Exactly what amount of money would you be willing to pay for a one-of-a-kind, custom-made Nintendo Entertainment System... PC? No, it's not just a PC tower with an NES shell slapped on the outer plating -- it's a rewired system that actually uses the gaming system's inputs as computer ports. Hardware wizard James Regan recently posted an extensive rundown of the project on the Retro Collect forums, describing how s/he built the entire kit.
Most notably, each socket and crevice on the NES was utilized for practical PC use. Even the front panel, normally reserved for inserting a Nintendo game (then ejecting it, blowing into the cartridge, and re-inserting it), was converted for the disc drive. Looking at the entire system, it's hard to believe to this was Regan's first attempt, although s/he notes that his/her entire house got destroyed in the building process.
The Hardest Part was cutting out a space for the Back Input Panel of the Motherboard while trying to keep it neat. I couldn't get it 100% Perfect but its a whole lot better than the rest of the attempts out there and certainly good for a first go at making one of these.
The Original Nes Power and Reset buttons have been wired and soldered to the motherboard so that the computer operates just like the old NES would have. The Power Led is also fully Functional. :)
And if you want to play some NES emulators and ROM files on this hardware with an actual gamepad, it's as simple as plugging into the USB ports, which were re-wired into the actual controller ports -- now that's attention to detail.
Amazingly enough, Regan's not keeping the NES PC and wants to sell it to the highest bidder. In terms of raw specs, you're looking at an Intel Atom 330 1.6GHz dual core processor, a Samsung SN-208BB 8x DVD-RW DL & RAM SATA laptop drive, about 160 GB of storage space on a Seagate Momentus 7200.3 SATA 3GB/s hard drive, and 1GB DDR2 RAM. But can you really put a price on the innovation and nostalgia factor?
I learned a **** load and picked up quite a few skills during making this and also enjoyed it but i already have a belter of a PC which i use for sound engineering , so the NES PC has hardly ever been used. It is off no use to me just now apart from showing it off to friends so I'm putting it up for sale so that someone else may enjoy it.
Thanks for reading this, If you would like to make an offer or if you have any questions on how you could make one of these for yourself send me an email on [email protected]
McKinley Noble is a former GamePro staff editor, current technology nerd and eternal mixed martial arts enthusiast. He also likes Japanese sports dramas and soap operas. Follow him on Twitter or just Google his name.
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