Modified Nintendo Wii slot on back of modular Sony CRT

Modified Nintendo Wii slot on back of modular Sony CRT

The Wii has become one of the most hackable and moddable consoles Nintendo has ever released. From the same person who brought you Altoids tin Wii this is coming Wii entry cardcomplete with controller tracks, which can be inserted into the back of a Sony broadcast quality CRT monitor for an all-in-one retro gaming experience that is a real treat for the eyes.

If you thought that connecting an older standard definition game console to a modern 4K TV would significantly improve the look of the games, you’d be dead wrong. The truth is that developers creating games to be played on classic CRT TVs actually took into account the technical limitations of the display hardware and used it to their advantage, including the tendency of CRTs to soften an image.

So if you want as authentic a retro gaming experience as possible, and for classic games to see exactly how their developers originally intended, you should really stick to playing them on an old fashioned CRT TV, or even better, a Sony video monitor. The Sony BVM is designed for use in professional broadcast studios higher quality versions of earlier TVs, with a sharp and perfectly color balanced image and many manual controls for adjusting and calibrating the print. What they lacked were the standard inputs you find on consumer-ready TVs. Sony BVMs instead relied on replaceable input cards on the back to equip the TV with the specific video and data connections a professional installation needed.

I have put a Wii in this CRT

Instead of hunting down a Sony broadcast display input card that would allow a Wii to connect to it, YouTube’s Shank Modsformerly known for a custom handheld version of the Nintendo Virtual Boydesigned and built his own entrance card, based on open source plansit was itself a functional Wii console.

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What’s particularly great about this hack is that the Wii input card is completely self-contained, and even has four ports on the back for connecting wired GameCube controllers. It automatically connects to the broadcast monitor’s video connections when inserted and draws all the power it needs from the monitor, so only a single power cable is needed. When turned on, the Wii Card boots into a custom user interface and can play the full slate of GameCube and Wii games, including virtual console titles.

YouTube commenters are asking for a longer version of this video that explains in detail how the Wii card was made, but the biggest challenge may be securing a Sony BVM. Even models with tiny screens sold for over $10,000 decades ago, and while prices for less used BMVs are closer to $1,000 these days, finding one in good condition isn’t easy.

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