We’ve seen quite a few retro game consoles physically modified to accommodate modern emulation hardware, but the NUC-64 through [RetroModder] stands out as one of the most impressive Nintendo 64 eviscerations we’ve seen to date.
Seen from the front, the NUC-64 almost looks like an original Nintendo console. The project name is imprinted on the residual cartridge slot, and two eerily modern wireless network antennas can be seen on the back. The changes to the console are fully revealed when viewed from the back – the power supply socket, which now houses the I / O for the replacement motherboard, is gone. A custom 3D printed I / O shield keeps everything neat and tidy.
Internally, the new hardware is not to be outdone. The Intel NUC is a compact PC and this miniature battle station is equipped with a 1.6 GHz Pentium Intel N3700 processor, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, WiFi / Bluetooth connectivity and an M. 2. This hardware revolves around the original Nintendo 64 and is more than capable of emulating games from that system.
Most total conversions would call it someday here, however [RetroModder] went one step further by producing a custom PCB that neatly connects the front I / O of the console. More importantly, dual Mayflash N64 to USB converters mean your favorite 90s games can be enjoyed with the original controllers. The original power LED and reset switch are present, as is the sliding power switch which retains its original purpose, thanks to a simple 555 circuit that sends the power on and off signals expected at the motherboard each time the power switch is slid. Plus, a 3D printed brackets and brackets system keeps everything secure inside the case.
All construction details can be found here. The NUC-64 follows on from last month’s GamecubePC. The build quality and attention to detail make this conversion quite special, and it is clear that a lot of care and planning has been taken to achieve it. Hopefully the original N64 hardware can be reused as well, maybe as a new handheld console?