Whether you’re a veteran gamer or you just love Nintendo hardware, there’s a good chance you’ll run into some old stuff. You can give away those old consoles… or you can hack them.
Here are five ways you can hack old Nintendo hardware into something new and useful.
1. Wii Homebrew
Let’s start with the simplest option: turn your old Nintendo Wii into a media center capable of playing media on your network, retro games, and even DVDs.
While the early hacks required some fiddling around, more recently the LetterBomb utility has made things a lot easier. By using this hack, you get access to the Wii Homebrew Channel, where you can find an extensive library of free software. Most of them are games made both at home and ported from other platforms (for example, Doom).
All you need to make this hack work — and turn your Nintendo Wii into a system that fully exploits its potential — is a suitable SD card.
You can hack not only the Nintendo Wii console. The innovative Wiimote is also reusable. Even if you don’t have a Wii, you can buy these old controllers (and preferably a sensor) for pennies on eBay, thrift stores, yard sales, etc.
But how can you use the Nintendo Wiimote?
Note that the Wiimote not only has an infrared transmitter and receiver, but is also compatible with Bluetooth. Having a nunchuck peripheral will make several of these Wiimote (and others) hacks easier to complete.
3. Wii Fit Board
One of the most popular peripherals that came with the early Nintendo Wiis was the Wii balance board. This device uses a Bluetooth radio and has four pressure sensors that are designed to measure the user’s center of balance. The device was most commonly used with the Wii Fit game and is capable of measuring body position (when paired with WiiMote) and weight.
Despite supporting over 150 games, chances are your Wii Fit Board is hidden under your bed. So how can you hack this?
Option 1: Check Your Wii8 (Weight)
The first option is to reuse the Wii Balance Board as it was meant to be, as a set of weights. Thanks to four AA batteries, the board (which you can pick up for just a few dollars) should last 60 hours. You should get some benefit from this!