back to article Hardware hacker unifies 15 retro consoles in format frenzy

Most fans of old-skool videogame hardware rely on emulators for their retro gaming kicks. But not some fellow going by the handle Bacteria. Three years ago, he decided he needed 15 original games consoles in his living room and that he wanted them all in a single box. Project Unity Game cube: the console offering a feast of …


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  1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    What a hero, that is all.

  2. hplasm
    Thumb Up

    Very good!

    Hardware good... too many emulators these days.

    1. Crisp

      Re: Very good!

      Sometimes there's no substitute for playing on original hardware.

  3. Code Monkey

    And people complain about the original PS3 being big. Sheesh!

    1. wowfood

      At first

      I thought that controller looked huge and unweildly, then I remembered the original x-box controller.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Re: At first

        You mean it's not a Dreamcast controller with an adapter on the cable?

      2. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Re: At first

        XBox? try Atari Jaguar, that's monstrous and doesn't even have analog controls.

  4. Ross K
    Thumb Up

    Nice Work...

    ...However I do prefer Ben Heck's modern take on the combo console:

  5. Babbit55

    Shut up and take my money!!!!!!

    1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      I saw it first!

      MINE >_<

  6. Dana W
    Thumb Up

    Finally, I can't complain. Superb!

  7. JDX Gold badge

    Crazy but brilliant.

  8. Cliff

    On the one hand, brilliant...

    On the other hand, awesome!

    Not something that I would ever want to do and certainly there are other ways to spend my time, but that's my problem, hats off for a good old fashioned hack!

  9. pewpie
    Thumb Up

    Lord of the Things..

    "...PSU to run them all; and"

    in the darkness bind them?

  10. Smallbrainfield

    Being picky here, but he could have spent a bit longer on the case design.

    It looks like a banana box. That said, it's an epic achievement indeed!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Nice work!

    One PSU to run them all, but of the optical media machines (Saturn, Dreamcast, PS2) is there a unified optical drive?

    1. Piro

      Re: Impressive

      I doubt that'd be possible. PS2, Saturn, possibly, because a standard DVD drive should read DVDs and the CDs. But Dreamcast uses GD-ROMs that sat at around 1GB, so I'm not sure a standard drive would read the whole thing.

      Anyway, it doesn't have that feature - you can see the pull out trays demonstrated in the video - and he has microswitches on those doors implemented as the "tray closed" switch.

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Impressive

        At the moment I'm trying to resurrect a GD-ROM drive in my Dreamcast. What I found out was that they are essentially CD-ROM drives but they spin at a lower speed than normal, thus allowing SEGA to pack more data in to a CD-ROM. Furthermore, it allowed SEGA to just use off the shelf parts.

        So while it's possible, you would end up with two CD/DVD drives, one just for the Dreamcast and the other for everything else.

        1. Piro

          Re: Impressive

          Wikipedia claims the pits on the disc are more densely packed to achieve 1.2GB.

          Oh, then of course you have the GameCube. Another oddball, with a disc that seems like an 80mm DVD, but has strange properties to avoid paying DVD licences.

          As far as I recall though, there are certain old PC DVD drives that can read GameCube discs for the purpose of ripping the game.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Thumb Up

            Re: Impressive

            Surely a DVD drive from a Wii would read the GC games?

            I use mine to play Mario Kart DD.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very nice!

    For Version 1.0, that's pretty nifty!


  13. Tim Roberts 1
    Thumb Up

    human ingenuity!

    This project is a testament to what is possible. Mere mortals like me can only dream of having the balls/inellect to conceive, develop and create something like this. Well done! Mate, I salute you.

  14. Simon Round

    I'm torn...

    ... On one hand i'm very impressed as it is quite an achievement.

    One the other hand I have this purist streak in me that say consoles (and retro computers) should be in their original case. I seem to have this internal struggle as I sometimes think of building an old retro computer (like a BBC model B) into an old DVD player case and sitting it under the TV (of course with some kind of external keyboard).

    Pint of Beer because he deserves one after all that hard work.

  15. Buzzword

    3,500 hours?

    When you say 3,500 hours, do you mean that he started the project last November and he spent the odd spare hour here or there working on it? Or do you mean 3,500 hours of solid work, which is near enough two years of full-time employment?

    1. Great Bu

      Re: 3,500 hours?

      It was just whatever he could do to get away from his wife's knick knack explosion around his TV........

  16. Shonko Kid
    Thumb Up

    Retro look controller too

    There were a few of these multi-key controllers around in the 80s IIRC, which had clip on masks for each game. Kudos for reusing the idea.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still takes cartridges? I would have to dig out the flash cart reader as I hate changing games the old fashion way.

  18. jai

    shame there aren't any of those old games that i'd really want to play again.

    yes, nostalgia and all that, how great it was to play WonderBoy when i was 8, of the pixelated joys of the first Mortal Kombat, etc etc

    but really? these days? i'd rather play something with a new story that i haven't heard before. i don't have the time to revisit the old games and likely discover that they're not half as good as i remember them

    1. 1Rafayal

      Games from 20 years ago play a lot differently to those of today.

      Now we get save games - how do you think classics like "Master of Darkness" on the Master System will have played with such a feature?

      A lot of older games were just pure fun.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


        Peoples' tolerance of frustration has gone down a lot with recent gaming compared to earlier stuff - and enjoyment is inversely proportional to the degree of frustration it took before you 'broke through' the barrier :)

  19. Winkypop Silver badge

    Nice box

    Shame about the knick knacks!

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  21. Moeluk

    Just for finding a working GX4000 the guy deserves some sort of medal!

  22. Halfmad Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Work of genius, but it's a shame that he only put a 1M cable on the controller..

  23. Steve I

    Now we want

    the hand-held version.

  24. sisk


    Also, I want one, but who has 3500 hours to throw at building it? Other than this guy, I mean.

  25. Anonymous Coward

    I am betting he doesnt have a girlfriend.

    1. Matt Piechota


      "I am betting he doesnt have a girlfriend."

      I think (hope) the knick-knacks would say differently.

  26. Dapprman
    Thumb Up

    When's it going on Kickstarter

    I know it's not feasable, but I doubt the price would reduce from what this masterpiece cost, but we can dream :)

  27. paulll

    Very cool but...

    The controller's a killer for me. I'd rather have an emulator and the original controller than the real hardware and a generic pad. And now have an almost sinking feeling that I'm going to squander my entire afternoon playing SNES Syndicate with a SNES controller on my laptop ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Very cool but...

      Snes360 on the XBox 360 is probably the best SNES emulator out there across all platforms, no graphic or sound glitches, even on the DKC2 sound test

      All I need is a SNES controller hack for the XBox 360.

      1. sisk

        Re: Very cool but...

        All I need is a SNES controller hack for the XBox 360.

        Doesn't the Xbox 360 have standard USB ports? Just get one of the SNES controllers modded for USB (or, if you're not lazy like me, make your own);

  28. Keven E.

    I can do 3500 hours in my sleep!

    What... no C64?

    It's a shame about the curtains.

  29. Bill Neal

    As an American...

    ...what is this Scart cable you speak of? I hace seen the connection on one of my big TV's, but never seen the actual cable in my country. Why was there a need to make yet ANOTHER video connection? Is it any better than the alternatives?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As an American...

      SCART was an attempt to create a standard connector to connect anything to anything.

      It's actually been around a very long time. You don't seem them much outside of Europe.

      The handy thing was that it combined S-Video, Composite and Component and a number of different audio options. The connectees basically pick what they support. I don't believe that any additional comm protocol was provided, it is just an attempt at connection standard and some basic arbitration between them. I seem to remember that there are some signals that inform about the standard being transmitted or somesuch.

      Anyway, although it was heavily used for TVs Videos and DVD players, HDMI is quickly taking over from it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: As an American...

        Scart had all the above as 'skelband' pointed out, plus it also had widescreen switching, device signal switching (like HDMI does) and it also carried stereo sound so no extra RCA cables needed, RGB scart was the HDMI SDMI of its day.

    2. M. Poolman

      Re: As an American...

      "what is this Scart cable you speak of?"

      what is this Scart cable \emph{of which you speak} ?

      Yeah, the asbestos coated one thanks.

  30. M. Poolman
    Thumb Up

    Not only

    Proper old skool, but also playing lemmings - the only game that held my attention for more than 5 minutes.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Speaking of retro consoles

    Is there anywhere that can repair a SNES in the UK?

  32. Richard Jukes

    So where does one buy such a beast?


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