Video game consoles are a beloved part of nerd culture. Many of our first trysts with technology were with machines like the Atari 2600, the Nintendo Entertainment System, or even the PlayStation. Consoles have remained a tech staple for decades, and that’s partly because they have traditionally performed their main task wonderfully: playing games. When nerds latch onto something, a very common instinct is to tinker with it or to make it better. Creative use for technology is something we celebrate here at ExtremeTech, so I wanted to take the time to show off some of my favorite console mods. From complete transformations of the form factor to simple facelifts, these mods are perfect examples of what fellow nerds love to do in their spare time.
Long, long ago there was a television program called The Screen Savers on a network called ZDTV (later renamed to TechTV, and later absorbed into G4). Back in May of 2002, one of the on-air personalities named Yoshi DeHerrera took it upon himself to make the ultimate gaming machine. Not only was it a custom-made PC, but it was also a Frankenstein’s monster of game consoles. In a single case, he was able to fit the guts of an Atari 2600, a Nintendo Entertainment System, an original Xbox, a Gamecube, and a PS2. While it wasn’t a seamless experience because it required a video switcher, it was a superb example of extreme engineering. While The Screen Savers is no more, a video of the unveiling is still available on YouTube for posterity purposes.
A fellow by the handle Bacteria produced a portable version of the Nintendo 64 called the iNto64. Using Sony’s official PSone 5-inch LCD and four amps of battery power, this handheld monster weighs in at just over 2.2 pounds. With over 20 videos of instruction, it is now possible to even make your own.
Next page: Portable PS2… and a Wiimote made of hemp?