If your nostalgia senses are tingling, then it’s probably because a Nintendo Wii converted into a Mac Mini has recently come onto our radars.
Nintendo’s Wii console is now sixteen years old. Many gamers, including those of us at Retro Dodo, are reluctant to class it as ‘retro’ though.
Don’t forget that it’s since been superseded by both the Wii U and the Switch.
Also, anyone who was ten years old when it came out is now in their mid-20s – so if this is how you find out how retro a Wii is, we can only apologise.
Perhaps because of its age and its retro status, the Wii is now entering a very nostalgic period for many of us; modder Luke Miani included.
Given the Wii’s petite design and its similarity in size to the M1 Mac Mini, Miani had a brainwave.
Why not make the petite Mac look a little more interesting? Why not take the innards of a Mac Mini and place them inside a Wii case?
Due to the similar sizes of both machines, it made sense. As well as this, Miani notes that the design of the Mac Mini is pretty boring, whereas the Wii has a much more appealing aesthetic appearance.
It’s certainly a unique project and one that doesn’t even look too complicated to do, though the slight differences in the shape of each device do present a few challenges.
Most notably the need for a smaller power supply, as the Mac Mini’s is too big to fit in the Wii case along with everything else.
A bit of 3D printing is also required – but again, nothing looks too complicated for seasoned modders to do at all.
Mac Mini Wii Features
Miani even goes as far as using the Wii’s WiFi antenna instead of the Mac Mini’s, which is one of many impressive touches that gets the machine working beautifully.
There’s a few oversights: it’s a real shame that the lovely blue LEDs of the Wii aren’t utilised at all, for example.
Yet it’s incredibly impressive how Miani is able to get the Mac Mini inside the Wii and in such a way that it remains functional with just a few changes.
Perhaps of most interest to Retro Dodo readers is the fact that Miani demonstrates Mario Kart Wii, running in 4K thanks to the Dolphin emulator, on this Mac Mini in a Wii shell.
It’s an absolutely mind-blowing use of the weird hybrid of Mac and Wii. Just seeing the Wii version of Mario Kart running so smoothly, and in such high resolution in comparison to the original – that it almost feels like witchcraft!
Or at least it would, if you hadn’t had the peek behind the curtain and seen just how Miani was able to pull off this awesome technological magic trick.
Of course, emulation isn’t just limited to Wii games or Nintendo games in general; Miani also briefly demonstrates GameCube and PS2 games on the device, noting that it’s a perfect machine for retro gaming.
If this is a project that you’d like to try yourself, you’ll want to be fully armed with information on the best Nintendo Wii games and even the best GameCube games – all of which would be perfect to play on a Wii that’s really a Mac Mini in disguise!
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Jason – who lives in the UK – has had a lifelong interest in video games, which all started when he discovered Space Invaders in the early 80s. The first game he ever completed was Wonder Boy in Monster Land on the Sega Master System – which remains one of his proudest gaming achievements. Jason is a passionate writer – and has been writing about gaming since the late 90s. He currently runs pop culture blog midlifegamergeek.com, which he updates on a daily basis (and has written more than 700 articles on the blog alone!).
Outside of video games, Jason is a keen tabletop gamer, film buff and comic book fan.