I was recently playing on a friend's NES Classic, and noticed that the controller ports look similar to the ones on a Wii remote (where you can plug in the Numchuck or Class Controller). Keep in mind that these ports work with original NES controllers, so this wasn't Nintendo reusing its designs (at least not that design specifically). Upon plugging in a Class Controller (Wii Classic Controller, designed for the Wii controller), I was surprised to see that it actually worked, and thought it was an authentic NES controller. Now, I don't have an original NES to test this on, but are the controller ports from the original NES identical to the ones on the Wii remote?

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    Voted as off-topic, since — as per the answer already posted — the port on the NES is both physically and electrically completely distinct from that on a NES Classic. So the substance of the question is the Wii and the NES Classic, which I don't think are yet old enough to be on topic. Honourably off-topic, if that's a concept, given that the author believes that "these ports work with original NES controllers", which would have given more of a connection were it true.
    – Tommy
    Mar 6, 2019 at 15:04
  • fair enough. thank you for your opinion, however I may disagree. I feel that while the NES Classic isn't technically old, it should be considered on-topic for some retro questions.
    – Badasahog
    Mar 6, 2019 at 15:48
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    I guess we could take it to meta if it turns out that other people have similarly divided opinions; if it's just me then clearly I'm in the wrong about this.
    – Tommy
    Mar 6, 2019 at 16:59
  • @JackKasbrack I'm not really sure if that is true for any part. The NES Classic is a complete different hardware than the NES. Running a complete OS (Linux) on a different CPU (ARM) and a NES emulation on top. None of the interfaces is the same as with the original. As I see it, the only questions (beside hackign the modern hardware) that can arise from this setup are game play questions - clearly off-topic on RC.SE.
    – Raffzahn
    Mar 7, 2019 at 2:44
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    I read this as “I was surprised to see that the NES Classic uses the same ports as the Wii; I wonder if the Wii used the same ports as the original NES”, and the question as being about the original NES, which is on-topic. Mar 7, 2019 at 10:51

1 Answer 1


The two consoles do have different controller ports. The NES Classic Edition is not directly compatible with original NES controllers, but it does work with the Wii Classic Controller.

The original NES uses a 7-pin connector:

original NES console

The NES Classic Edition does not:

NES Classic console

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    From what I remember, the Wii/Classic port uses I²C while the NES port is just a shift register on the other side of a 3-6ft wire with an extra line, typically left disconnected in extension cables, used by the light gun for some kind of sync.
    – ssokolow
    Oct 26, 2021 at 21:46

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