Over the last few years we’ve seen several projects that convert Nintendo’s Wii into a handheld console by way of a “trimming”, wherein the system’s motherboard is literally cut down to a fraction of its original size. This is made possible due to the fact that the majority of the console’s critical components were physically arranged in a tight grouping on the PCB. While it might not be the smallest one we’ve ever seen, the Wii SPii by [StonedEdge] is certainly in the running for the most technically impressive.
It took [StonedEdge] the better part of a year to go from the first early 3D printed case concepts to the fully functional device, but we’d say it was certainly time well spent. The general look of the portable is strongly inspired by Nintendo’s own GameBoy Advance SP, albeit with additional buttons and control sticks. In terms of software, the system is not only able to run Wii and Gamecube game ISOs stored on its SD card, but also several decades worth of classic titles through the various console emulators available for the system.
The Wii SPii makes use of a particularly difficult variation of the Wii miniaturization concept known as the OMEGA trim, and is supported by a custom PCB that’s responsible for things like power management and audio output. As it was never designed to be particularly energy efficient, the trimmed Wii motherboard will deplete the system’s dual 18650 cells in about two and a half hours, but at least you’ll be able to get charged back up quickly thanks to USB-C PD support. All of the hardware just fits inside the custom designed case, which was CNC milled from acrylic and then sandblasted to achieve that gorgeous frosted look.
[StonedEdge] says the Wii SPii was inspired by the work of accomplished smallerizer [GMan], and even uses some of the open source code he developed for the audio and power management systems. In fact, given its lengthy list of acknowledgements, this project could even be considered something of a community affair. Just a few years after we marveled at a functional Wii being crammed into an Altoids tin, it’s truly inspiring to see what this dedicated group of console modders has been able to accomplish by working together.
[Thanks to Benjamin for the tip.]
4 thoughts on “Pocket Sized Wii Sets The Bar For Portable Builds”
Linus Tech Tips did a version of this, but theirs is larger and uses a kit. They do show how they cut down an original PCB, and they put some jailbroken software on it.
Here, in case you want to take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46gNvDLgLdI
(And can we all agree that Anthony is the smartest one there? Linus doesn’t even use Linux!)
That kit came from the same community! It was in fact developed by the GMan that StonedEdge credits in his work.
HaD should make a post on presentation – a follow up to the article on how to get picked up.
It pains me to see a great project with a terrible showcase video. Just give the viewer the first 10 seconds of the video. It should be a clip that will blow their minds. Then the video producer can use the rest of the video to present it however they want to. Even if that’s 50% just molesting a powered off device.
Consistently the popular channels will have an eye catching thumbnail and the first few seconds will grab your attention.
This is an amazing project! Show it off properly!
I think it’s unfair to say this was objectively a terrible showcase video. What you describe as a mind blowing clip would just be wanky boring seen before gameplay to me, and what you describe as molesting a powered off device would be useful technical design and assembly info to me (so you aren’t really doing a service impressing your perspective as some kind of universal truth of what the general technical community would enjoy).
Just accept that different folks enjoy different types of content and if there’s a part you personally don’t enjoy then just skip through that part instead of attributing it as some kind of flaw of the project maker’s representation of their own project.
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