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Weirdness: The VideoTendo 2000 is a VHS Tape Converted into a NES

Posted by Martin Watts

Rewind the clock with this fully functional modification

We've seen our fair share of weird and wonderful console modifications during our time at Nintendo Life, but this latest project from modder Shinobicycle could well be the weirdest one yet.

In what looks to be a wholesome celebration of the 1980s, this brave modder has taken a NES clone and - through some kind of black magic - managed to cram it into a VHS tape. It's anyone's guess as to why they've done this, but it does at least serve as a nostalgic reminder of what life was like for those of us who grew up in the 80s and early 90s.

The system - or rather video tape - has two controller ports and can play both PAL and NTSC games. Sadly, you can no longer stick the tape into a VCR and catch up on an old episode of The Cosby Show, but this is the future, and we're sure you can make do with your "Dee Vee Dees" and all those other newfangled contraptions we've quickly become accustomed to.

Of course, if this has inspired you to make your own VideoTendo system, all we ask is that you check the tape you're going to use before you start any work; families and friends might not be happy at the thought of you losing precious video memories of weddings, birthdays and other special occasions all because you decided to turn a VHS tape into a games console.

[via technabob.com]

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User Comments (35)

unrandomsam

#1

unrandomsam said:

Be interesting to have NES / SNES support for the Pioneer LaserActive.

(Can imagine it has a better video output than the NES at least).

Gioku

#2

Gioku said:

Hahahaha that's awesome! XD

...I was lucky enough to be born when VHS tapes were still more common than discs. :)

SilverArrow

#5

SilverArrow said:

Ah, tapes. You gave us so many gifts. Now that digital versatile discs have become the go-to content player, your days are all but gone.

#NeverForget

ungibbed

#6

ungibbed said:

Somewhere in storage is two relics. A old VHS top loader complete with wired pause switch "remote" and a Sony Betamax machine. I can't even pay anyone to take these beasts away.

A perfect video cassette for modding would be a label intact copy of Bill & Teds Excellent Adventure!!

For some odd reason I still want a NintenToaster as seen in many of the AVGN episodes.

unrandomsam

#12

unrandomsam said:

Laserdisc only came out 2 years later than VHS. (i.e before the first Donkey Kong still).

retro_player_22

#13

retro_player_22 said:

I already got an NES clone made from a toaster and a radio so one from a VHS tape may be enough for me already.

Kaine_Morrison

#14

Kaine_Morrison said:

I had a huge VHS Collection...
Then I had a Titan-Sized DVD Collection...
Now... I have a decent-sized Blu-Ray Collection...
I am so NOT upgrading again to 4K...

ningeek185

#16

ningeek185 said:

Yeah! Show some love to VHS tapes! They're the best!

I always enjoy watching my original trilogy Star Wars films, along with the three Indiana Jones movies. It's great to see something related to the VHS :)

TheRealThanos

#17

TheRealThanos said:

@Gioku If you think that was something lucky, imagine being there BEFORE VHS was invented and seeing it being born. We initially never even had mainstream means to record TV shows, except for the lucky few who had enough money to buy these kind of contraptions:
Untitled
or this one:
Untitled

Gioku

#18

Gioku said:

@TheRealThanos well my little sister was born right at the very end of the VHS era, so she doesn't even remember the things, I'm sure! At least she can say she was born before Smart Phones. ;)

Frapp

#20

Frapp said:

@TheRealThanos
In the early 70s a friend of our family had a Philips VCR – a cassette based machine, not an open reel to reel like the Akai and the one-inch 60s model you posted. He used to record mostly sci-fi like Dr Who, Star Trek reruns, Doomwatch. It was awesome getting to see programmes I wouldn't normally be allowed to stay up for.
Fast forward a few years to when Betamax and VHS were released and eventually all these films and tv shows became available – you didn't have to wait for them to be broadcast on tv – and it was magic. Good times.

TheRealThanos

#21

TheRealThanos said:

@Gioku Good one. My uncle had one of the first Sony VHS "decks" as they were called back then. The damn thing weighed a ton and cost around $1500...
Couldn't find it online, but most VCR's back then looked something like this and had the same weight as a small fridge:
Untitled
@Frapp Yep, good times indeed. A lot of great memories. Kids nowadays will find it hard to understand or appreciate it for what it was and meant. Even my 8 year old niece has an iPad to play games and watch videos. Come to think of it, I might actually have some fun with it, trying to explain to her that she has to rewind the movie after watching it...

Gioku

#22

Gioku said:

@TheRealThanos we actually still have a VCR (a much more modern one, of course) under our TV, in case we want to watch an old tape or something I guess... or maybe my dad just doesn't want to get rid of it, lol. But then we've got two DVD players and a Blu-Ray player, too.

TheRealThanos

#23

TheRealThanos said:

@Gioku I still have one too, a Panasonic that is region free, because although I'm a yank, I have been living and working in Europe for decades now. And I have been collecting Anime for decades as well, so next to European tapes, I also imported US tapes, mostly from Right Stuf. I also still have the European promo tape for GameCube...

Squashy

#24

Squashy said:

Woah that's brilliant it's a combination of two of my favourite pieces of technology! I'm quite a VCR nerd, I love the way they work, it's just fascinating to me and I think tape formats are much more interesting than optical disc ones.

@Link-Hero I was born in 1993 so I was around to see VHS at the height of its powers after it had won the famous format war against Betamax!

@ungibbed Nice I love top loading machines and watching them pop up! (I'm quite easily amused lol) As for your Betamax I'd be delighted to take it off your hands as I'm a real Beta anorak enthusiast!

@Frapp So he had one of the 'VCR' format VCRs? Wow they were the very first home video recorders weren't they, it must have cost him a fortune! My Dad got a Sanyo Betamax in 1978 and it cost £300, which apparently is equivalent to a whopping £1460 today! I never got to see that machine but a few years ago I bought a really nice example of the exact same model on eBay and I love it! :)

unrandomsam

#25

unrandomsam said:

@TheRealThanos They are real to reel for audio as far as I know. (My parents had the Akai one and unless it is either modded or the exact same case then it is for audio).

Frapp

#27

Frapp said:

@Squashy
Yeah, that's right. He was a loaded – made his money in aviation. He was a lovely guy. I remember he drove a lovely copper-coloured Jaguar. Sadly, he passed away many years ago now.

I get tingles thinking about the early video shops – magical treasure troves chock-full of goodies, divided into Betamax, VHS and Video 2000 sections, with the odd LaserDisc for the enthusiast/rich. The days when a multi-region player was a common sight and many films were available that even now have not made the transition to DVD, never mind Blu Ray, in the UK.

StarDust4Ever

#29

StarDust4Ever said:

Normally I go gaga over NES mods but for some reason this one doesn't quite cut the mustard. One thing I'm dying to know, are the tape reels in the windows real or are those decals? If it's the former, I'm very curious as to how you could bisect a tape reel without it unraveling.

TheRealThanos

#30

TheRealThanos said:

@unrandomsam I grabbed the pictures from the online VCR museum, so they should be VCR's. But it is either before my time, or when I was too young to consciously notice, so I wouldn't be able to tell.
@StarDust4Ever That should not be too difficult in my humble opinion: I would open the back case, glue or tape the reels and tape in place and when it is firmly stuck in place, cut it open to put the NES parts in the middle. As for the reels: they seem very real to me, so I think they aren't decals but it could also be photo's of reels placed behind the windows of the cassette.

Frapp

#31

Frapp said:

@TheRealThanos @unrandomsam

Both definitely reel to reel video recorders. The 1/4 inch Akai VT-700 hails from 1973. The one inch 60's model – that's a Mach-Tronics MVR-11, one of the very first portable video recorders, precisely 10 years older than the Akai.

Squashy

#32

Squashy said:

@Frapp It sounds like he was a fun person to know, I love Jaaaags!

I wish I could have seen video shops in the 80's, I would probably spend hours in one. I've always wanted to see a Laserdisc in action too, they look very fancy, it's like a shiny record! Is it Video 2000 where the tapes have a B Side like an audio tape? That's such a cool design, it's a great shame it wasn't more successful.

SonicBlast

#35

SonicBlast said:

Wow, that is a unique mod, but not worth the asking. I'd rather buy a couple of NES 2s.

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