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Here’s a portable PS1 built from the remnants of an actual console and it only took folding the motherboard ‘like a book’

Is it just me or are these DIY builds starting to look like a shippable product? This is the PS Hanami, from @YveltalGriffin on X, and it’s a portable PS1 made out of the parts of a real PS1, only quite heavily modified (read: snapped in half) for a compact form factor not much bigger than a PS Vita.

The exterior of the console is extremely polished despite its DIY origins. It includes a sleek white case adorned with PlayStation‘s own brand of Cross, Triangle, Circle and Square buttons, a d-pad, plus start and select buttons. A pair of shoulder buttons on either side round off what could be, from my description, any regular PlayStation pad. All except for the 480p VGA screen nestled in the middle, anyways.

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There’s a lot more to this handheld than meets the eye, too. Break it apart and you’ll find a wonderful entanglement of PCBs, wires, batteries and speakers. It’s janky in all the best ways. It’s using the original PU-18 motherboard out of the PS1, though the PS1’s considerably larger shell means to fit the motherboard in the handheld, it had to be snapped in half.

“… in order to fit the PU-18 motherboard into this small of a case I had to cut it in half and fold it. Lots and lots of magnet wire,” the creator says in a post on the forums, in a brutal process they call “portablizing”.

They manage to stuff an SD card reader, rumble functionality and twin speakers into the device thanks to the space-saving. The device measures just 181 x 91.5 x 30.25 mm, and in case you’re wondering there’s no disc drive. It uses Xstation to load games from an SD card instead.

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Fixing all the now severed traces within the PCB involved running a lot of magnet wire. It looks like a fiddly process, and one I’m quite comfortable with watching from afar rather than doing myself. Incredibly, the operation was a success, and the PS1 Portable does work, for up to 2.5 hours. That’s off the included 3500 mAh battery. That’s rather good compared with today’s best handheld gaming PCs, which are lucky to get over an hour of gaming.

There are a few bits that don’t quite work as intended. There’s no volume control, some of the power and reset functionality isn’t wired up, and it has no heatsinks, meaning it runs hot. That last one seems quite important for the longevity of this device, but it might be tricky to sort considering the folded motherboard. There’s also the issue of accidentally brushing the power button and turning the entire device off.

But hey, it’s an incredibly impressive device considering its DIY origin.


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