Game consoles today play games that are either downloaded from the Internet or on discs. Gamers who’ve been around long enough to remember when consoles like the Nintendo N64 were the top-of-the-line gaming consoles will recall plugging cartridges into the console to play. A YouTuber going by the name GmanModz has created a customized portable N64 that puts controls, screen, and the game itself in a device about the same size as a game cartridge from the past.
The result is something the builder hails as the world’s smallest Nintendo 64 portable. The project started with an original console from the 90s before the internals were pared down to only what was needed for the games to function. Along with the parts from the original console, other components, including a battery, a 3.5-inch screen, a speaker, and a slot with a special grippy connector to keep the original cartridges in place during play.
The device is so small that a large battery was out of the question. The portable console’s biggest downside is that the battery is only good for about an hour and a half. The builder used custom buttons and Switch Joy-Con sticks for the controls on the custom portable console because they were smaller than components inside the original controllers.
The video below outlines much of the build process for creating the custom portable game console. The builder did say that the circuitry inside the original console had to be packed more tightly. Heat resistant plastic that wouldn’t melt when the more tightly packed components heated up was used to construct the portable. The last thing you’d want is a console that heated up and melted in your hands playing Zelda.