Tag Archives: Nintendo

Rewind: 30 projects from 2015 that gamers will love

A look at some gaming-inspired projects that caught our attention over the last 12 months. 


A credit card-sized device that allows you to play, program and share 8-bit games.


A shrunken-down cabinet that lets you relive the golden age of arcade games.

8-Person NES

A system that transforms 8-bit side-scrolling games into a totally immersive multi-player experience.

Tetris MicroCard


An ATmega32U4-powered gadget that puts Tetris right in your wallet.



A hardware anti-cheat solution for online gaming.

MAME Game Machine

A game machine driven by a Cosino Mega 2560 (running the AdvanceMAME) with a 7″ LCD display and an Xbox-compatible joystick.

Grand Theft Auto iPhone App

An Arduino Leonardo, an Ethernet shield and a PC enables your iPhone to be used as a GTA controller.

Auto-Leveling Destiny Robot

A robotic mechanism comprised of a servo motor, an Xbox controller and an Arduino Uno that allows you to level up in Destiny without even lifting a finger.


A creative way to play classic video games on your TV from an overclocked Arduino Pro Mini.


A glove that lets you sense and interact with virtual objects onscreen and in your VR headset.

KADE miniConsole+

An open source gadget that allows you to play all old-school games with their original controllers.


An Arduino-driven band designed to make it feel as though you’re hitting and being struck in VR games.

Bedroom Cockpit

A full-scale Cessna 172 cockpit simulator, complete with everything from pedals that control actual airplane rudders and brakes, to a steering yoke, to an Oculus Rift running Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D software.

Scrapyard Simulator

An actual dashboard for a truck simulator.

Dashboard Simulator

A real dashboard for your car simulator.

Arduino Game Boy

A super-sized Arduboy.

Tetris on an ARM Cortex-M4 MCU


A game of Tetris on an Atmel | SMART SAM4S MCU.


An Arduino-programmable keychain game.

Super Hexagon

An Arduino Nano attached to a fan blade displays Super Hexagon in a more “circular” format.

Claw Machine

A DIY claw machine that’s faster, fairer and more controllable than anything found in yesterday’s arcades.

Storefront Pong

An interactive storefront game played on a giant 6 x 8 pixel grid display comprised of 18.5” bulbs illuminated by ultra-bright NeoPixel rings.


A fully-interactive bike trainer specifically designed to deliver engaging fitness sessions through VR headsets and external screens.

Doorstop Game

A one-dimensional dungeon crawler game that uses a doorstop spring as its controller and an LED strip as its display.


A motion control ring that enables you to play games and control apps with simple gestures.

Pico Cassettes

An old-school gaming cartridge for your smartphone.

TeleBall BreakOut

A retro-style handheld gaming device.

DIY Game Boy

A portable, 3D-printed console embedded with a Raspberry Pi and Teensy 2.0.

Barebones Console

An extremely low-cost, minimalist gaming console that will take you back to a much blockier 8-bit era.

Arcade-Style Puzzle Box

A vintage, arcade-style puzzle box that resembles the ubiquitous wooden audio equipment of the ‘70s.

UFO Escape Keychain Game

A game of UFO Escape on your keychain? Sure, why not?


An 8-bit instant photo camera masquerading as a toy gun, which consists of an old Game Boy, a camera, a thermal printer and an Arduino.

Retrofitting an NES console with a Nexus Player

This project doesn’t just boast the features of a media player, it still works as an NES system as well. 

Chances are that, if you have an old Nintendo system lying around, at one time or another you’ve thought about tearing it apart and rebuilding it with a Raspberry Pi. While Maker Adam Haile could never find the time to get around to doing that, he did recently manage to cram a Nexus Player inside his NES console. Even better, the weekend project doesn’t just work as a modern-day media player, it still functions as a gaming system should he want to relive the days of Mario Bros., Donkey Kong and Blades of Steel.  


The low-cost Nexus Player runs Android and packs much more power than the original Chromecast. With this in mind, Haile  knew that this would surpass the capabilities of the Raspberry Pi and even enable him to run NES emulators.

“My main desires for this build was that the NES look completely stock and unchanged from the front and that original, unmodified, NES gamepads worked via the original gamepad ports. Fortunately, this turned out not to be too bad,” the Maker notes.


Unlike today’s gaming consoles, the NES turned out to be pretty simple to pull apart, requiring nothing more than removing a few screws and the motherboard. To do this, he also had to disconnect the power connector and two gamepad connectors.

The Maker used a custom PCB, an Arduino Pro Micro (ATmega32U4) and an NES gamepad library to interface the original controllers to the Nexus Player. 3D-printed brackets were employed to ensure that everything fit nicely inside the NES case, too.


“The reason I use an Arduino Pro Micro is that it is based on the awesome ATmega32U4 (just like the AllPixel) which includes on-chip USB functionality. This makes it really easy to make the board show up as a USB keyboard and send keystrokes to a computer. 100 lines of code was all it took to convert the gamepad button presses (for both gamepads simultaneously) into keystrokes that could be used on anything that supports USB keyboards,” he explains.

Intrigued? Head over to the project’s official page, where you’ll find a step-by-step breakdown of the build along with all of the necessary files and software.

Playing NES games on a PS4 thanks to 3D printing

Who could forget the days of NES? This 3D-printed project will surely spark up some ‘90s gaming nostalgia. 

For those of us who grew up in the ‘90s, who could forget the days of slipping in those grey game cartridges into your Nintendo Entertainment System? Even more so, remember taking out the cartridge when it wouldn’t work, blowing on its contacts and inserting it back in?


Now decades later, it’s safe to say that the gaming industry has changed quite a bit. The systems, the graphics, the controls, the plots. However, for those looking for some nostalgia, you’ll appreciate the latest project from Frank Zhao who has used 3D printing to reminisce those good ol’ years. That’s because the Maker has managed to bring today’s PS4 games — such as Grand Theft Auto V, The Crew and Need for Speed Rivals — back in time to the NES era.

With the help of his AVR based Ultimaker 3D printer, Zhao was able to craft some cartridges, while designed a few custom labels on a 2D printer. And while on its surface, it may appear to be just any other NES casing, the games can actually run on the latest PlayStation system. When these cartridges are popped into a custom 3D-printed drive that devised for his PS4, the games are entirely playable as if you took a trip back to the ‘90s with some modern-day action.

With just a little engineering to reconfigure the electrical components, he was good to go. The internals of each game cartridge consisted of a 2.5″ hard drive, which is of course where Zhao uploads the game. In order for hard drive to be readable by the PS4, Zhao had to place a SATA connector attachment inside the cartridge that would link to the PS4 console.

“Adding a hard drive to the PS4 using SATA extensions isn’t a new idea at all, somebody already added 6 TB to it, using a 3.5″ drive, but he used a external enclosure and a external 12 volt power supply,” Zhao writes. However, 3.5″ drives would have required an external 12V power supply, while 2.5″ drives simply called for the 5V from the motherboard.

Yet, when it came to actually connecting the SATA cable to the motherboard, the Maker learned rather quickly that it wasn’t the simplest thing to do. In fact, Zhao says that it “was actually pretty hard. I ended up gluing a popsicle stick to the connector first, and then used the stick to poke the connector inside and into the motherboard’s connector. This can be improved by some sort of 3D printed dummy drive, but I got tired and wanted to wrap the project up.”

It should also be noted that the dimensions of the fake NES cartridge used in the project are not the same as the old-school casings. Therefore, authentic NES cartridges will not fit in this project, and the 3D-printed pieces will not slip inside a genuine NES deck.

Interested? You can learn all about the build, as well as access its files here.

Modding a speech-controlled Game Boy Advance

Nintendo’s Game Boy Advance (ゲームボーイアドバンス), or GBA, is a 32-bit handheld video game console. The successor to the Game Boy Color, the console was launched way back in 2011, giving Makers like Chanudn plenty of time to come up with various mods for the unit.

Indeed, Chanudn recently debuted a slick speech-controlled GBA on Instructables. The basic idea? Players say the name of a button (left, A, start, etc.) and the GBA responds as if the button had been physically pressed.

So, how does it work?

“You say a word into a small microphone (let’s assume you say ‘start’) – and this signal is sent from the microphone to the computer through the [Atmel-based] Arduino Uno (ATmega328 MCU). The speech recognition software BitVoicer sees that ‘start’ is a word it’s supposed to respond to and sends the Arduino the string ‘start’,” Chanudn explained in his Instructables post.

“The Arduino receives the string and sets the voltage of one digital output pin to HIGH and the rest to LOW. The pin set to HIGH is connected to a relay that is in turn connected to two metal pads on the GBA circuit board that correspond to the start button. Since the pin is set to HIGH the relay switches states, making the two metal pads electrically connected. This electrical connection is what happens when you usually press GBA buttons, so the GBA responds as if the start button was pressed.”

Aside from the Arduino Uno, key project components include:


PC with BitVoicer speech recognition software
7 relays
  • Two 8-pin female headers
  • Two 6-pin female headers
  • Adafruit’s microphone amp
4 IC sockets
  • Perfboard

“This is a project I worked on for my electronics class at Pomona College. Thanks to Professor Dwight Whitaker and Tony Grigsby for their help and guidance – and credit to Jonathan Wong for the idea for this project,” Chanudn added.

Interested in learning more about the speech-controlled Game Boy Advance? You can check out the project’s official Instructables page here.