Building a Portable Game Console

in raspberrypi •  3 months ago

I build this for our flight to Florida on our trip to Disney. I am extremely happy how it came out and has it has 8,000 games from 1970's to around 2000 crossing 15 or so console devices. It is powered with a Raspberry Pi Zero W with WIFI so I can wirelessly add/remove games.


You can see the guts of the device, it was not fun doing all the soldering. The body is a custom 3D printed frame and the front and back are laser-cut black acrylic.


There are a total of 16 buttons with 2 shoulder buttons, full 6 arcade buttons, 4 option buttons, and 4 for the d-pad. The display is a 4" display from a typical car backup display with some modification to convert it from 12V to 5V.


Once all the guts are installed, it's a really tight fit. The mess on the bottom left is an audio filter as the Raspberry Pi Zero W doesn't have a true audio out, I have to create a filter to convert the PWM pins to output audio. The speaker is just a simple 2" mono speaker. Can't really expect much else from these old games and such a small build.

On the left you will find the power booster, this allows me to easily use a LIPO battery while also having charging ability and some smart control if you use it while plugged in. It saves a ton of headaches by offering it on a single board.

Below that, the smaller board is a mono amplifier to take the PWM signal from the Raspberry Pi and amplify it loud enough so you can hear it.

The final product is pretty freaking awesome. I am not a big fan of old games, but I still have a lot of fun with it.


Before you ask, yes I have no printing on my keyboard.


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Maybe if you didn't hit the keys so hard when you typed the letters would still be there. Or maybe you have to use a black light to see the letters. Or maybe you are just a nut...I think the third one is most likely.

But in all seriousness, you showed me this little awesomeness before and I think it is super cool. Looks fun.


It was so fun my son wanted to play two players so I made one for our TV using PS3 Controllers.

He loves playing TMNT Arcade Game 2+ Players. Brings back so many memories. Shinobi, Mortal Kombat, Contra, Crazy Taxi, Double Dragon!

What's surprising, on a big TV they actually don't look bad when upscaled to HD.


there are a lot of games that would bring back memories from when I was a kid.


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good post

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(if you would want to have a soundcard and audio input/output, you could look at the cheap USB sound cards (often in blue or black case) very cheap and not to big, but there is maybe not much space for it.)

Awesome build and project, looks really good with the laser cut front plate, the shape, button configuration and feeling looks a bit like a "Sega Advance" very cool!


I wanted to keep it small so the audio filter works well. Sound quality isn't a huge issue and it does sound good.

Thanks! Love your projects as well. I still haven't built the SteemPi, but I want to try it some day.

but can it play doom :p. But in all seriousness technology is a marvel and this is a prime example


I loved DOOM death matches on ps2!

You are full of talented! This is so cool.

that is pretty awesome! :D My son would love that, in fact my husband would probably love it too! xD I hope you have donkey kong on there ;)


Like 6 different versions of donkey kong lol.


Haha brilliant! xD

That looks waaay better than the games I used to play. I loved the hell out the cheesy Sonic Tiger handheld and Street Fighter Tiger handled that I used to have. I knew it was terrible, but somehow just using my imagination and racking up points was still fun.

I like this man. Interested to see what other things you can manage to get done with a rasberrypi. Always a headtrip. Your designs are very clean too! Good work.

Hope one day I would be able able to build something like that. I've taken a break of my adruino coding on pi- I'm still rusty but I know I would get there

HI @theMarkymark,

Very cool gaming rig you put together with rasberry. Sadly I use ras only to stream video to my tv and as my portable home wifi storage devise.

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I've Up-Voted for creative hardware hacking....and just utter gaming throwback coolness! Following you too.

That is so freaking awesome. It would be great if you can send the links where to buy the parts my boyfriend would love to do this kind of stuff. It would be a great advance Christmas gift for him :)

Hey Filipina! That is ultra cool I have to admit and creative as well. Respect :)


No, I only built one and it was so hard to do the tiny soldering I don't want to do the design again. Plus some of the parts are hard to get.


This is awesome u did a great job! Respect