Xbox 360 dons an Atari suit, sings Bee Gees

Console modder Ben Heck sweeps the Xbox into a '70s time warp. Haul this mutant Xbox/Atari laptop to your next gaming gathering and listen to your friends weep with envy.

Ben Heck and modded Xbox 360
Modder Ben Heck shows an Xbox 360 what the '70s looked like. Can a console wear bell bottoms? Benjamin J. Heckendorn

Benjamin J. Heckendorn, better known as Ben Heck, likes a challenge. The host of the appropriately named Ben Heck Show is known as a modding master with a penchant for reworking gaming consoles . His latest conquest involved combining an Xbox 360 with a 1977 Atari 2600 console.

If you're too young to remember what an Atari console looks like, think of it as a brownish rectangular box with an angular lump on top. When you put your ear up to it, you can hear the distant sound of the Bee Gees. It's a far cry from the glowing, futuristic design of the latest Xbox.

OK, Heck didn't literally smoosh an Xbox into an old Atari console. That's almost too much awesome to comprehend. He instead took the look and feel of the iconic '70s console and wrapped it lovingly around a deconstructed Xbox and Asus LCD screen to create a big brown and black mutant Xbox/Atari laptop. The result is a fully playable Xbox with a 20-inch flat screen attached. It folds down into a not-so-svelte package for portability. Haul this puppy to your next gaming gathering and listen to your friends weep with envy.

Heck's Internet television episode gets into all the gory disassembling and rebuilding details. It's enough to get an ambitious DIY modder going on his own version of the Xtari. There was a reason behind all this madness. Atari sweet-talked Heck into building the device to honor the release of a series of classic Atari games that are now available as Xbox downloads.

Fortunately, we lazy people can still pick up an Atari Flashback 2 to get that retro look without all the sweat and soldering.

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

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