip on it!

That's when the Rainbow project really started.




For many months I kept on working on this project with @RogerBidon, me on the hardware/firmware side, and him on the emulator side.
We made a lot of progress, and I'm really proud to share with you the first example project which can be seen as a kind of tutorial for those who may want to take a shot at making an online game for the NES or if you're just curious to see the thing in action.

This is a simple chat project using a NodeJS server which also provides a chat webpage to communicate with the NES, and of course a ROM (compiled with cc65 suite) to use in a custom FCEUX build that allows to connect to the server and... chat!

The project can be downloaded here: http://brokestudio.fr/rainbow/rainbow-chat.zip

There's a README.md file included with all the details on how to install/use it.

For windows users, you can download the custom FCEUX build here: http://brokestudio.fr/rainbow/fceux_wifi.zip
Or you can clone this repository and build it yourself: https://github.com/sgadrat/fceux (branch rainbow, not master)

Of course this is emulation, but the project works perfectly fine with my WiFi prototype board !

Let me know what you think about it, and feel free to ask if you have any question.

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This is really cool.  I wonder if the famicom microphone could be used for voice chat.

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Don't have much to add, other than to say this whole thing amazes me! Keep up the good work! 🙂

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