The NES was a gateway console in so many ways; not only did it turn Nintendo into a household name in North America and restore the battered home console market in the process, but it also served as an introduction to the thrills of interactive entertainment for millions of people – people who, today, are enjoying video games with families of their own via the Switch.
However, one element of the NES has attracted negativity over the years – the ZIF, or Zero Insertion Force cartridge connector. While it was designed to give the console a futuristic feel back in 1985, it has become a critical failure point for the system.
Because traditional cartridge contacts naturally get 'scrubbed' when inserted and removed from the console, debris and dust are dealt with, to a degree – however, ZIF systems lack this element, which allows gunk to accumulate over time, leading to the dreading 'blinking light' fault (and the foolhardy practice of 'blowing on the cart').
@RockerGaming and @reventlow have spent the past six months developing a solution to this problem, dubbed the Ninten-drawer. "The Ninten-drawer is more than just a basic 72-pin connector," says RockerGaming's Twitter. "It fixes the blinking red light often associated with a bad 72-pin connector; it accomplishes this by effectively creating a straight shot to the cartridge slot."
Now, this isn't the first time a solution to this problem has been created – we already have the Blinking Light Win. However, RockerGaming feels the Ninten-drawer is an improvement on that.
"The drawer can do what the win can’t… which is extend. This gives the drawer a massive leg up when it comes to actually removing the cart. You see, this design, along with a few other clever tricks, makes death grip, which plagued other 72 pin connectors, a thing of the past. Reliable connection to play games and you can remove the cartridge no problem."
RockerGaming is now looking for testers to put the mod through its paces; if you think you can help, drop them a line on Twitter.