Uzebox In An NES Controller

[David Cranor] has managed to fit a fully working Uzebox system into an old NES controller. Uzebox, an open source gaming platform based on the ATmega 644 and an AD725 NTSC encoder, is one of a couple systems that are becoming more and more widespread and accessible. There are a number of ready-to-go Uzebox kits available, but for the more hands-on types, [David] has been very generous with his schematics and step by step instructions. These schematics can all be readily reshaped, and would easily fit into controllers with less fun applications and sentimental value.

Uzebox Video Player

Everyone’s favorite open source game console, the Uzebox (also cloned as the Fuzebox), just got a new feature hacked into it – a video player. At reduced quality (8-bit color), the Uzebox was able to play ‘The Matrix’ off an SD card @ 30fps plus the audio @15kHz. That’s a pretty impressive feat when one considers it is running on 4096 bytes of RAM. The video file had to first be converted into a series of pictures through a Photoshop macro in order to be playable. A Uzebox can be built with little more than a few resistors in addition to an overclocked ATmega644P, and AD725 (which has been skirted in certain incarnations).

Fuzebox, Open Source Gaming


Adafruit has just put their Uzebox based console into production. The Fuzebox is an 8bit game console based around the ATmega644-20PU microcontroller. Full 256 color 240×224 resolution video output is provide by either a composite connection or svideo. There is an SD card slot on board for future expansion. The chip takes care of all the I/O, so you just need to write your game code in C on top of it.

The kit looks easy to assemble. Almost all of the components are through-hole. The video chip is SMD and comes presoldered to the board. The kit has two SNES controller ports included, but you can use NES ports too. There are three ways you can load your program onto the board: 6pin FTDI, ICSP10, and ICSP6.