The Wii was a relatively small console when it released, but it packed a big punch when it came to its game library and the impact it had on the industry. [Bringus Studios] wanted a Wii that physically matched the grandeur of one of Nintendo’s greatest successes, and built the Wii XL.
Basing the scale of this console around an 80 mm case fan, the final product has twelve times the volume of the original Wii. This leaves plenty of room for an unmodified original Wii, its power brick, and all the various cables and adapters necessary to bring the ports to the exterior of the case. To power the fan, [Bringus Studios] designed his first PCB to leach power off one of the USB connectors while still allowing data to pass through.
Given the size constraints of his 3D printers, he used melamine MDF for the sides and had to print the other panels in multiple pieces, resulting in some gapping in the front panel where the prints peeled off the print bed. We really love the use of a modular design that leaves room for future improvements, since no project is ever truly done.
Power is routed through a figure eight power connector on the outside to a female two prong plug on the inside while USB and HDMI are routed out the back via a combination panel connector intended for RV and boat use. If you don’t remember the Wii having HDMI out, that’s because it didn’t, but HDMI adapters are easy to come by for the machine.
In case you want to see more supersized projects checkout this giant XBox Series X or ponder if it would’ve been better with an enormous 555.
Continue reading “Wii XL Is Twice As Nice” →
What if you could run Mac OS on a Nintendo Wii game console? That’s probably not a thought that has occurred to many Wii owners or Mac OS users, but that is no excuse not to give it a try, as [Michael] handily demonstrates in a recent video by running Mac OS 9 on a Nintendo’s legendary console. The first major issue is what anyone who has ever tried to put a Hackintosh together knows: just because a target system runs the same CPU architecture can you necessarily install Mac OS (or OS X) for Intel x86 on any Intel x86 system. The same is true for the Wii with its PowerPC CPU and running Mac OS 9 for PowerPC on it.
In order to make this work, a workaround is employed, which uses the fossilized Mac-on-Linux project to run PowerPC Mac OS essentially on Linux for the Wii. This is a kernel module which allows Mac OS to run at basically native speeds on Linux, but it being a Linux kernel module, it meant that [Michael] had to hunt down the correct kernel to go with it. After creating an SD card with a functioning bootloader, he was able to boot into Wii Linux with MoL enabled, and try to install Mac OS.
OS X didn’t work for some reason, but Mac OS 9 did work, albeit with severe font rendering and audio glitches. All of which seems to come down to that while it is possible to get Mac OS running on the Wii, doing so is definitely more for the challenge and experience. By the way, if all this sounds a bit familiar, it’s because [Michael] referenced the Mac-on-Wii work that [Dandu] did last year to make this latest iteration happen.
Continue reading “How To Install Mac OS On The Nintendo Wii” →
For the proper retro gaming aesthetic, plenty of gamers look to old CRT displays. Older games can look better on these displays because the original programmers took their visual characteristics into account. Finding a CRT from the 90s or early 2000s is one option, but an even better option is a broadcast video monitor (BVM) which were extremely high quality CRTs with some other features, like the ability to install a Wii straight to an expansion port on the monitor itself (Nitter).
These monitors were, as their name implies, made for broadcast TV productions. As such, they don’t have the typical video connections that might be found on a consumer unit. Instead, they used modular cards to interface with the monitor. Thanks to an open design for cards made for Sony monitors, [ShankMods] was able to make one for the Wii by “trimming” away the unnecessary parts of the console’s PCB and mapping its video and audio outputs to the slot connector.
While the Wii might not be everyone’s idea of retro, it was still a console that came out when plenty of people still had CRTs as their primary home television. It isn’t as necessary to have a CRT for a Wii as some of the older consoles, but it was very easily adaptable to this single-board design. If you don’t have a CRT and still want the CRT feel, there are ways of retrofitting a more modern display to get this effect, though.
Thanks to [Jonas] for the tip!
We’re used to the so-called “Hackintoshes”, non-Apple hardware running MacOS. One we featured recently was even built into the case of a Nintendo Wii. But [Dandu] has gone one better than that, by running MacOS on an unmodified Wii, original Nintendo hardware (French, Google Translate link).
How has this seemingly impossible task been achieved? Seasoned Mac enthusiasts will remember the days when Apple machines used PowerPC processors, and the Wii uses a PowerPC chip that’s a close cousin of those used in the Mac G3 series of computers. Since the Wii can run a Linux-based OS, it can therefore run Mac-on-Linux, providing in theory an environment in which it can host one of the PowerPC versions of MacOS.
The installation sequence has more than its share of difficulties, but eventually he was able to get the Wii running MacOS 9, the last classic MacOS. It runs DOOM, Internet Explorer 5, and iTunes even on these limited resources, though the last package had display and sound issues. He then tries a MacOS X build, but without success.
It’s fair to say that this is not exactly a way to get your hands on a cheap Mac, and remains more of an exercise in pushing a console beyond its original function. But it’s still an interesting diversion, and maybe someone will in time make a MacOS X version work on the Wii too. If you’re curious about the Mac-in-a-Wii that inspired this work, you can see it here.
The conveniently tiny logic board of the M1 Mac mini has lead to it giving the Mini ITX format a run for its money in case mods. The latest example of this is [Luke Miani]’s M1 Wii. (Youtube via 9to5Mac)
[Miani] chose the Wii as a new enclosure for this Mac mini given its similar form factor and the convenient set of doors in the top to maintain access to the computer’s I/O, something he wasn’t able to do with one of his previous M1 casemods. The completed build is a great stealth way to have a Mac mini in your entertainment center. [Miani] even spends the last several minutes of the video showing the M1 Wii running Wii, GameCube, and PS2 games to really bring it full circle.
A Microsoft Surface power brick was spliced into the original Wii power cable since the Wii PSU didn’t have enough wattage to supply the Mac mini without significant throttling. On the inside, the power runs through a buck converter before making its way to the logic board. While the Mini’s original fan was too big to fit inside the Wii enclosure, a small 12V fan was able to keep performance similar to OEM and much higher than running the M1 fanless without a heat spreader.
If you’d like to see some more M1 casemods, check out this Lampshade iMac or the Mac Mini Mini.
Continue reading “This Wii Has An Apple M1 Inside” →
One of often encountered traits of a hacker is an ability to build devices into places where they don’t belong. Perhaps, [sonictimm]’s self-descriptive WiiinToaster was somewhat of an inevitability. Inspired by the legendary Nintoaster project which used a NES, this is a modern take on the concept, putting a Wii inside what used to be an ordinary bread-making kitchen appliance. [Sonictimm] has taken care to make it as functional while reusing the user interface options commonly found in a toaster, with some of the Wii’s connections routed to the original buttons and the lever. It’s compatible with everything that the Wii supports in its standard, non-toaster form – the only function that had to be sacrificed was the “making toast” part of it, but some would argue it’d be a bit counterproductive to leave in.
[Sonictimm] says it took five years from building the WiiinToaster to documenting it, which sounds about right for an average project. If you, like many, have a Wii laying around that you haven’t been using for years, building it into a toaster (or any other place a Wii shouldn’t be) is a decent weekend project. Perhaps, a spacier chassis will also help with the overheating problems plaguing some earlier Wii models. One thing we would not recommend, however, is building a toaster into a Wii case – unless you like to see your creations self-immolate, in which case, make sure to film it and grace our Tips line with a YouTube link. There’s also a challenge for the achievement-minded hackers out there – making a rebuild so daring, it gets a DMCA notice from Nintendo.
It wouldn’t be the first time we feature a Nintendo console reborn in a toaster’s shell, with NES and SNES projects coming to mind. If you’re interested in other directions of Wii rebuilds, perhaps you could make an Altoids-sized FrankenWii, or an unholy hybrid of three consoles. And if you do build a Switchster, or a ToaDSter (perhaps, best suited for a waffle iron), we’d love to take a look!
Continue reading “Wii Meets Its End In Breadcrumb Jail” →
Super Mario Sunshine always felt a little under-baked when it came to 3D Mario games. Whether it was wonky camera controls, aggravating coin quotas, or the inclusion of a sentient super-soaker the game didn’t quite fulfill fan expectations. Seeking to wash-away that reputation [Wade] created a mod to revitalize the oft disparaged GameCube game. Over two years in the making, Super Mario Sunburn breaks Super Mario Sunshine wide open with new levels, more coins, and the freedom of a modern open-world game. Collecting in-game shine collectibles no longer automatically warps Mario back to the island hub, but rather allows Mario to keep filling those pockets.
In order to apply the Sunburn mod patch, a clean rip of Super Mario Sunshine for Nintendo GameCube is needed. The easiest method of ripping GameCube discs is actually with a Nintendo Wii — provided it can run CleapRip via the Homebrew Channel. With a clean game image, the Sunburn patch can be applied on Windows by running Delta Patcher. From there a Sunburn-patched image can be enjoyed via emulator with the optional HD Texture pack, or even real Nintendo hardware. A comprehensive mod like this is surely deserving of some WaveBird time.
The arrival of [Wade]’s mod comes at a crucial time for many Mario fans. Late last year Nintendo released an underwhelming compilation of 3D Mario games called Super Mario 3D All-Stars. The release brought with it the lightest of touches and failed to provide a suitable modernization of Super Mario Sunshine. The company didn’t even allow players to play in 16:9 widescreen (unlike Sunburn). At the end of March Nintendo will cram Super Mario 3D All-Stars into “Bowser’s Vault” thereby removing it from store shelves. All the more reason to give Super Mario Sunburn a try. Continue reading “Super Mario Sunburn Mod Shines Up A GameCube Favorite” →