The 14th game for the Nintendo Power Pad

Released 25 years ago, the Nintendo Power Pad, a plastic mat that plugged into an NES, saw very limited success despite its prevalence in basements and attics. In total, only six games for the Power Pad were released in North America, and only 13 worldwide. The guys over at cyborgDino thought they should celebrate the sliver anniversary of the Power Pad by creating its 14th game, using an Arduino and a bit of playing around in Unity 3D.

The first order of business was to read the button inputs on the Power Pad. Like all NES peripherals, the Power Pad stores the state of its buttons in a shift register that can be easily read out with an Arduino. With a bit of help from the UnoJoy library, it was a relatively simple matter to make the Power Pad work as intended.

The video game cyborgDino created is called Axis. It’s a bit like a cross between Pong and a tower defense game; plant your feet on the right buttons, and a shield pops up, protecting your square in the middle of the screen from bouncing balls. It’s the 14th game ever created for the Power Pad, so that’s got to count for something.

Video of the game below.

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UnoJoy makes your Arduino play well with Xbox 360 or PS3

We’ve seen Arduino-based game controllers before, but the UnoJoy project wants to make it easy for you to plug them into a gaming console.

The project is targeted at the Arduino UNO. Why only that hardware… isn’t Arduino universal? Well yes, but in this case the bootloader needs to be overwritten so that the Arduino will enumerate as an approved controller on your game system. Here the device is being put into DFU mode in preparation for flashing.

Once that part’s done it’s time to get to work on your own hardware interface. The UnoJoy library provides all of the hooks you need to push controller data to the game console, it’s up to you to use the Arduino IDE to decide when these events happen. This would be a great opportunity to make the Pinball Stop controllers work with the Xbox Live Arcade games. Or take a look after the break to see [Alan Chatham] using the library to control Gran Turismo as if it were an NES Power Pad game.

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