Project Unity prototype (via Bacteria)
Retro gaming has been making a comeback for the last decade or so and you can find just about any emulator for any console system imaginable. Playing games on an emulator however can leave some lacking that feeling of nostalgia gleamed from using the actual console and game cartridge/disk. One such retro-gamer (known as Bacteria) has taken his love of console gaming to the next evolution with his Project Unity gaming cube. The game box is comprised of 15 actual console game boards and 3 emulators (18 formats ion total) which includes the NES, Nintendo Game Cube, N64, Game Boy Advanced, Sega Master System, Sega Dreamcast, Sega Saturn, Neo Geo, Colecovision, Intellivision, Atari 7800, Amstrad GX4000, PlayStations 1/2, and TurboGrafx 16 (minus the emulators) all of which use only one central power supply. Each system is selected using a physical switch that is cycled through 16 different positions to engage each console.
In order to use one controller (as opposed to 15 separate gamepads) for each system Bacteria designed a specially made master controller using custom molded styrene plastic that’s comprised of a single d-pad, 2 omni-directional joysticks, an Intellivision joystick, programmable keypad and 6 shoulder buttons on the gamepad’s top edges. The interesting thing about the Master Controller is that it’s configured to work with each separate console using that console’s gamepad controller board, which Bacteria found could fit easily inside a regular NES game cartridge. For example; if you want to play games on the Sega Dreamcast you simply plug the gamepad control board NES cartridge into the Master Controller and you’re set to go. The consoles that require a memory card have had the cards hard-wired onto their respective gamepad control boards while others have been attached directly to the console boards themselves. Another interesting feature Project Unity has incorporated into it is a SCART connector (television interface), which allows the games to be played in their original format even on wide-screen HD TVs. According to Bacteria Project Unity took 3 years to build (or roughly 3,500 man-hours), is comprised of 983ft of wiring, weighs around 44lbs and cost about $1,000 US in parts to create. There is a complete walkthrough of his build on his website (www.made-by-bacteria.com) for those interested in more info on how he built his gaming box.
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