Gorgeous Portable N64 Built To Order

[Hailrazer] is at it again with a new portable N64 build. He’s done the impossible by improving upon his last design. The LCD screen is now mounted flush for a cleaner and smaller case. The controls draw from a lot of different sources; a gamecube stick for durability, a 3rd party N64 controller for buttons, and a PlayStation controller for the shoulder buttons that serve as L, R, and Z (either hand). There is a breakout box that allows two controllers to be plugged in. Combine this with the TV out feature and it acts as a console or a handheld. His in depth demonstration is embedded after the break.

The build log (linked above) details every part of the hack so that you can try to do this yourself. The relocation of the expansion slot requires patience and solid soldering skills. The case work is an art in itself. We speculate that this commission comes somewhere close to $1000 but it’s hard to put a price on quality craftsmanship. We’ve seen smaller, but these features and finished look can’t be beat.


[via Engadget]

59 thoughts on “Gorgeous Portable N64 Built To Order

  1. Very very nice. Makes me want to make one myself, but I don’t have the soldering skill or the patience to do it. The only thing I can think of is combine the wall jack and battery charger and just step the voltage up/down depending on the needs for the batteries or use the battery charger and step it up/down for the system requirements.

  2. while this was well done and all I don’t see the point of it – there are plenty of much much better alternatives (psp n64 emu) that make this unnecessarily bulky and a waste of time. He should have used his skills to build something more practical.

    1. @Kirov,
      While it is a valid observation that there are better alternatives, it seems as though a community has developed. These people have a hobby of portabalizing their systems. Most of us enjoy hobbies that could be replaced by something easier and possibly better. In the beginning, I found it peculiar, but now I see another group of people making something they enjoy.

      My grandma knits. She could just go buy clothing that would probably be better made. She does it because she enjoys it.

  3. @kirov
    Your a supporter of the “With great power comes great responsibility” cause arn’t you?

    And i happen to love this portable. He gives benheck a run for his money.

  4. It looks like kirov doesn’t get the point of these projects. It’s something you do because you enjoy the challenge, not because there is nothing better out there. Sometimes that’s also part of the motivation, but for the most part, the joy is in the challenge of doing something no one else has done.

  5. @daryl

    but this has been done before a thousand times before, i could bring up countless examples of portable n64s, there is really nothing novel or new about this

    and if you are going to sink all this time and money into something, and you show such skill why not invest it into something more worthwhile

  6. Wow thats some awesome work, but I see one problem that would drive me mad! Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like to change between battery power and wall power you would momentarily have to turn the switch to the off position, which would reset the system. Which means that when you batteries start getting low, instead of seamlessly switching to wall power to continue your play, you have to save your game (or hope it has saved if low battery sneaks up on you) and switch off to change power sources.

  7. although i tend to agree with kirov, i have seen this a thousand times(maybe not this good, but seen it), i am also a huge Nintendo fanatic and there is no 4 player support in more modern smaller cases, with the attached dongle it looks like there could be

    what true nerd wouldn’t want to play goldeneye, smash brothers, mario kart, perfect dark, or starfox “anywhere you wanted” w/friends

  8. @Caleb Kraft, kirov is just a flame anything troller.

    Sure you can go to the grocery store and buy a tomato, why would you ever want to grow your own? It has been done by others for you! The reason you do, is because you can do a better job, if only for your own tastes. I like seeing stuff like this. Kirov obviously enjoys crap talking others stuff, I am sure he could find something done wrong with anything you post for us.

    I kind of wish you could make a way to allow us to permaban known trolls.

    Side note, did the taze leave any collateral damage?

    1. @greycode,
      for once, I wasn’t chastising Kirov. This culture of building portables is interesting and it just kind of appeared out of nowhere. I was just pointing out to him that they’re doing it for passion and fun. Like many other hobbies.

      No, the taser didn’t leave any collateral damage. At least not physically. I doubt anyone would notice if it left its mark on my mental abilities.

  9. that is a horrible analogy, homegrown vegetals have a lot more nutrients and taste than store bought produce that have been sitting in storage for many weeks, not to mention the pesticides and other enhancements added to them.

    there are an endless supply of things you can do better on your own than what retail stores can provoid (custom built speakers for example). this post is not one of them.

  10. It’s certainly an impressive feat but seems like it would be inconvenient to play (at the very least…)

    Can’t help but wonder if it might be better to make a tethered unit (controller, display, speakers) with a base unit (reduced n64, batteries, connections) rather than try to shoehorn the lot into one handheld case.

    Make the controller unit snap into the case or something (face down) and add a handle for handy portability… hell, you could add multiple controller units.

  11. Things I would change:

    Breakout box would have a single connection to the device and should have composite a/v RCA jacks on it as well as both controller ports. An 8-conductor like CAT-5 would be great.

    When the breakout box/av jack is plugged in, the onboard screen should go off, like speakers with a headphone plugged in.

    If you must have the controller cardport, move the cart off to the side a touch and put it on top next to the cart instead of on the back center.

    A single port and charger capable of running it and recharging the battery. I can’t imagine using the higher-powered supply and adding a small limiting circuit to either the batt or board would be too hard. Two chargers and separate ports is just weird.

  12. @Mic that’s because he did use a production case — he shows you in the video, it’s from some other random game system that I’ve never heard of.

    I think this is really cool, except that the battery power jack/wall power jack aren’t just the same jack, and you need to flip the switch to a different mode to use it. All the switch flipping is a bit confusing, it would be smarter to just make it more automatic.

    Also the port in the back is kind of lame, it should just have a built in memory card/rumble pack/maybe an sd-card adapter using an mcu of some kind.

  13. hailrazer did a great job,and i guess he got a good money payed for this,but i don’t understand why would anybody buy this for,maybe over 1000 usd?

    p.s. the first one was game cube,not n64 :)

  14. @Kirov

    I Agree With:

    while this was well done and all I don’t see the point of it – there are plenty of much much better alternatives (psp n64 emu) that make this unnecessarily bulky and a waste of time.

    I Disagree With:

    He should have used his skills to build something more practical.

    To Clarify:

    I agree that I probably wouldn’t have spent my time making this but I don’t think you should be telling people what they should and shouldn’t do. After all it is up to him how he wants to spend his time, not up to you.

  15. @Kirov,

    emulation is never as good as playing on real hardware, we don’t even have 100% working NES emu yet (because of all the different mappers) … i think its awesome and would love to have one.

  16. Kirov, do you just get on hackaday to flame people’s work or what? If you don’t like it, shut up.

    Also, suggesting that playing N64 on a PSP being superior is fucking pathetic. Sorry. No disrespect towards the emu authors but if you want a decent framerate+sound you’re not going to get it emulating on PSP.

  17. I think kirov is the most successful troll ever; walking the line between coherent and aggravating. Kirov makes just enough sense to keep people refuting what he or she says.
    Kirov is officially the cleverest asshole on the internet.

  18. Great work I like how small it is.
    what some have over looked is that perhaps instead of just using emulators on the software level or rearranging the guts.It would be interesting to see the MPU’s and CPU removed and put on a custom board…I know this is not practical so I will move onto the next suggestion for Modders/Builders of N64 portables.
    How about implementing the N64 on a FPGA?
    I have not looked at weather any one has mapped out the coding of the processors etc but it would be interesting to see this done …perhaps this could be a Hack-A-challange ? hmmm

  19. To address a few things.

    1. N64 emulation on a Psp is not practical. A few games work good but most are terrible frame rates and horrible sound.

    2.I had to build it a certain way because of size , build issues , and customer requests.

    3. Breakout box. Could only have used one cord if I used a much bigger cord or connector. Could have used Cat5 but I thought it looked ugly so I went with headphone jacks.

    4. Separate Power and charging. Lithium Polymer batteries use a smart charger and a protection board. There are only so many smart chargers on the market and none have enough amps to power the system and charge. So I went with separate charger/power adapters.

    5.Built in port on the back for memory card/rumble. Buyer wanted an external port and that is the only place left to git it. No room anywhere else at all for it.

    6.Screen power off when A/V cable plugged in. Didn’t ever figure out how to do this properly and ran out of time. Also this way the first person can play the portable and the second player can play on the T.V :)

    That’s all. Thanks for the kind comments. And to those who would rather have a Psp and crappy N64 emulation. Go right ahead :)

  20. Also to address the “there have been thousands of N64 portables made”.

    That is pure nonsense. On the Benheck forums there have been less than 30 made with the majority of those looking very bad and probably no longer functioning. I would venture to say there have been less than 10 truly nice looking professional N64 portables made.

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