Tuesday Top Ten: Physical Gaming Mods


It’s that time again, friends—time for another Tuesday Top Ten!  Every week, we go through the top ten something-or-anothers related to our hobby, and this week is no different.  This week, we’re counting down the top ten interesting, useful, or just plain weird physical modifications in the world of gaming.

There are two primary modding communities in the world of gaming—the community that modifies the software end of things to provide certain patches, to uncover content developers may have buried deep within the code, that sort of thing.  Then you have the ones who modify the hardware end—computer and console cases.

Some are pretty basic—add some lights, maybe a see-through case, and it’s done.  Some might go a bit further and replace the sides with something interesting.  What we’re going to talk about today, though, are the ones who go above and beyond.  The creative artists who come out with things that are truly—well, inspiring, really.

With that out of the way, let’s go!

10. Super Nintoaster
Nifty little design, the Super Nintoaster by Stupid Fingers, also known as Vomitsaw on YouTube.  It embodies the spirit of today’s “theme”—completely and utterly turning some gaming hardware into something else entirely, but making sure it still works.

Its seeming simplicity belies a rather artistic take on modding—slapping neat and interesting designs on the sides of computer towers and consoles is becoming, if I may be so bold, so common place as to be almost trite.  But something like this—especially putting a Super Nintendo into a toaster, of all the humorous things—is just, well, interesting.  It stands above any decals or panel-replacements.

09. Wii Mod: UNLimited Edition
This one rides nicely along that line between “very functional” and “too cool for words”.  It’s water-cooled and able to be mounted on the wall.  Really, that should be all that needs to be said—but it isn’t.  Water cooling isn’t exactly easy to do, and having the ability to mount it on the wall is just spiffy, but of course that’s not the end of the story.  The thing just looks pretty.

There’s a certain stark allure to the aesthetics.  It looks both futuristic yet something one should be able to go to the store and purchase.  It’s a conversation piece as well as a functional gaming system.  It’s beautiful.  Simply beautiful.  Interestingly, Martin—A.K.A. “Angel OD” on the Bit-Tech forums—had no real plan as he went along.  Read the full account on the forums here.

08. PlayStation 3 Slim Laptop
Ben Heck is to video game mods as Leonardo da Vinci was to paint.  He’s contributed a lot of interesting additions to the physical modding community, all of them functional and visually appealing.  For example, we have his PS3 Slim Laptop, which is what it sounds like—a slim-version PlayStation 3 built into a laptop.

It’s no ordinary laptop, either.  It’s not just some Dell husk gutted with the PlayStation 3 hardware crammed in.  He built the case by hand and it went from there.  It’s convenient, functional, and nice to look at.  And of course, like most of Heck’s creations, it’s nice enough to make one want to order a dozen of the things.

07. Suzuki SXBox 360 Concept Car
Some can turn their cars into a game station by sticking a console in there and hooking it up to a small monitor.  That wasn’t good enough for Suzuki.  They built a concept car around an X-Box 360.  Pretty much literally, really.

I really can’t imagine the practical applications of having a fully-functioning gaming rig inside the car—with one controller built into the steering wheel, no less—but darn it if the car isn’t awesome.  The hood moves with a touch of a button, allowing games or movies to be projected onto the back.  Another option is the other system built into the back of the vehicle, with a thirty-inch retractable screen in the back.

It certainly makes the idea of running out of gas a bit more attractive, eh?

06. R2-D2 Game Rig
No mod is really easy, and nothing exemplifies that like the R2-D2 rig, which houses eight consoles.  Creator Brian De Vitis took a soda pop cooler he had on-hand and turned it into the ultimate game station—over the course of a few years.

It has a crazy number of consoles from numerous companies—Nintendo, SEGA, Sony, and a few others.  If you have a video game—any video game—chances are this thing can play it.  Seriously, how much better can it get?  Well, we’ll tell you.  On top of the actual physical consoles wired into the thing, it has a computer system dedicated to playing emulators.  Truly a remarkable work.

05. X-Box 360—1977 Edition
Another work from Ben Heck, this one is truly a blend of modern and retro gaming.  It is, put succinctly, X-Box 360 hardware into a laptop case inspired by the old Atari 2600.  It is a thing of retro-gaming beauty.  It works wonderfully, looks fantastic, and is something every gamer needs (though, sadly, something few gamers could afford, even if he made them to order—which he doesn’t).

It’s a showpiece, a masterwork, something every gamer of every breed would be proud to have in their collection.

04. R2D2 Computer Tower
A bit of an oldie, this one.  I first came across pictures of it on a forum years ago, and just from the pictures I could tell it was fantastic.  You can find other such attempts rather easily—but none I’ve seen look anywhere near as good as this project does.

Created by Australian firm Petric Engineering, it puts nearly every other attempt to shame.  It looks like it just rolled out of Skywalker Ranch.  It obviously took careful skill and a lot of time, and the result really couldn’t be better.

03. Wooden Saturn Laptop
Yet another one by Ben Heck (seriously, it’s difficult to not make this a Top Ten Ben Heck’s Awesome Creations list), this wooden Saturn laptop is just—fantastic.  A touch of TRON with the Neon lines adds a smidgen of modern class to an otherwise completely retro design.  About the only thing missing are wooden controllers, but at this point, that’s just picking at nits, really.

It’s Ben Heck, so there isn’t a whole lot more to say about it—it’s awesome, it looks fantastic, and works.  What else needs be said?

02. R-Kaid-6
It really doesn’t get a whole lot more retro in feel than looking to be made entirely out of wood.  Thus we bring you the R-Kaid-6, the latest creation of Love Hultén.

It looks like some mutant spawn of HAL 9000 and an end-table, one of which is awesome and the other functional.  Thus, you have something awesomely functional.  This lovely device runs emulators for all of your gaming desires, and the joysticks can be packed away on top so as to be out of the way and not be visually distracting.

01. Coffin Computer Case
Holy cow.  It’s difficult to pin-point where this creation originally comes from, as a few web sites around the Internet have it without citing a source, but—yeah.  Holy cow.  That’s a real coffin, there, folks.  This one is number one solely for the “Holy <bleep> factor.  I mean—a fully-functional computer built into a coffin.  The only thing that would make that even better is if you could use it while inside the thing.  Still, it’s certainly—inventive.

Honorable Mention: Pretty Much Anything by Ben Heck Ever
Here are just some of his projects.  A traipse through a search engine or three will turn up a lot more.  My favorite is “the wand“, built for a movie.

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2 Responses to “Tuesday Top Ten: Physical Gaming Mods”

  1. I want both R2 mods.

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