NES Controller Is A Slick Way To Carry Around Your Portable OS


[Oliver] had an old NES controller laying around, and without any other use for it, he decided to repurpose it as a portable storage device.

He gutted most of the controller, removing the plastic standoffs, leaving the D-pad and remaining buttons intact. He crammed a 32 GB flash drive inside, along with the guts from an SD card reader. Using a Dremel he cut several openings into the controller, one for the flash drive and SD card reader’s USB ports, as well as for the SD card itself. When the physical modifications were finished, he installed a small Linux distro on the flash drive, which can be run by any PC that supports booting from USB.

While some might argue, we think it’s a neat way to reuse an old gaming peripheral that he might have otherwise thrown out. The portable OS is something that would certainly come in handy, though we can’t wait until the Raspberry Pi is finished – it would be awesome to have a complete computer packed in there too.

14 thoughts on “NES Controller Is A Slick Way To Carry Around Your Portable OS

    1. My first thought as well. Put all of those direct plug into tv devices to shame. Have it boot directly into an emulator that can function using the buttons, then plug into any computer for an instant NES with every game!

  1. While I understand it was built for the builder’s pleasure, it is a bit large for portable storage isn’t? As a case for the Raspberry Pi, it may be just right, considering an USB hub is going to be associated with the Raspberry.

  2. Actually, if the distro WAS set to run an emulator and the roms were packed into the SD card, then it would be a great little thing to have on hand. Its kind of like those 2600 controllers that have the console and the roms built in and then put A/V out to RCA… I’m thinking of doing this with a GC controller or my old USB gamepad.

  3. Hmmm, this is a great idea. I’ve got an old SNES controller I’ve hacked to use with USB; it’s still got a bunch of space inside. Moving the USB cable to a hub to allow adding a thumb drive to boot up a linux distro with emulators would rock.

    Wish I’d thought of this, but damn rights I’m stealing it :)

  4. boooo for true classic, needs to be snes so it has 6(or 8 if you count start/select) buttons and the buttons need to work!
    i want a ps2 control that does this, its the perfect control for any game on any system

  5. You could probably fit a Gumstix on a Tobi board in there, which would give you USB and video output. The Raspberry Pi will be very nice, but at the very least you could most certainly run a Gumstix in there alone, with only USB output.

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