This Modder Turned a PS1 Controller Into One of the Weirdest Gaming Handhelds We’ve Seen

An interesting upcycle of a rare controller.

An exclusive PS1 controller modded into a retro gaming handheld
Hairo Satoh / Instagram

Sony may be exploring a follow-up to its PlayStation Vita that was discontinued in 2019, but some people just can’t wait. Japanese modder Hairo Satoh, who’s dubbed themselves the Game Boy Doctor, created a truly unique portable PlayStation gaming handheld.

Shared on Satoh’s Instagram account, the modder created this retro handheld using a roulette-style controller that was exclusive to Japan called the Takara Game of Life controller. Satoh repurposed the controller’s spinner and the circular space it occupies, replacing it with a LCD display. It may not be as modern as Sony’s recently released PlayStation Portal, but the mod delivers a heavy dose of nostalgia.

Staying True to the Original Design

So far, Satoh has shown off the custom handheld playing Mega Man 8, Resident Evil Survivor, Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, and C: The Contra Adventure. The modder hasn’t detailed the internals of the build but mostly kept the Game of Life controller’s external shell in tact with its shoulder buttons on the face and no symmetrical joysticks.

For better functionality, Satoh added two rear buttons to get around the ergonomic difficulties of pressing multiple buttons on the face at one time. To make it a fully-fledged handheld, the custom build also gets a USB-C port, a memory card slot, a volume wheel, and dual stereo speakers.

It’s high time for Sony to modernize the PS Vita.

Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Need for a Vita 2

Considering that the handheld seems more like a personal passion project for Satoh, we don’t expect the modder to be selling it anytime soon. With no blueprints or build guides, it’d be difficult to figure out for yourself how to replicate this design. If you think you have the chops, though, it’s not hard to find an original Takara Game of Life controller on eBay.

Sure, you could play old-school PlayStation titles on a PlayStation Portal, but where’s the fun in that? That being said, Satoh’s mod just fuels our interest in a true successor to the PlayStation Vita. Come on Sony, the demand is there.

Related Tags