How to play 15 classic consoles with one controller

About The Author

CNET Editor

Nic Healey can usually be found on a couch muttering about aspect ratios and 7.1 channel sound - which is helpful given that he's the home entertainment guy at CNET.

This monster DIY project jams 15 consoles into one box, and lets you play them all with a single gamepad.

It's not pretty, but it is powerful.
(Credit: Bacteria)

It's called Project Unity, and it's been the labour of love for the modder known as Bacteria. It's taken three years and 3500 hours of work, but it's finally done.

Unity houses the original circuit boards from 15 classic consoles, all powered by a single PSU and outputting via a single SCART.

Most clever of all is the single master gamepad designed by Bacteria. The controller actually takes a custom-built cartridge, which maps out the control interface for the required system. So, to play a PlayStation 2 game, for example, you plug the PS2 cartridge into the gamepad and it'll behave like the appropriate controller.

The cost to its creator has been roughly £700 (AU$1022), and the final product has around 30 metres of cables inside and weighs in at about 20kg.

The full list of consoles built in is:

  • Armstrad GX1000

  • Atari 7800

  • Colecovision

  • Intellivision

  • NEC TurboGrafx X

  • NeoGeo MVS

  • Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)

  • Nintendo Gamecube

  • Nintendo 64

  • Sega Dreamcast

  • Sega MegaDrive (Genesis)

  • Sega Master System

  • Sega Saturn

  • Sony PlayStation 2

  • Super Nintendo (SNES).

Bacteria noted that it can actually play games from 18 consoles: the PS2 will play PS1 games, the Atari 7800 will play 2600 games and the GameCube will play GBA games.

A full video explaining its creation — with a demo of the system and gamepad — is below.

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RigP posted a comment   

Cool that he did it but he could have just spent 1k on a computer and installed free software. #DoingItForTheSake


BillyC3 posted a comment   

Or, you can just use any PC made in the last 5 years, Download the appropriate emulators. Purchase a wired xbox controller for $10 and there you are.


JoshC6 posted a comment   

Not really a how to, but no mater I don't see many wanting to do this anyway. Neat project though, good work!


ArwelR posted a comment   

Can he make a handheld version?..

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