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