Emulator in NES cartridge – so clean it looks factory made


We extend our congratulations to [airz] over at the ben heck forums. He put together a mod that fits an emulator into an original NES cartridge and utilizes a butchered original NES controller; and he did an amazing job!

He is using a cheap but full featured emulator board. It comes with 4 gigs of memory but also has an SD card slot. NES, Game Boy, and Game Boy color ROMs can all be played on the 2.8″ color LCD but the system also features a TV out connector for use with a larger screen as well.

The cuts that [airz] made in the case are amazing, easily eclipsing the last cartridge emulator mod we saw. The holes for the controls look as if the plastic was molded that way. For realism he also cut off the PCB interface on the business end of the cartridge and glued it in place. Apparently it took three cartridges, two controllers, and two of the emulators to make it this nice, but if you want to make an omelet…

[via Gizmodo]


  1. monkeyslayer56 says:

    nice job :) but do we still play those games?

  2. walker says:

    yes believe it or not some people still play NES games….
    Including myself

  3. sly says:

    shall we play a game?

  4. jc says:

    I wonder what people would have thought if this came out when the original NES came out. We have come so far in technology!

  5. Jefke says:

    Kirby is still one of the most fun games around :)

  6. Skitchin says:

    @Jefke: I <3 KIRBY! Can't forget Rivercity Ransom though.

  7. mars says:

    Kirby rocks.
    This is an awesome build.

  8. wifigod says:

    Anybody have an idea of how much a portable emulator like that runs? Or is it a media player with a hacked firmware? He doesn’t provide much detail about the actual hardware used. :-(

  9. Kyle says:

    Ack! Nicely done, cool idea, but I really hate the idea of wrecking classic pieces of game equipment to do it.

  10. tainted says:

    Just go to http://www.virtualnes.com You can play a lot of the old NES games.

  11. babble says:

    where did he get the emulator itself.

  12. strider_mt2k says:

    Beautiful work!

    I want to see which emulator machine was hacked to make this!
    It’s unclear which.

  13. Mike Szczys says:

    I would assume it is one of the no-brand models that sells on ebay. Try searching for “mp4 game 4gb” and a bunch of options come up.

  14. sneakypoo says:

    What the hell is up with the music? It’s way too fast. And it’s also painfully obvious that this kid didn’t spend a large part of his childhood playing SMB.

  15. tyco says:

    Seems that Super Mario Bros is running about 15% fast; you can tell from the pitched-up music, which is run by the main CPU on an NES. Tetris, however, is running at the correct speed.

    Any idea why? It could be he was accidentally ran the PAL version of SMB, and the emulator always runs everything at NTSC speed. That would make for a 16.6% speed increase.

  16. strider_mt2k says:

    Thanks, Mike.

  17. Evilncarnate says:

    He backed out of Tetris because he used the “L” block wrong, he needed to nudge it to the left one spot. Any of us who had grown up playing that would have never made such a classic newb mistake. Still a nice hack, even if the music on Mario was a little hyped up.

  18. Zengar says:

    @Kyle, Those Mario bros./Duck Hunt cartridges shipped with every single NES sold for a while so they aren’t exactly a rare commodity, and I didn’t see anything that said he didn’t use ones that were already malfunctioning in some way. I know I’ve got some faulty NES equipment that I just couldn’t bring myself to throw out, which are going to become one of these.

  19. 36chambers says:


    No doubt, he didn’t even use the B button? Looks like he isn’t even comfortable with the controller.. Alas I must be old as it is the controller that I gauge all others against..

    Very Cool None the less

  20. Toasterhed says:

    That is A++ sir.

  21. airz says:

    so i made this hack, and to reply to the comments about the sound being sped up… YES i used a PAL rom. sorry i didn’t notice…

  22. anitokyo says:

    This one’s using a China Type MP4 portable player or so… Maybe. (not assuming much)

  23. sneakypoo says:

    @airz: You didn’t even notice!? For shame dood, for shame ;) Sorry, I had to :D
    It’s a damn nice mod though.

  24. strider_mt2k says:

    A Dingoo A320 would lend itself to a mod like this as well.

  25. rah says:

    pretty cool, the next level is an intergrated pico projector since these things have tv out

  26. Jacob says:

    This is amazing, Is this for sale!!

  27. ZELDA-FAN says:

    i wonder if he will ever tell what “cheap but full featured emulator board that comes with 4gigz of memory and SD card slot” he used 2 make this

  28. pablo ramos says:

    how much 4 1 of those i want 1

  29. Grey says:

    Really really really cool!!! i want make one too!!

  30. Leon says:

    Definitely awesome…

  31. joe says:

    he most likely use a Dingoo A-320. google it, his screen size and GB is the same

  32. james says:

    i want one please

  33. Ryan Mercer says:

    I’d love one of those

  34. Joseph says:

    Airz, is there any way I can contact you I would love to take on this mod project please contact me or is there a link with full instructions and parts list I am confident I can build this if I have all of the correct parts I would love to do this and have a camera function as well.

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