SNES controller for giants

SNES XL is a gigantic Super Nintendo controller built by Arnov Sharma. It has functioning buttons and a Raspberry Pi hidden inside so you can play retro games and pretend you’re a borrower at the same time.

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Button management

Every button on the controller has its own custom PCB. Tactile switches on the custom boards are positioned just below the 3D-printed buttons, such that pressing a button toggles its switch. Each of the switches is wired up to a pin on a XIAO SAMD21 development board from Seeed Studio (diagram below). When SNES XL is connected to a PC (in this case a Raspberry Pi 4), the Seeed XIAO appears as a gaming controller icon and can be selected for gameplay.

Too big to print

Arnov designed the controller housing in Fusion360. It had to be 3D printed in three separate parts due to its enormity, before being superglued together.

All of these videos and images are from Arnov’s Instructables

Too big to hold

Retro game emulation here comes courtesy of Recalbox. Power Pi, a Raspberry Pi dock/enclosure with an integrated lithium cell battery pack that Arnov also designed, provides power.

Yes, it can run DOOM

Arnov had to set the controller flat on the table to play, because it’s too big to hold comfortably. Our favourite Raspberry Pi builds are the ones that are so absurd they turn out to be unusable for their originally intended purpose. The BFG would have no problem, but we’re still not sure if he’s real or not. We’ve let Nessie and Bigfoot go, but we’re hanging onto our oversized childhood friend.

arnov sharma wearing a blue red and white polo shirt stood in front of a wooden desk with a PC screen on it running a game emulation desktop interface. He is holding a gaming controller the size of his torso with two hands.

Gamer geek

Arnov has graced this blog with his Pi-powered gaming kit twice before. The first time was with SANDWICH DOT IO (below), an all-in-one desktop gaming system based around Raspberry Pi 3B+ and featuring on-board power as well as a dedicated cooling layer.

PALPi (below), a handheld games console with a retro aesthetic that’s powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero W, is another of Arnov’s creations. Let’s start taking bets on what he builds next. I’m thinking he might go to the other end of the size spectrum and come up with something miniature. Maybe a teeny, tiny, thimble-sized Wii nunchuck for dainty indoor tennis and golf.

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