Using Classic Game Controllers With A Wii

[Bruno]’s Wii RetroPad Adapter was sent into the tip line, and we’re loving the possibility of using Playstation 2, Genesis, NES and SNES controllers with our Wii.

While there are commercial solutions that connect an NES or SNES controller to a Wii, everything connects to the GameCube port and there is no adapter for Sega or Playstation controllers. For his build, [Bruno] used an ATmega168 to read data from the classic controllers and translate that to the Wiimote I2C bus. Think of it as a new classic controller with the same form factor your 8-year-old self knew and loved.

The schematic for the build is very simple and [Bruno] has all the software out in the open. Even the PCB is single sided and looks like it would be a great candidate for a homebrew PCB. There’s no indication [Bruno] is trying to monetize his creation, so he’s either doing right, or so very wrong. Check out the Dualshock 2/Mario 3 demo of this board after the break.


9 thoughts on “Using Classic Game Controllers With A Wii

    1. As an electronics technician I’d recommend a revision of this pcb. The microcontroller connections go straight to the outside world. No protection against unwanted jitters or ESD clamping. A capacitor like 10nF from input to ground combined with an external pull-up resistor would protect against interference. A clamping diode or a combination of one with kathode to plus and another with anode to ground protects against drops below ground level and tilts above supply level. For additional protection a transistor could be used as an interface to the outside world, like PNP with collector to input, emitter to supply and base with serial resistor to the external input pin. An Elco at the supply voltage maintains a stable voltage level. The ceramic cap (usually around 10 – 100nF is placed near the fast switching components to cover voltage drops due to current consumption spikes caused by the internal logic switching all at the same moments. The Elco is providing these smaller capacitors with their supply from the energy storage within the cap in on the PCB. Short and thick traces in a star connection are preferred over thin traces radiating their energy into other components on the board. All the current spikes due to the controllers draw magnetic fieldlines along the total lenght of this PCB. An energy storage for the remotes to supply for sudden current increases would be net to. The crystal would need capacitors on both connections to ground, in the order of 5 -10 picoFarad -> RTFM.
      Personally I’d strongly discourage to put effort, time and materials into producing a PCB according this layout. Current Loop analysys shows many pick-up (loop)antennas that introduce Radio Interference.

  1. Despite the fact there may be some “libraries” around with promises of turning a micro-controller into a Wiimote extension, it seems that nobody has actually managed to deliver a REALLY functional library, Arduino “friendly”, specially one for impersonating a Classic Controller!

    I’ve tested the circuit with a protoboard and everything seems to be working like a treat!

    One may be able to find commercial adapters, but one which is opensource, works with homebrews (yeah, that’s right, 90% of the chinese Classic Controller clones in the market actually don’t work with Wii homebrews), and it’s compatible with a Sega Genesis joystick, then this one is the only remaining option.

    Kudos to this guy!

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