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8-Bit Binge: Hack Puts Netflix on Original Nintendo

Netflix's latest "hack day," on which developers test out new features and concoct hacked versions of the service, was a particularly entertaining one.

Netflix regularly hosts a "hack day" on which its developers test out new features, make up random hacked versions of the service, and generally mess around with the code. This winter's event was particularly entertaining, and perhaps the most memorable — if not practical — hack put the video streaming service on an original Nintendo Entertainment System. Yes, you read that right, and no, it doesn't look like something you'd actually want to watch.

It runs on an actual cartridge and you use the real NES controller to select a show or movie — though as the NES was never an online console, there's no way it's actually streaming the video. Even if it were, the limited colors and resolution of the Nintendo make for something of a limited viewing experience.

Other hacks from the day include: a system that buzzes loudly when you stop watching a video, a globe showing real-time viewing habits around the world, dual logins to prevent your partner from watching the next episode without you, and a pause screen that shows the current scene's dialogue. That last one actually sounds pretty useful — let's hope Netflix makes that a real feature soon.



—Devin Coldewey