I’ve been checking out these NES clone consoles that have come out recently for HD displays: the Retron 1 HD, Retro-Bit RES Plus, and the Gamerz Tek 8-Bit HD. I’m impressed that these complete systems all go for around $40. They all look decent, though I’m partial to the Retron design. That said I thought I’d put together my own design for a budget NES clone.
The only place I diverged is making my design a front-loading console, to mimic the original NES (and retroUSB’s AVS system, a pricier but top-of-the-line HD NES clone). Otherwise this is your typical budget clone layout.
In case you’re unawares the design of this console is a callback to the dust sleeve covers for the original NES cartridges. The sleeve design sits on a clear plastic door, designed to keep out the dust and provide a view of the inserted cartridge.
There are 4 controller ports, mostly for the odd 4-player game, but I wanted a few ports on the back to conceal the wireless dongles for 8bitdo controllers. Nothing against 8bitdo, but I would want to keep the dongles out of sight if I could, for a less-cluttered look.
I placed a couple of dents on the sides of the console to offer a grip for hands to push the cartridge in. There is also a cavity on the front of the console to help pull the cartridge out. Check those features out here.