World’s Smallest Wii is Also World’s Worst

As far as game consoles go, the Nintendo Wii was relatively small. Probably owing at least somewhat to the fact that it wasn’t a whole lot more than a slightly improved GameCube in a new case, but that’s another story entirely. So it’s not much of a surprise that people have modded Nintendo’s infamous money printing machine into handheld versions. But this…this is just something else.

We’re going to go out on a limb and say that this absolutely preposterous build by [Shank] which puts a fully functional Nintendo Wii into an Altoids tin wins the title of “World’s Smallest Wii”. We’re also going to put money on the fact that this record doesn’t get beaten because…well, come on. There’s a reason he’s named his diminutive creation the “Kill Mii”.

You’re probably wondering how this is possible. That’s an excellent question. As it turns out, hackers have discovered that you can cut off the majority of the Wii’s motherboard and still have a functioning system, albeit missing non-essential functions like the GameCube controller ports and SD card slot. From there, you just need to install a new firmware on the now heavily trimmed down Wii that tells it to ignore the fact it has no disc drive and load games as ISOs from an attached USB flash drive. That’s the high level summary anyway, the reality is that this a mod of crushing difficulty and should only be attempted by true masochists.

As for this particular build, [Shank] went all in and even relocated the Wii’s NAND chip to make everything fit inside the tin. There’s also custom PCBs which interface the Wii’s motherboard with the Nintendo 3DS sliders he’s using for control sticks. Underneath everything there’s a battery that can run the whole device for a grand total of about 10 minutes, but given the general shape of the “Kill Mii” and the fact that most of the buttons are tactile switches, that’s probably about as long as you’d want to play the thing anyway.

Yes, this is the worst Wii ever made. But that was also the point. In the words of the creator himself “This portable is not logical, comfortable, or practical. But it must be done… for the memes.” Truly an inspiration to us all.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first “trimmed” Wii portable we’ve seen; though that one was considerably more forgiving internally, and just a bit more practical.

[via /r/gaming]

12 thoughts on “World’s Smallest Wii is Also World’s Worst

  1. I’m amazed that so much can be removed and yet you still have a working console. Although I skimmed the guide and it looks like you have to remove parts from other areas of the board and connect them to the part you cut out. Someone else made a portable wii that looks somewhat like a Switch.

    1. A lot of stuff that ends up trimmed off on these board reductions is “safety” components – things like ground planes around the edge, signal conditioners for the controller ports, etc. It’s also common to move important components around, or stack them on top of some other part of the board.

      So you’ll see like… the board section containing the audio amp lopped off, then wired back in place and hot-glued over some other part of the remaining structure. It looks like that was done for the NAND flash storage here.

      1. Oh, and power traces get rerouted a lot. Sometimes people will discover that you can run the audio amp chip on +5V instead of +12 or something, so then you can remove a 12V regulator and its support components.

        “Many Consoles died to bring us this information.”

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