Watch This Modder Turn A Nintendo 64 Into A Pocket-Sized Game Console
Released way back in 1996 (the year I graduated high school), the Nintendo 64
would go on sell nearly 33 million units, outpacing its predecessor, the GameCube, but more than 11 million units. It was a hit, and it spawned some fun games for its era. Now over two decades later, a modder has laid claim to constructing the world's smallest Nintendo 64 portable game console.
Overall, the finished product is about the size of a Nintendo 64 cartridge, just a little taller and a thicker, because there has to be a place to insert the cartridges. That's right, this is an actual original game console that has been meticulously carved and modded, and not something built around emulation—there's no Raspberry Pi
or anything of the sort tucked into this thing.
Apparently there is a competitive spirit to building increasingly smaller and portable N64 consoles, which I was completely unaware of until today. And I am pleased as punch to now be informed, because simply put, this project is awesome. It's also a labor of love, with modder GmanModz proclaiming, "I have fulfilled my destiny of building the world's smallest N64 portable."
There is quite a bit involved in a project like this, as the original N64 is much bigger than any traditionally sized jeans pocket. Have a look at how it went down...
What I find most remarkable about this project is that the modder was able to slice and dice a real N64 motherboard rather than a custom made one, to play original N64 cartridges. Even trimming off pieces here and there was not enough to shrink it down into a pocket-sized form factor. His mod also included relocating chips and circuitry, re-soldering the RAM expansion slot to reduce the height of the board, and lots of re-wiring.
He placed it all into a custom 3D-printed chassis outfitted with Joy-Con sticks, a 3.5-inch LCD display with a 320x240 resolution, a headphone jack and speakers, and a single battery cell that lasts 1.5 hours. That's not very long, or as GmanModz puts it, "the battery life sucks, it's uncomfortable to hold, but hey, it fits in my pocket. Does your N64?"
No, it most certainly does not. Kudos to GmanModz for this awesome project.