Instructables
Picture of Turn a Super NES into a Universal Game Player
No Cartridge.jpg
Don't you wish you had a system that could play all your favorite games from the past? Mario? Sonic? Gauntlet? Yes!

Well with this magic system you can play all your favorites on a 4-player system that uses authentic Super Nintendo Control Pads. It has the capability to play games from NES, Super NES, N64, Neo Geo, Gameboy Advance, Commodore 64, Sega Genesis, arcade games and more! It is cartridge free, and plugs into any TV with HDMI. Take it to any friends house, because this puppy is very portable! The secret is there is a mini computer inside of the Super NES that runs whatever classic games you choose.

I started with just an old Super Nintendo, and with about $200 and some time on my hands, I was able to turn it into pure gaming gold. You can do the same thing as well, just follow this instructable!

This console is:
• 4 player and super portable - have a gaming party at anyone's house!
• Cheap to build
• Able to use authentic SNES controllers (4 player with additional wireless controllers.)
• Solid State, no moving parts
• Cartridge-free! Store all your games on a SD card.
• Can be used in Modern TV's even if your real Nintendo is cannot be accepted by your TV.
• Going to make all your friends jealous   ^_^

Check out a demo of the player right here:


The emulators I use are all 100% free. Keep in mind if you build your own player, it should be used for games that you legally own.
 
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Hello there, I have built the snes to your instructions so far but my motherboard has been freezing everyone it loads Windows. The only thing I have done different is: I use 4 gb ram, win 7, and a 250 gb toshiba hard drive, maybe you can help
I am using the same zotac, I noticed that the 4gb ram doesn't always start the motherboard just on pure luck I will be able to start out sometimes
Crafterkid1232 months ago

It would have been cheaper to use a Raspberry Pi. Not everybody can afford a "1337 gaeming FaZe pc !!111!1!" motherboard.

vigothecarpathian (author)  Crafterkid1232 months ago

Raspberry Pis didn't exist in 2010 / 2011. I'm sure you could use one today, it would save $50, but stuff like N64 wouldn't work.

How well does the hot glue hold up over time? I want to do a similar project with the NES and I was worried hot glue would not hold my ports in place very well.

Hot glue is still holding just fine for me.

Okay so I need a little help here how did you manage to get the screws out from the corners while I've been able to do the two center ones I can't find anything that fits so I can turn the socket :/ please help?
Is there a way to replace the SNES controllers with wired/wireless controllers from systems such as the PS2 or XBox360? Most of the emulators I use require more controls like the Gamecube. Any help here?
From what i read, he basically tore apart An old snes and replaced it with a tiny computer using the snes as an nostalgic case, so yes any usb or wifi pc controller will work
Thanks :)
taintt4u1 year ago
I want to build one of these, and have been looking around for my options. I came across an acer one that has hdmi out with a broken screen on ebay. intel atom 1.66, 320gb hdd, 1 gig of ram. I checked dimensions, and the components should have no problem fitting in NES. This would even make the little retro box wireless if ever needed. What are you thoughts? I could snag this cheaper than mini itx mobo.
the reason you used wireless (opposed to corded) player 3 and 4 controllers was to try and keep it looking as stock as possible right?

is there enough room for a ssd where your sd to sata adaptor is?

it seems to be quite hard to find mobo's with a cpu and psu for $100 right now...
I have found several that are decent, some with and without the PSU though.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157228

Is the one I am looking at using for my version of this.

Another great site, albeit UK based, is http://www.mini-itx.com/store/boards

They have boards, accessories, and even 12VDC PSU
I ended up buying a clear plexi-glass mine ITX case off of ebay along with a SSD, ram, motherboard, and PSU from NCIX. I still have to finally deside on a Front end for it as some or more flashy and some more straight forward and to the point. DO you still like the front end you chose to go with?. I sold my all of my NES, SNES, N64, GC, and Genesis collection to make this build. Hopefully I actually finish it one of these days.
ZeroVirus1 year ago
I am working on designing my own version based on your work. Due to damage on my SNES case it won't look "stock" though because I am going to end up painting it. One thing I am thinking of adding to mine would be 2 USB ports on the beack between the HDMI and 12VDC connectors.
j-rod433 years ago
how much are the mainboards?
they basically range from $100 - $150
kendawg772 years ago
is there anyway to make it RCA
~CableGuy2 years ago
man! , this is awesome! wish I had enough money to that... damn... let's go to bed and make this instructable in dream!
Keep Rockin' dude!, thumbs up!
harvardman2 years ago
awesome job ...i have to build one for the kids but cant find the motherboard you used ...can u give options please thanks for your time
Muniosi3 years ago
Anyone know where to get just the housing for a SNES? I've looked everywhere.
pawnshops, goodwill, 2nd hand stores, craigslist?
tthrower183 years ago
i can do all of this and more with my jailbroken ipod touch
You can have up to 4 players playing teenage mutant ninja turtles on your 1 iphone?

I call bullshit
ok not 4 players but i can still play
Oh yeah? Well I can do all that with my iPad!
Very cool, nicely done. I did a similar one a few years back with an NES. Also, just a heads up, downloading or dumping video game ROMs is illegal regardless if you've purchased the game or not (in most countries at least). Even if it is for archival purposes.
0fin3 years ago
when i create the dos start up disk
there is only 1.38mb on my sd card now???HELP???
Calico Jack3 years ago
On my system, the controller ports are tack welded to the mount. Is this the case for all super nintendos? How would I remove the welds without damaging the parts I need?

On another note, could you use the original power switch of the snes? If not, is it a matter of space, or compatibility?
vigothecarpathian (author)  Calico Jack3 years ago
Hi! Is this just soldier points on the circuit board, or is there an actual weld? On mine, I had to just melt the soldier to pull out the controller port. Otherwise it came right out. I used a solder removal gun, or desoldering iron, to suck up the melted soldier on the circuit board and everything came right apart.

As far as the switches go, I could not use the power switch because it was a hard on off switch. Computers generally use a momentary push switch for their power button. The reset switch on the Super NES is a momentary switch, so I probably could have used that though. I am guessing that just about any switch that springs back to the off position should work.
I'm pretty sure it's a weld, but I'm no expert. So you are probably right. It's probably solder. I'll have to take another look. Thanks for the quick response!
0fin3 years ago
do u need to the swithes or can u just plug it up and unplug it to turn on and off?
vigothecarpathian (author)  0fin3 years ago
You generally don't want to unplug a computer when it is powered on, since there is a chance it can harm the computer. What you can do is set the computer to turn on when it is plugged in, and use the "shut down" command to turn off the computer. The frontend menu program I used, Mala, has the option to turn the computer off automatically when you quit the program.
the thing is i dont get how to setup mala
do i do it on the snes or my pc?
First, I'd like to appreciate your great work - maybe the most useful consolemod I've seen so far!

Do you think it's possible to do the mod with a PAL console also?
Thanks!! :)

I believe that a PAL console could possibly work, they were similiar size consoles. I think the US Super NES was a tad taller with it's "hump" in the middle though. I didn't make much use of this area, but certain motherboards have a taller heatsink that could possibly need that clearance.
dishinhof3 years ago
I love this design and i am starting my bill of materials for it. I was wondering, can you also run dos box to play all of the old dos games as well. I figured you could but i though id ask anyway.
vigothecarpathian (author)  dishinhof3 years ago
Hi,

Sorry about the slow reply, I haven't been around computers much these days. Yes, dos box should run fine with this sort of setup. The only downside is many dos games might have a hard time mapping to a joypad. You can always work around this by using a program like xpadder or joy2key that will turn gamepad controls into keyboard strokes. xpadder also maps mouse controls as well I believe.
0fin3 years ago
whats a stick of ram
*Laughs furiously over 0fin's lack of knowledge*
Ram is what makes machines run fast, by accessing memory from the stick; it can load a saved file.
It's not a USB type of stick, it's more like a microchip. Buy one on Ebay or something,
But I thought Ebay sucks..............................
Not for this kinda stuff it doesn't.
Okayayayayayayayayay.
Yep.
RAM Definiton:
RAM chips are basically over flow for a computer's hard drive. RAM chips provide extra memory (Which is mostly temporary) that helps relieve your hard drive's workload when you have a whole bunch of windows open at the same time. The extra memory makes your computerr run faster and allows you to run more windows at the same time without having your computer poot out.
R.A.M - Random-access memory
This basicly turns your super nes into a computer.
And then you run a emulator on it
Am i right?
yes... this is correct.
0fin3 years ago
I SERIOUSLEY NEED A VIDEO EXPLAINING EVERYTHING
WITH THE SD CARD
0fin3 years ago
i cant find 4 or 5 and cant get the format tool to work
links???
0fin3 years ago
WHAT KIND OF CHERRY MICROSWITHCHES
I WANNA MAKE THIS BUT THERE ISNT ENOUGH DETAILS
0fin3 years ago
HOW MANY PINS DOES THE STICK OF RAM HAVE TOO HAVE?
0fin3 years ago
CAN U MAKE A VIDEO OF THIS OR A VIDEO OF SHOWING WHERE TO PUT EVERYTHING IN THE SUPER NES AND HOW TO INSTALL EVERTHING?
dishinhof3 years ago
Also, do you have 1 usb receiver per controller? Or is it just the 1 receiver for both contollers?
shaggs313 years ago
Don't get me wrong, this is impressive. But you can get emulators for all those consoles and more to work on a PC. I do not see the need to do this.
vigothecarpathian (author)  shaggs313 years ago
There are a number of perks.

First, it is small, portable, and HDMI plug and play ready. With a computer, you generally have a larger tower or case that may not be that easy to set on you TV stand. You also need a computer with HDMI output. If you set a computer up on your television, you generally need to use keyboard and mouse to access each emulator, which can be a big hassle. With this project, everything is booted directly up into the menu and ready to use. You also can't easily bring your computer over to use at someone else's house or even a different TV without the hassle of carrying the tower, keyboard, mouse, and whatever you want to plug in and set up for controllers. I have brought my Super NES over to friend's houses with everything fitting easily inside a satchel. The system is very light as well (2lbs, 8 oz).

Another perk is that most people want to use real controls for their classic games. This uses official Super NES controllers, which were similiar enough to the NES style as well.

It also has a nostalgia wow factor as well. Going to a friend's house lugging a computer over and setting up an emulated game is not as fun as just bringing over the super nintendo, flicking it on, and start playing classics. Since this is solid state hardware, you won't even have the hum of fans going.

Cheers!
I have a solution to the dragging-a-huge-pc-to-your-friends-house issue... Buy a Mac Mini... They are smaller than your project, and use a tiny wireless keyboard and mouse... And there is probably a way to make the older controllers work with them... Maybe the same USB adaptor you used?
jogu wintergoat3 years ago
Or an even better idea would be to just put those emulators on a flash drive and take that to a friends house! Or you could realize the point of the project is to make something cool and fun inside a SNES case.
This might not be the super mosterest practical option for everyone, but this is about gaming and might be practical/awesome for at least some people. If you have a mac mini, go for it and write an Instructable where your colleagues can point out how your rig can be done a whole other way to accomplish roughly the same thing. Also, SNES consoles are pretty darn small and offer a bit of nostalgia for those of us who played them when they first came out.
i just had an amazing idea! (sorry if this defeats the purpose if this) but use 1UP's build you own portable system INST' http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Portable-Game-System/
and this one and you have a portable PMGS (portable multi game system!)
just a thought also make a video out and make it HDMI (i'm terrible with HDMI stuff) again sorry if this is off topic
techmonster3 years ago
what kind of motherboard should i use? it looks like their prettymuch all 1.6ghz so does it really matter? is there a certain one that you would recommend
zack2473 years ago
are those wireless controllers bluetooth?

this thing is sweet!
vigothecarpathian (author)  zack2473 years ago
Thanks! They are not bluetooth, but you could easily use bluetooth controllers if you wanted to. I just wanted to get the cheapest dual shock controllers out there, but anyone who wants to do a project like this can use whatever they want.
i have wireless PS2 controllers, and a wireless Xbox 360 controller, i know thaat wii remotes are bluetooth, do you think those are too?
The PS2 one Definitely isn't though you can get a USB adapter to use your 360 controller wirelessly on PC. PS3 controllers however can be made to work if you install some additional software.

I believe the PS3 controller software is called Motion Joy. It can be a bit of a pain but works great. (also works with USB plug) http://forums.motioninjoy.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1186

A Wired 360 controller will work as well and is supported by microsoft. (get the latest Direct X)

If you have an Xbox original controller they are super easy to hack to USB, Simply Chop off the plug and splice it to a USB cable. Then use the XBCD drivers which can be found here. http://www.redcl0ud.com/xbcd.html
i used to have some sort of game chair tht had come with a wired xbox 360 controller and a wireless ps3 controller, we got rid of the chair ages ago, but i have a few 360 controllers about..

another option, which is what i currently use for PC game controllers, is the Fusa Gamepad for custom firmware PSPs, it enables your PSP to be a PC game controller and ive found that it works quite well.
Great Idea, There is also a few apps for android phones that will let you do the same, I've only used if for racing games and SNES but it works fine. The tilt sensors in most phones can make for an interesting play experience with some emulators though on screen controls work fine too.
Zacfo953 years ago
Great idea, I'm going to do something like it. But I do have one question. What do you use for power? I mean, you can't really use a regular PSU for this. What would I need to power this mobo? (http://tinyurl.com/nespc-mobo-cpu)

Thanks.
vigothecarpathian (author)  Zacfo953 years ago
Hello! The mobo I bought specifically had a DC output and power supply that it came with. It was specifically designed for being put into a small case.

An option for a board without an onboard DC output would be to buy a PicoPSU. These are small DC circuits that will connect your mobo to a laptop power brick. The PicoPSU new will cost you about $25, and a power brick new can cost you another $25. The Pico is very small though, so it should be not take up much real estate in your machine.
For PicoPSU & laptop brick how many watts should i be looking for for this kind of mobo?
also is this mobo appropriate for this prj?am kind of a noob at this stuff for now;p
http://discount-cabin.com/shop/product_info.php/zotac-gf9300-lga-775-nvidia-geforce-9300-hdmi-mini-itx-intel-motherboard-p-105567?currency=GBP&osCsid=bcca8084ffadcfce747191afae8d5297&osCsid=bcca8084ffadcfce747191afae8d5297

thanks
bacterium3 years ago
How much RAM do you have in your machine?
vigothecarpathian (author)  bacterium3 years ago
I used 1gb
builderkidj3 years ago
What a great idea!
Tomcat943 years ago
I still have the same SNES I had when I was four years old, and it still works just fine. So I'm not going to take it apart and make this, but instead, I'll just find a broken SNES (As in, broken beyond repair) at a thrift store and give it new life instead with this. After making my second MAME machine, I'd like to do something different like this. :)
vigothecarpathian (author)  Tomcat943 years ago
MAME Machines are absolutely awesome, but sometimes it's nice having something to use while sitting on the couch. Good Luck with your project!
I have to ask, though... The operating system for the computer is Windows XP, right? Did you have to buy a retail disk for XP, or buy a validation code for it to be used? Or was there some other method that you used to get around it? (Not that I'm promoting piracy or anything, but the instructions were kind of vague on the windows validation portion of installing Windows XP) I'm on a pretty tight budget, so buying a 170 dollar motherboard with a 150 dollar product key for Windows is a bit out of my range...
vigothecarpathian (author)  Tomcat943 years ago
I know how you feel. I was lucky enough have a retail XP disk and code from an old computer of mine. You will need to get a validation code to get XP to work. You can go an number of routes to do this project without paying full price on a copy of XP.

I would personally recommended checking eBay for a cheap copy of XP, just be sure to get one that comes with the validation code. I see some now that are currently going for $1.00, I'm not sure how much the bidding would go up on them though.

You can also try installing Ubuntu, which is a free to download Linux operating system. I is suppose to be easy to install and use. I tried once and gave up though.

I am not going to advocate piracy either, but if you do download a copy of XP with a serial off of some torrent site, there is a chance that it is not necessarily illegal. I am no legal advisor, so I could easily be wrong though. It is my understanding that if you bought a computer that came bundled with XP, a lot of times those copies come with securities that keep you from using the CD on a different computer if your first one breaks. You still purchased a 1 legal license to that version of Windows XP, and have a right to that version of Windows XP, even if you can't use your original disk. As long as you only use the 1 copy of windows XP at a time, you are not violating your 1 purchased license. The downloaded copy of windows XP would qualify as a personal backup.

I'm not trying to open a debate on license laws, so I just recommend checking eBay for a cheap copy of XP. :)


PS, I can't help but love the milk cap button you made! Very clever button you Macgyver'ed together!
I once tried to use Ubuntu for my MAME machine, and I gave up too. :P

I have a Windows XP Professional disk that I salvaged from the IT department of my old school, and never bothered to use it, so I might go grab a serial somewhere and use it for this (if I ever do)...

PS, my milk cap button is nothing compared to a SNES All-in-one gaming system. Just sayin'. :P

By the way, thanks!
super cool but i my to stupid to know how to
morad10s3 years ago
¿QUE PUEDO HACER CON UNA CPU COMPAQ PRESARIO 7222?
Tu debes hable ingles, por favor... Seria mas facil para alguien que ayude a.
sorry to be a critic, but, I detest that you would turn a very old game console, that is probably worth something and make it neary worth anything, sorry but, i would not want to reck a perfectly goo super nintendo to make one of these.
I agree, same deal with destroying NES cartridges to make routers, they don't make this stuff anymore and it doesn't exactly grow on trees, plus the emulator doesn't compare to the real thing, I still have my SNES and I have no plans to take it apart.
vigothecarpathian (author)  raith20063 years ago
Also, a note about the emulation. I have spend quite a few hours playing actual Nintendo and Super Nintendo cartridges side-by-side with this machine. I'm a perfectionist, so I want to be sure everything was running at 100%. The difference between the emulated games and the actual cartridge games are indecipherable. With the actual super nintendo controllers, I was not able to tell they difference at all when playing the emulated games.

Emulation has come a long way! :)
true, it has come a long way, but there still are differences with some games, especially if you try to set up a multiplayer game. As for scarcity, if this kinda thing gets too popular then you might end up making the system rare, kinda like endangered species except you can't breed super Nintendo's.
vigothecarpathian (author)  raith20063 years ago
What kind of issues do you mean with multiplayer? The only issue I have ever seen is the limitation of inputs that can be pressed at once when using a keyboard as controls. With USB input, it shouldn't be a problem though.
I have the most experience with zsnes, the multiplayer for it is somewhat a pain to set up and doesn't seem to have local multiplayer, only networked, and setting some of the controls has been a pain especially while playing metroid, also the screen size is a bit annoying.
Obviously not much of a gamer if you've never had a cartridge fail :P
I've been playing it for 15 years, the only problems have been when the cartridge gets dusty and that's an easy fix, I have had my save games get erased randomly on my super Mario world cartridge, but it worked perfectly ever since(I lost count of how many times I've beat the game, and that's getting the 96* on every save not just beating bowser), the only broken cartridge was one for the Atari 2600 and that one was broken when I got it second hand in a bundle of games, I have wrecked controllers, but the rest of the system still works great. the consoles they make now aren't nearly as durable as the ones they used to make.
Consoles, definitely. Laser vs card reader.....

I've had gameboy games be so overplayed they just stop working. And not being rough, at all.
Xbox/Gamecube were the last generation of reliable consoles, and they won't last another 10 years like the SNES did.
vigothecarpathian (author)  raith20063 years ago
The way I look at it, you have to factor in obscurity and relevance before chopping into anything video game wise. I have probably seen over 5000 copies of John Madden football in my life, and have no problem with someone making something useful out of one. Heck, I know a guy who wallpapered his room with actual mario/duckhunt cartridges because he found a videogame reseller dumping 100's of them in a landfill.

A super NES is by no means a rare system, there are millions of them around, and re-purposing a broken one only respectfully adds new life to something that was otherwise dumpster bound.

luckily the super nintendo isn't worth anything noteworthy. You can get old working ones for around 10 bucks. You could also just simply use one of the millions of broken ones out there. You just need the case.

You can also still buy super nintendo's brand new. They are off brand, but they are still being produced.

There is nothing rare nor valuable about a super nintendo.
Well, what else should I have done with an old broken Super NES? Put it behind a glass case? It's not even a rare system, there were 49 million of them sold.

Also, look at the video or read the text, those are not PC games being played.
Tkdwn3 years ago
Instead of the solid state adapter, you could boot everything from an usb memory stick, if that borard suports it. Nice idea, i was just watching for a custom mini computer case. Nice project, and nicely done. :)
cbranum3 years ago
Does anyone have any suggestions for a cheaper mini ITX motherboard? The Zotac is pretty spendy...
vigothecarpathian (author)  cbranum3 years ago
I would like to know if anyone has any suggestions as well, apparently this motherboard went up in price since I purchased it. :(

Pretty much it must meet these three criteria:

Have HDMI output
Have a external power supply, like a laptop
Be no more than 4cm tall. This height might be able to be fudged a little if the height is all in the center taller area of the Super NES, where the cartridge slot is.

If anyone has any suggestions, I please share! :)
reptedjess3 years ago
So, you have to go pro to get the PDF. Is there any way you could send it to me?
vigothecarpathian (author)  reptedjess3 years ago
The only PDF that you need to be a pro member to get is the one to view all steps in one PDF.

The supplimental PDF for installing XP on a SD to SATA drive on the bottom of step 6 should be something that you can download.

There is also an appendix on the bottom of step 8 that you should be able to download as well. Let me know if you still have trouble with these files.
Ok, I see it now. They make it kind of look like an add or something, so I didn't pay any attention to it.
Thanks
vigothecarpathian (author)  reptedjess3 years ago
No Problem!
chance3133 years ago
Wow, this is awesome!
vigothecarpathian (author)  chance3133 years ago
Thanks!
hyruler_3 years ago
this is awsome.......
and is this your design???
Just an idea, but I know that in applications such as this XP probably isn't the best choice of OS. For the system resources and to save space on your SD I would recommend some form of Linux. Uses less space and less computer resources to run (less ram processor time ect.). Doesn't really require any more technical know how than is already being utilized.

Love the project and idea :)
Thanks! Yep, you could easily use Linux to run this system, and that was actually my plan early on. I went with XP because I was having difficulty at the time installing any operating system onto an SD card. After trial and error, XP was the first I was able to get installed. The good thing about XP is that it can be small too, but you have to chop it all out yourself manually.

No matter what, it's good to put out there that Linux is a very good option for anyone interested in make something like this! Thanks!
Calico Jack3 years ago
Could you use something along the lines of a laptop hard drive instead of an sd card? Assuming you could find a place to mount it. But just in theory, would something like that be possible?
Of course. The only reason he picked an SD to SATA adapter was probably price, and maybe speed.
vigothecarpathian (author)  ScubaSteve3 years ago
Yep. You could use a laptop hard drive, I think it would fit just fine. Price was definitely the biggest factor with going with the SD to SATA. I also like the fact that the machine is completely solid state. There was something nice about those old console systems when they didn't have any moving parts. The only way you could tell if they were on was if you saw the red power LED was lit.
cbranum3 years ago
Would this work with a Super Famicom as well?
Vinsu3 years ago
Holy Thor! When do they start to sell these in Best Buy's? I'm drowling...
musick_083 years ago
Awh man you beat me to it! I was gonna make an instructable like this except i was gonna make a custom game console case so its like a whole new console. But great instructable!
tmarket13 years ago
This machine is the greatest thing I have ever seen!!

If I build one will it help me get a girlfriend?
It will definitely help you get a girlfriend, I have no problem getting girlfriends now that I built one of these, doing gymnastics and being a level 10 with an 8 pack might help
vigothecarpathian (author)  tmarket13 years ago
You'll have a hot girl for each arm after you are done with this project. No need for good looks, social skills, a fast car, or even hygiene when you have one of these babies. Trust me!

You just have to learn to impress women with this machine's capabilities. Let her know that your Super Nes holds over 18 Mega Man titles, has the ultra rare, unreleased in the US, Secret of Mana 3 and then finish up by letting her know it is all completely solid state hardware under the hood. She will be all yours, dude!

My last bit of advice is that women love the game "Altered Beast"..they go crazy over it. It must have something to do with those Twilight books. Tell a girl that you would like to spend the evening collecting power orbs with her so that you can transform into golden werewolves and storm Neff's palace. She will know what you mean! ;)
Hey this thing is a chick magnet!! It worked like a charm. I just had to mention my Zotac motherboard and the ladies melted away.
it sais unoversal but apperently it is only for pc games that can be mapped on a controller with about, 10 buttons. that are not speed sensitive, you might as well play this on a computer than reck a perfectly good super nintendo,
Dude, I got like 6 old super nintendos and probably a dozen NES machines I have picked up at garage sales and goodwill (mostly for the controllers and games). I must be sitting on a pot-o-gold huh?

I haven't pulled out those machines in years, although a game of Tecmo Super Bowl sounds great right about now. I'd gladly sacrafice an old shell to be able to play these classics in style. Of course you could play these on PC, but the point is - how cool is it to have everything assembled in an old SNES!! That's not only style, but all the classics at your fingertips. Anyone who loved these systems should appreciate that.
HELLZ YESH!!! OoT!!
Calico Jack3 years ago
What wireless controllers did you use? And where did you get your microswitches from?
vigothecarpathian (author)  Calico Jack3 years ago
The wireless controllers were the cheapest ones I could find, but they work well enough, they were $12.99 from Virtual Village

http://www.virtualvillage.com/wireless-dualshock-usb-gamepad-for-pc-2-4g-C07400-075.html?utm_source=googlebase&utm_medium=shcomp

I don't specifically remember where I got the microswitches from, because I collect arcade parts. You can just do a google search for "cherry microswitch" and there will be quite a few options. I noticed some for sale on ebay. It would cost me $3.60 after shipping for 2 switches.

http://compare.ebay.com/like/140480934209?var=binlv&ltyp=AllFixedPriceItemTypes&var=sbar&rvr_id=223817462545&crlp=1_263602_324952&UA=WXS%3F&GUID=965aada912e0a47a4480fe90ff25e0d2&itemid=140480934209&ff4=263602_324952
Thanks!

Also, could you possibly use four wireless controllers instead of the original controllers? I prefer the classic feel, but I was curious if it was possible.

And where could I find those computer case wires for the power switches? I don't entirely know what it is they are called, and I dont have any cases that are unaccounted for, so I'm at a loss when searching for them.
vigothecarpathian (author)  Calico Jack3 years ago
I would think 4 wireless controllers would work. Using two works fine, but I can't say 4 will work with 100% confidence because I never tried.

As for the computer case wires, I personally just pulled from an old computer case, but you can buy them new. This link has a kit with wires for the power switch, reset switch, and LED lights:

http://www.ecost.com/detail.aspx?edp=44678374&source=EWBBASE&cm_mmc=CSE-_-google-_-ewbbase-_-Computer&CAWELAID=366991383

Thanks!
slithien3 years ago
Wow! I would love to build this but i dont have the time, monny or skills required.
coppeis3 years ago
A link to the adapeter would be nice and thanks and great instructable!
vigothecarpathian (author)  coppeis3 years ago
Thanks! It was just purchased from Amazon.com

http://www.amazon.com/SNES-Controller-Adapter-USB-Super-NES/dp/B002IXZ5DE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1301635297&sr=8-2
Thanks
iscroman3 years ago
What a great project! Congratulations!

How much do you charge to send me a similar "console" to Mexico?

Thanks.
vigothecarpathian (author)  iscroman3 years ago
Hey, thanks so much for the compliments. Sorry, I'm not selling any of these, It's not too hard to make you own though!

Thanks!
Vigo the Carpathian
spweasel3 years ago
Great for a first submission, but I have one question.

Wouldn't booting straight to a USB Flash Drive give you better speed and bypass the cost of the SD-SATA adapter? I was under the impression that most modern BIOS could be set up to boot from USB instead of a real HD..
vigothecarpathian (author)  spweasel3 years ago
That's a good question! Generally speaking, you are right, you can. I personally had a hard time loading from a USB drive on the Zotac motherboard, and gave up. Using the SD card drive was just much easier for me, and the adapter was only $19.

As for speed, I thought the SD card would be faster since it connects via SATA instead of USB. I could be wrong, but I was very pleased with the speed; it can boot up in under a minute and load games quickly.

No matter what, I'm sure a USB drive would work great if the motherboard accepts the drive.
While SATA is much faster than USB 2.0, you'll still be limited by the SD card's speed. SD is slower than USB 2.0, so I would imagine you should see some improvement from the switch, although booting up is probably still limited by other factors (RAM, processor speed, etc.).

I'd need access to the board to figure out how easily you could boot from USB - you might need to switch to a more live-friendly OS like Ubuntu to get the whole thing working. The only real loss by switching to a different OS is you'll need a new front end.
vigothecarpathian (author)  spweasel3 years ago
Thanks, spweasel. I think you are right, SD cards can be limited in speed. Using a USB would be an easy change in plans for anyone who wanted to go with a USB drive instead. You are right that most modern motherboards can boot from USB as well.

I have personally installed Windows and Ubuntu on a flash drive for a couple computers, but I still wasn't able to get it to work on this motherboard. It did seem to have USB booting options in the BIOS as well. It probably just user error in this case, haha!

For anyone planning on doing this project, you can probably use a USB drive just fine, and even squeeze in some better speed - however, my method does get satisfactory speeds for booting up and running the classic games.
I've had a bunch of experience getting computers to boot to different media (usb, cd, network, etc) on different models and I hear ya. it can be a huge pain sometimes. usb boot often needs to be setup in two or even three different places in the bios.

as for speed, I can't imagine any of the media mentioned would become a bottleneck. I don't think any of the systems being emulated could go too fast for them.
vigothecarpathian (author)  ljdarten3 years ago
Thanks! I was ready to pull out my hair over the usb install. I've been really pleased with the SD card drive, so all turned out just fine. The emulation software isn't exactly demanding on my HD, so the SD drive was perfect for this project!
SWV17873 years ago
Can you mod one that will play PS1, and PS2 games as well?
ac1D SWV17873 years ago
And Xbox, and gamecube, of course! Anything with an emulator will work. If the computer you used support it, of course.
vigothecarpathian (author)  ac1D3 years ago
Yep, anything could work, as long as the computer is can handle it. This project is specifically geared to play older console systems, so I looked at low cost instead of high speed. I'm sure you could make a machine to play newer games, but it would cost more. The 16 GB drive is not going to hold many modern games, but you could add an external drive. You would also need much more RAM and you would have to make sure the motherboard would have a fast enough graphics card built in.
If you want to keep it fearly cheap, you could get yourself a netbook (I got the HP mini, for $250) and it does handle recent game (dreamcast, xbox, gamecube, wii!, nds, ..) with a decent fps (it's really playable).
For that cost you could probably build an even better desktop too, but as the netbook itself fit in the snes case, and it is battery powered, it could make another interresting hack. A snes with a screen =-)
vigothecarpathian (author)  ac1D3 years ago
That's a really cool idea! Have a Super NES with a LCD screen built in! You could put the thing in the back of any car and just play since it is battery powered. Perfect use for a netbook!
This should be able to handle PS1 games... if you can find the room. 16GB isn't a ton of space when bulky PSX disk images are involved, but the specs look good enough to run ePSXe in a playable state.

Don't get your hopes up for PS2 games, though. Not only do the disk images take up a ton of space (you'd need either a real HDD or a DVD drive), PS2 emulation is still fairly terrible (especially on a budget computer like this one).
A very interesting, and well documented project, thanks for sharing it.
vigothecarpathian (author)  Dream Dragon3 years ago
Thanks Dream Dragon! I appreciate it! ^_^