If you’re a collector and have a plethora of gaming consoles sitting up in your attic or hiding away in your basement beneath mounds of the very cartridges they play, it’s most likely a huge bother for you to play your games. You probably don’t have enough inputs, televisions, or even physical space to set everything up. That’s where Project Unity comes in. Rather than just a decently powered computer loaded up with every ROM imaginable, this console mod includes the original boards of 15 different game consoles, but is all controlled through one controller, outputs through one SCART, and is powered by one supply. Best of all, it accepts both original cartridges and ROMs from 18 older gaming consoles, making it so you can both collect physical copies of prized cartridges, but easily play them out of a single box.
A modder that goes by Bacteria created this Frankenstein console, and it took him around 3,500 hours of labor and a little over $1,000 to build. The console contains boards for the Atari 7800, Colecovision, Intellivision, Amstrad GX1000, Sega Master System, Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Dreamcast, TurboGrafx X, NeoGeo MVS, Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, GameCube, and PlayStation 2. Furthermore, the PS2 can play PS1 games, the Atari 7800 can play Atari 2600 games, and the GameCube can play Game Boy Advance games.
Since Bacteria designed Project Unity to be hardware-based, the unit weighs around 44 pounds, and the inside of the console has over 100 feet of cables, which looks like this:
The modding doesn’t stop there, though. He had to create various interfaces in order for the single controller to work across 18 different consoles. Each interface is a modded NES cartridge (keeping with the theme of being buried under a mountain of cartridges) into which the controller plugs, and translates the player input to the appropriate console. The controller has a bit of a Jaguar look, which is unfortunate, but it gets the job done.
So, while the overall rig might’ve cost upwards of a grand, and is a pain to lug around, Bacteria has certainly solved the problem of being able to collect your games and play them too. If you aren’t into storing a bunch of cartridges in an attic somewhere and having to replace cartridge batteries every now and then, you could always just stick to ROMs or digital storefronts. You wouldn’t have a monstrous console sitting in your living room, though.