Meet The World’s Smallest Working Nintendo Wii Console, ‘The Short Stack’

The Short Stack Wii on top of a normal Wii

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We’ve spent a lot of years wondering about when we might see more mini consoles dropping from Nintendo. The N64 Mini was something that I searched the internet for pretty much every day after the arrival of the SNES Classic Console, but with Ninty pushing their Online Service, it looks less and less likely that we’ll be seeing any more of their old machines heading to our TV cabinets in miniature form.

Not to worry; that’s why we have the retro gaming community. Rather than waiting around for something to come to them, they kick things up a notch and create the tech that we sit here dreaming about. Now the Wii already has a ‘mini’ version of itself, though it doesn’t come with any pre-loaded games or fancy gadgets; it’s just a smaller version of an already streamlined console.

Modder James Smith, however, has taken the concept of the Wii Mini to a whole new level and created a console called ‘The Short Stack’, a fully-working Wii console that is about the size of a deck of standard playing cards.

A Mini Console That Packs A Punch

Thanks to an article via our friends at Tom’s Hardware, we’ve been going down a rabbit hole of modded Wii consoles and Wii Mini variants for about an hour now. We covered a handheld version of the Wii back in 2022 and the epic Wii Boy Colour back in 2020. Then there’s the Kill Mii (brilliant name) made using a tin of Altoids mints which I can only assume is to give the gamer that extra minty fresh breath needed to smash back opponents in Super Smash Bros.

James, who goes by the modding name ‘loopj‘ has created a Wii console that not only looks like the real deal, but can use original GameCube controllers to play games too. At the size of a standard deck of playing cards (or around the size of a deck of Scopa cards if you’re reading this in Italy), the Short Stack is 7.4% the size of the original Wii console as you can see from the featured image in this article. How wild is that!

The short stack Nintendo Wii MIni console sitting next to a pack of cards.
They’re the same size!
Credit: loopj

So how has James managed to do this? Well, he’s used two custom-printed circuit boards and used a sparse motherboard to bring it all to life. Obviously, at 7.4% of the original size of the console, there’s no chance that you’re going to be able to fit actual discs inside of the console; that would be physically impossible no matter how hard you try… mainly because the disc drive has been removed! The Short Stack loads games from a microSD card, which probably looks like a normal SD card at the side of this tiny console!

Creating The Short Stack For Yourself

James has added the instructions on how to make a Short Stack at home via his GitHub page. Of course, this isn’t the same as putting together flatpack furniture; you need to know exactly what you’re doing if you’re going to give this a go, so I wouldn’t say it’s one for novice modders to tackle straight away.

An orange Gamecube controller with a headphone jack adapter on the end of the wire
The controller adapter that allows GameCube Controller functionality with the Short Stack.
Credit: Loopj

I’m impressed at how sleek the 3D printed case is, and as you can see from the pictures and Tweet in this article, everything looks very sharp and clean. I’m also a huge fan of how James has managed to integrate actual controller connectivity into this thing instead of just relying on wireless controllers; that makes the whole thing seem even more retro and true-to-form of the original Wii/GameCube controller set-up.

Will the Short Stack Nintendo Wii Mini remain the smallest Wii for long? No doubt someone will come along and try to take the crown sooner rather than later, but It’ll be a hard act to follow!

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