If you've seen my other thread in General Discussion you might have heard mention of a NES site I've created. One thing I've been considering doing at a later date is attending a few retro gaming events (there's usually 3 or 4 a year here in the UK), just to promote the site with a banner, posters and couple of playable NES systems on offer. This led me down the path of thinking I could do with a center piece, something to show off and with having a broken NES lay around the house I came upon the idea of doing a NES PC.
This involves ripping out the innards, dropping in some sort of PC motherboard then connecting USB leads to the old controller ports (perhaps replacing them with something else) to take NES pads. Fill the PC with a nice big pile of NES ROM's and an emulator (think of a MAME set up, same thing).
It's a pretty big project from what I can see and I'm wondering if anyone else here had tried something similar? I have no experience with soldering or cutting plastic and for the PC I was thinking of picking up a small 7" Asus EEE PC, taking the motherboard out of it then seating it in a NES case. The EEE PC has a built in 2-4GB Flash Hard Drive and with the whole NES ROM set barely filling 1GB on a DVD it should be ideal. Of course those EEE PC's are expensive but I've noticed a few for spares/repairs on ebay with cracked screens go for next to nothing so I reckon one of these would be ideal.
I did find these USB NES controller ports:
I was thinking a couple of those could possibly replace the standard ones on the console itself which would mean I could use any classic pad. The picture on that site isn't angled great so afraid I can't make out if the shape would fit the system. Thoughts on this mad scheme?
The idea is about it is to turn a broken NES into something useful. Plus it will make a good display piece for people to play at events :)
The sad part is that the sound implementation of all NES-on-A-Chip solutions is far from perfect with whole channels disappearing and a lot of sound effects missing. Nothing beats the real hardware.
Putting a small form factor PC inside a dead toaster NES is an excellent idea. Of course one would have to run something like Fceultra on it to at least let the outer shell recover from the shock ;)