Ben Heck Builds Atari-Style Xbox 360 System

Element14, a collaborative social community and electronics store, and modding guru Benjamin J. Heckendorn, a.k.a. Ben Heck, incorporate the old with the new as Ben combines a 1977 Atari console with an Xbox 360 laptop system in the latest episode of “The Ben Heck Show.” 

In this episode, Ben works on a custom mod for Atari to create an Xbox 360 portable laptop with the look and feel of a 1970s Atari console to help support the debut of new games based on iconic titles, including Yar’s Revenge and Star Raiders.

Ben takes viewers through the entire build process, including designing the system with Adobe Illustrator, routing each piece of the new casing, re-wiring and connecting the Xbox 360 components, and prepping the circuit board inside the new LCD screen and backing panel to ensure the electronics fit properly.

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“I was thrilled when Atari approached me to build this unique gaming system – this is the most ‘Ben Heck’ type project I could possibly build,” said Ben.

“It was a great experience taking consoles from two completely different eras and combining them, not only from a mechanics standpoint, but incorporating the design features to replicate an old Atari. That’s what art’s all about!” 

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Throughout the design and build process, Ben takes careful consideration to incorporate elements from the original Atari system such as wood paneling, sharp, contoured edges and Atari’s classic metal switches.

He even combines graphics from the original Atari joystick with the “ring of light” required by the Xbox system. After powering up the machine for a quick game of ‘Street Fighter IV,’ Ben concludes the project a major triumph.

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Show fans are being invited to visit Element14 to register for a chance to win one of Ben’s recent builds, submit videos of their own builds or to throw Ben a challenge for a future episode.

Element14 made this announcement today, March 21.

“The Ben Heck Show” is a bi-weekly online television series aired in English that’s dedicated to the science and art of system and hardware modding with a global audience of design engineers, students and electronic enthusiasts.

Sponsored by Element14, each episode spotlights Ben’s mods of popular electronic devices while educating viewers on the underlying technology powering each project.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman