Although the Midwest Gaming Classic for this year was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19, it didn’t stop veteran portablizer Gman from unveiling to the world his brand new perspective on N64 portables. N64 portables have been made since the dawn of time, but in comparison to Wii trimming, N64 motherboards have always been limited in the amount that could be trimmed off. This resulted in much bulkier builds than their Wii counterparts. That is, until now. The modding community has forever been in doubt as to whether or not the PIF IC (responsible for various interfacing functions with controller/data security chips) could be successfully relocated. As it turns out, it is indeed possible! Enter the new age of N64 portables, as seen through the lens of the N64 SP.
The N64 SP houses a 5 inch VGA display driven by an ultraVGA modchip, which flawlessly converts digital video from the N64 into super sexy VGA video out. Slightly modifying the software and hardware of the U-AMP for N64 compatibility, Gman successfully bypassed the on-board audio/video encoder to grab crystal clear digital audio for the best sound quality. The all-in-one-PCB, sourced from JLCPCB, is jam-packed with the most modern portablizing features. Onboard power regulators, a battery management system, N64+ (a custom controller emulator designed by Aurelio Manarra), and USB-C PD charging capabilities! All of this was fit onto a single, two-layer PCB, allowing this portable to remain more compact than ever. It even has the buttons and a connector for the 3DS joystick on the bottom, allowing for a nearly seamless assembly. All of the buttons are resin printed, which provides a much nicer feel than 3D printed action buttons. The whole system is powered by a single 20700 4250mah battery cell, which he says gives the system a total battery life 4 minutes shy of 2 hours. Not bad at all!
Gman has once again proven that the future for N64 portables is burning brighter than ever before. He and the BitBuilt team have plans to release the new definitive N64 trimming guide to the forums and the N64+ controller emulator to the BitBuilt store in the near future. Now all of the BitBuilt members can too enjoy the experience of creating tiny N64 portables. Stay tuned for more portables from Gman!
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