The build uses a pair of Raspberry Pi Pico microcontrollers, communicating over HC-05 Bluetooth modules. One Pico acts as a controller akin to a Wiimote, while the other runs a basic game and displays it on a screen via VGA output. The controller senses motion thanks to a MPU6050 inertial measurement unit, combining both gyros and accelerometers in all three axes.
The duo demonstrate the hardware by using it as a pointer to play a simple Tic-Tac-Toe game. It’s in no way going to light up the Steam charts, but the project page does go into plenty of useful detail on how everything was implemented. If you want to create your own motion gaming controller, you could do worse than reading up on their work.
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.
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.
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.
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!
If reading Hackaday teaches us anything, it’s that there is a subset of hackers who take things like emulator builds a step farther than most. [RetroModder] is very clearly one such hacker. Enter the GamecubePC, which you can read about on Hackaday.io. The GamecubePC is a multi-year project that aims to stuff an entire Windows 10 PC into a GameCube shell while still being able to play Wii and GameCube titles at native resolution and performance.
Although it only takes a spare computer and the Dolphin emulator to make a GameCube and Wii emulator, great attention has been paid to keeping the GameCube at the forefront. Contributing to the illusion is the preservation of the original GameCube power switch and reset buttons by way of custom PCB’s that interface the parts to the mSTX motherboard.
The bottom of the GameCube shell is replaced with a 3D printed base that mounts the motherboard while smartly giving access to the motherboard’s front panel. The minuscule motherboard sports an Intel Core™ i5-7600 with 8GB memory, and SSD storage. Topping off the experience are four functional controller ports that can be switched to be used with the emulator or with PC games too. Surely the GamecubePC will be the subject of many double takes!
Anyone can go out and buy a handheld console, and if you want to be the cool kid on the school bus, you can always ask your parents to take you out to get one. But if you want real street cred that lasts through your adult years, you’ve gotta put something together yourself. [GingerOfMods] has done just that with the Wiiboy Color.
Yes, it’s another home-console-turned-portable, and it’s perfomed with exquisite execution. The Wii motherboard is cut and sliced to the absolute bare minimum, as the aim was to build the entire system to the rough form factor of the original Game Boy Color. Custom PCBs were then used to link the chopped ‘board to peripherals, such as the USB drive used to load games and the circuitry from a Gamecube controller. The screen is a beautiful looking 3.5″ IPS LCD, running at 480p and originally intended for use as an automotive backup camera. Battery life is around 2-3 hours, with a USB-C port included for easy charging. More details are included on the forum build log.
It’s a tidy build, and the 3D printed case, Switch joysticks and DS Lite buttons give it a near-production quality finish. [GingerOfMods] intends to build more for commissions, though expect a hefty price tag given the labor and custom work involved. We’ve seen other portable Wiis before too, like this tightly-packed Kapton-heavy build. Video after the break.