Retro-Gaming Rig Concept. I want more space and less cables!
You know those times when you sometimes hear voices in your head? The ones that usually say "Kill everything?" the ones that sound rather like Jack Nicholson? I rarely get these... But when I do, I'm usually untangling cables from the back of my T.V.
I also have another problem. I'm running out of space for games consoles! Oh the humanity! First world problems galore up in this shizzle.
Now, it occurred to me the other day, that people starting a family may have had to sacrifice a few things in order to make space or money for their marriage/impending child. They may also be like me, who just happen to live in a small-ish house, with more interests and hobbies than space.
Games consoles are, by nature, a sod to store properly. They take up a lot of space and if you have them all plugged into the TV and need to move everything around one day; you may come across this!
A horrendous mess of cabling! (simulated for demonstration purposes)
So after taking into account they're something of a pain to be left out and hooked into the TV, because of space and the mess of cables, why not this?
Why not make a modular design cabinet for multiple console units?
This idea is simple. Consoles can be stripped out of old, damaged cases or a new run could be manufactured. The insides of old systems could be fitted into a new module, making each module a console on it's own. The modules would slot into a tower, or if we're thinking with synthesizers, Mod-box.
The rear of the modules would act as a plug. So when the module slots into the tower, it's basically acting as a connector, delivering power and video. The modular design would also eliminate the huge amounts of cables inherent with a large number of consoles. It also gives me an excuse to mess around with electronics in new and stupid ways. It would also use standard power and A.V connectors on the modules, meaning you could use the modules outside of the tower as a standalone console.
On the tower though, the aim is to have one power lead
running into the tower and one A.V output lead
running to the TV. Regardless of how many consoles are in the tower.
The above is just a mock-up idea for slotting the module in.
My idea is to take consoles like the N.E.S, S.N.E.S, Genesis, Master System and others, all with bad/damaged cases, and house them into these modules. The rehousing of old Console Main boards would make for a smaller design. Okay, they may turnout to be wider than before, but this way they can be stacked. Meaning you can fit more consoles in a smaller footprint. Same concept with high-rise flats, but cooler.
All the modules can be played and connected to a TV the usual way, but with the tower; you can store and play the consoles without having wires everywhere and having to set them up each time you want to play. Two switches, maybe Three if you're using an RF to A.V converter, and you're away!
For families with kids and not much space, who also have a love for games, this is a great idea for a space saving, retro gaming solution. You could also get your kids into retro games at a much younger age too, without having to worry about them snapping the Cart-bay Door off a NES or other such horrific things.
The front of the tower will look something like this: (Not coloured or shaded)
Each port for the tower has the needed connectors and power leads. The module slides in and you're ready to go.
It will all come out of the 2 leads from the back of the tower.
Mostly a standardised set-up for the modules and a good way to give old tattered consoles a new lease of life.
Yeah, I know it'll all be in a big black metal tower, but scaling is yet to be decided on. If you were feeling cocky you could build other things into it too:
*A DVD Player
*Surround sound amps.
My point is, I think an Entertainment/Gaming Tower would be a good idea.
I know that Standardised units would lack the charm of the original casings, but it's just a solution to a problem few of you may have considered already. Shelves are a good idea, but also bulky. This is simple, easy to move in one go and it's a big black tower with lights and buttons!
Big Black Towers for electricals, with lights and buttons are ALWAYS
So this concludes my, for want of a better term, lecture.
I'll be doing hardware tear-downs and fixes during this week. Keep your eye open for the start of the run in that line of blogs; "NES, you will load this game or I will sell your soul to Dick Cheney!"
So thanks again for humouring this post. Give me your opinions and thoughts in the comments please, guys.
P.S, I will be building this at some point.
Categories: Features, Master System, Megadrive / Genesis, NES, Super NES