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Modder turns a Wii U controller into a PC that still plays Wii U games


Most video game fans aren’t using their Wii U consoles as much as they did a few years ago — if they ever bought the system at all — but Nintendo’s underwhelming machine still has a few uses, it seems. A modder has managed to turn the system’s GamePad controller into a PC with Windows 10, and he didn’t sacrifice its gaming functionality to do it.

Using the GamePad as a shell, modder Banjo Kazooie added several other parts, including an LCD screen, 4GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD, an Intel m5 processor, and a copy of Windows 10. Upon booting the system up, it runs just like any other Windows 10 PC, with icons and menus available to select with a stylus.

The hilarious kicker, however, is what else he had the Wii U do: Play Wii U games. Through an emulator and a small board containing a copy of Super Mario Bros. U, the game is still fully playable while being run through Windows. It looks just about identical to the version running on a standard Wii U, with very little input lag. Pressing the Wii U’s “home” button brings up the Windows menu, from where the game can quickly be closed.

It’s a bit of a misnomer to say the Wii U was modded for this project — the console itself remained untouched. However, with the price for the GamePad currently at about $200 on Amazon, you probably shouldn’t try this unless you really hate your Wii U.

We’re not sure what would bring someone to turn a Wii U GamePad into a fully functional PC, but chances are pretty good that your Wii U is currently sitting in storage as it collects dust. Perhaps having an extra portable computer wouldn’t be such a bad thing!

Just recently, hackers have managed to get another program, the GameCube and Wii emulator “Dolphin,” running on a Nintendo Switch. The ability to do this was discovered after an exploit was found in the Switch, which couldn’t be fixed with a simple software patch. Though games aren’t running too well on the emulator at the moment, it’s only a matter of time before the kinks are worked out.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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