Modder GingerOfMods managed to cram a Wii into a shell the size of a Game Boy Color
Cramming a console into a small, portable shell is nothing new, even for the Nintendo Wii. However, modder GingerOfMods has managed to fit a functioning Wii and controls into a shell about the size of a Nintendo Game Boy Color. He calls his creation the Wiiboy Color.
GingerOfMods started by cutting the motherboard of an original Nintendo Wii into small segments. The modder used software to trick the Wii into working without detecting a functioning disc drive, allowing for a further reduction in size. He also rewired some components to make everything fit.
Aside from the Wii motherboard, the Wiiboy Color uses some off the shelf parts, like a 3.5-inch 480p (4:3 aspect ratio) screen typically used with backup cameras in cars and off-the-shelf Samsung rechargeable battery cells (which give 2-3 hours of battery life). GingerOfMods took two joysticks from a Nintendo Switch and the d-pad and face buttons from a Nintendo DS Lite for the front panel. The device has a fan intake, two triggers, and two Z-buttons on its back. A power button and volume rocker sit on the right side. The case is a custom 3D-printed shell.
GingerOfMods had to create custom circuit boards to make the components work together. He also used the circuitry from a GameCube controller for the controls of the Wiiboy Color. While almost all Wii games normally wouldn’t work unless they detected a Wii Remote, a software hack makes the magic happen. The Wiiboy Color even includes a shake feature to simulate the shaking of a Wii Remote needed for some games.
The device charges and transfers data via a USB-C port next to the headphone jack on the top of the unit. Games are stored on a USB stick seated inside the shell and can be loaded via a USB-C cable.
One of the coolest features of the machine is the ability to plug the device into an authentic Wii’s USB port to play games on a connected TV. Games can also be played with a Wii Remote and Nunchuck when the Wiiboy Color is plugged into a Wii.
GingerOfMods plans to eventually sell the Wiiboy Color on a request basis but hasn’t released a timeline of when he will start to take orders. Expect to pay a premium; considering the cost of parts and labor that goes into making specialized consoles like the Wiiboy Color, it’s likely the portable Wii won’t come cheap.