The transformation of old consoles (the modding) has reached a new level with GingerOfMods. After nine months of work, this genius hacker has pulled off the crazy gamble of fitting most of the Nintendo Wii electronics into a custom Gameboy Color-sized box.
No CD player – given the format you can imagine – but a ROMS system implemented on a micro SD card integrated into the console accessible via USB.
Incorporating a 480p screen retrieved from an automobile backup camera and rechargeable Li-Ion batteries from Samsung, this Wiiboy Color takes advantage of all the software hacks that allow access to ROMS extracted from the original discs. In order to reduce the size of the original motherboard, the maker “simply” cut it!
Hybrid in appearance, the Wiiboy Color is also in electronics: to the “pieces” of Wii are added elements of Gamecube (controller circuits), the analog sticks of a Switch controller and control buttons. DS Lite. This heterogeneous imbroglio of components is interconnected by a “homemade” printed circuit.
A performance made possible by the community
The quality of the final execution of this integration is to the credit of GingerOfMods for doing a tremendous job. But it should be remembered that the hacker relies on a long-term work carried out by the Nintendo Wii modding community.
The most important part is obviously the motherboard cutting guide. Called “trimming”, this electronic butcher is to isolate the critical components of the console by removing unnecessary parts for the target uses – removing the mains power, analog connections, etc.
After many years of analyzing different components – and different versions of motherboards – the community has published very comprehensive guides to drastically losing weight on the motherboard and thus making this kind of integration possible.
Far from being easy, it is still a matter of (gently) passing the card to the dremel without destroying a key component. GingerOfMods then had to create the necessary electrical bridges by hand, using a soldering iron. Easier to read than to do.
If the Wiiboy Color is a (become) nomadic console, the creator has not given up on the external screen: you can indeed use the USB port of the mini console to allow it to be connected to a television and thus regain the sensations a living room console.
Technical performance … but the Switch is here
If it appeals as much to the Web, which has largely echoed this console, it is as much for the retro tribute as for the format, very compact. But far from overshadowing Nintendo, the editing of GingerOfMods highlights the performance of the Switch – and more particularly of the Lite version: the current Nintendo consoles have a retro catalog (Wii, SNES, NES) , and they are more efficient and especially more enduring than this home console.
When the Wiiboy Color promises two to three hours of play, we are largely double that duration with the two current Switches in the best case. All with a catalog that continues to grow, both in retro titles and in new releases.
If you’re a fan of electronic hacks, a retrogaming fan, or a Gameboy / Wii aficionado, you can check out the GingerOfMods overview video. The modder announces that he wants to take orders.