Project Unity mod combines 15 consoles in one box

Project Unity mod combines 15 consoles in one box

Project Unity can play games from 18 different console yet is only 18in cubed.

A modder/hacker has brought together 15 fully working original games consoles into one box, creating perhaps the most comprehensive mod of its kind.

The box, called Project Unity, contains the original circuit boards for all 15 of the consoles listed below, giving it the ability to play games from 18 consoles in total, given the backwards compatibility of some units. As well as squeezing all this hardware into a single unit, Project Unity also uses a single universal controller to play them all.

- Amstrad GX4000
- Sega Master System
- Atari 7800
- ColecoVision
- Intellivision
- Sega Megadrive
- Super Nintendo
- Nintendo 64
- Nintendo Entertainment System
- Gameboy Advance
- NeoGeo MVS
- Nintendo GameCube
- Sega Dreamcast
- Sega Saturn
- PlayStation 2

British modder, Bacteria, started creating Project Unity over three years ago and took over 3,500 hours to complete it.

The project is rare in that it uses all original console hardware rather than any form of emulation, creating a significant challenge when it came to fitting all the hardware in the 18inch cube space allocated to it. This raises the obvious question of why Bacteria chose not to use emulators:

"Emulators work well but have their flaws... they're not one-to-one copies of playing the originals." What's more, "Playing original games on original hardware means playing them exactly as they were designed to be played."

Further complicating the build was the fact that Bacteria wanted all the consoles to run off a single power supply and use a single video output. This meant creating a custom 6A, 12V power supply out of two GameCube supplies joined together. To get round the problem of interference, only one console can be powered up at any one time.

Each console's hardware is mounted inside a variety of old game cartridges, though switching between them is done through a slider switch rather than by plugging the cartridges in alternately. Meanwhile the universal controller uses the controller board for each console's controller mounted inside old NES cartridges for easy hot swapping of controller types.

Looking at the internals of the build, it is clearly not aimed at winning any style awards but the level of electrical engineering involved is mightily impressive.

Bacteria runs his own retro game modding forum, for those interested in learning more about the technicalities of creating original game console mods. Here Bacteria also includes a comprehensive 20min video of the build, demonstrating it in action.

So who's going to be first to combine their artistic modding and watercooling skills with a project like this?


Discuss in the forums Reply
Nexxo 18th April 2013, 20:09 Quote
But can it run Crysis? :p
B1GBUD 18th April 2013, 21:50 Quote
Damn, no MSX....
das_mod 18th April 2013, 23:12 Quote
To think all the hours of work he could've saved and/or spent playing, if he had just downloaded M.A.M.E. instead :D
SAimNE 19th April 2013, 01:46 Quote
really is too bad that most mid grade laptops can run all of these systems, and many of them with texture mods and such to increase the quality above what the original hardware could pull off :|
Waynio 19th April 2013, 08:53 Quote
Very interesting impressive project done really well. :D

If I ever get urge for doing a bit of retro console modding I'll be sure to join his forum, looks very good for it & that man is a genius managing to do that although I can understand why he didn't make it 4 player, would make it 45 or 54 times more complex (difference is because it's unclear to me if it's 15 or 18 consoles & that's going as if all those consoles are 4 player which they aren't so :p would still be many times more complex though) as if it wasn't complex enough lol. :D

I would rather do something like this though myself, nice & simple in comparison by using tuned up emulators allowing for gorgeous looking case with nice engineering & excellent craftsmanship.
Or his even better version with projector.

Think that answers the last comment on the article, not watercooled but doesn't need to be. :D

Still some really awesome retro console modding, The Console Centipede.
mi1ez 19th April 2013, 09:23 Quote
Originally Posted by SAimNE
really is too bad that most mid grade laptops can run all of these systems, and many of them with texture mods and such to increase the quality above what the original hardware could pull off :|

Kind of defies the point. I still have my SNES (and NES, and 2 original DMGs) and highly prefer playing it to any emulator. You get all the slowdown in the right places, and certain quirks that just don't happen emulated.
thom804 19th April 2013, 16:17 Quote
Did the video music remind anyone of skidrow? Not that i've ever run a crack, ever!
blohum 19th April 2013, 18:08 Quote
Awesome work, but there's one thing which stands out to me... he mentions that the original consoles give a more authentic experience, but surely part of that experience is using the original controllers?
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