Like everyone else in the world, I grew up with a love for video games. Specifically games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. I don't know why, but I can't really get into playing all the modern games. The nice thing about newer consoles is that they are easy to keep out of sight (wireless controllers). Unfortunately to get your daily fix of NES, you need to dig through the closet, find the "good" controller, all the wires, etc etc and half an hour later you are playing. My goal was to prevent this from happening. And no, emulators just won't cut it.
I've always enjoyed the feel of playing with an arcade controller. Sure the NES Advantage is OK, but it doesn't give you that authentic feel a real arcade machine does. To solve that, I was inspired by a friend to build a NES Bartop Arcade machine. I could have gone the easy route and built a MAME console, but I find emulation just isn't the same. And thanks to Brian from http://www.retrousb.com
I can have all my games at my fingertips with the PowerPak.
I could have made things easier by using a NOAC (NES On A Chip) system that fits a NES in the size of a credit card. These have all sorts of problems though, sound, game incompatibility, color problems, and overall bad build quality. Since I like my games 100% authentic, both sight and sound, the only option was the original NES hardware.
Also, I want to be able to use a genuine arcade controller when my NES is hooked up to the big screen so I am doing something that has never been seen before (by me anyway). The controller part is detachable from the rest of the unit!
These were my goals for this project:
Keep it as small as possible
Make something that hasn't been done before
Maintain a good quality build
Inspire others to try something similar
I think I have accomplished all of these goals. The final footprint is 31" High x 14 1/2" Wide x 15 1/2" Deep. The cabinet has two unique features I've never seen. It has the detachable controller, and it has and actual NES mounted on the monitor with a GameGenie connector soldered directly to the motherboard. I didn't take any shortcuts with this build, and everything is strong and sturdy. Finally, I've already had people tell me they want to build one of these!
So without further adieu, I give you The Genuine NES Bartop Arcade.
*Check out the NES rom I made to show off the cabinet (future instructable?)*
**for some reason it is showing up as a .tmp file. Just change it to a .nes file and you should be able to run it on your emulator or PowerPak