You know that old school idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Well it’s precisely the first thing that came to my mind when I saw Joe Bleeps‘ work on bringing broken Nintendo DS Lites back to life.
First, a little background info. Back when the DS Lites were in the market, there were numerous reports of a batch release of units with faulty hinges. At first, Nintendo wasn’t saying much. According to their numbers, only 0.02 percent of customers were reporting the problem. Other unofficial sources such as a Kotaku poll were seeing the number at a much higher 14%. With no response from Nintendo, people were creating YouTube videos explaining the steps to go about repairing the device. Eventually, the problem got to be so bad that Nintendo had to come out and do something about it. In the end, they offered to fix them free of charge despite the fact that technically their warranty doesn’t cover physical damage.
Given the mass number of all of these faulty DS Lites, Joe Bleeps has taken a different approach to dealing with these defective units. Instead of merely restoring them to their original state, he has transformed them into what can only be described as works of art. Calling the project “Neon Advance,” Joe focuses on the bottom half of the DS Lites’ ability to play Gameboy Advance games and customizes the top with a more neon look hence the name.
From my perspective as someone with no experience modding game devices, the process sounds rather complex. As the top half of the DS Lite contained its speakers, Joe has surgically attached a mono speaker to what was once the stylus slot. Additionally, he has added a resistor to the motherboard to force the usage of a single screen. All in all, it takes Bleeps about 4 hours of work to complete the restructuring required for his Neon Advance designs.
Pretty cool right? If you’d like to purchase a Neon Advance, Joe is selling them for $94 + shipping.