Existing RetroGaming handled console

(this page may not include everything ever made as there are new projects every week or so, feel free to add more projects you made or know in comment)

Here is the more or less known project of working retro-gaming handled console made using mostly various model of Raspberry Pi and some using Arduino boards.

Note: Jamie Bainbridge get a similar idea last year, get a raw list on github.

The source of (probably all) retro-gaming craziness:


Pigrrl zero by Adafruit

(picture @Ruiz Brothers, from Adafruit website)

And other pigrrl handled console: pigrrlpocket-pigrrl, and pigrrl2


“Amateurish” builds


The 20$ console with a Pi Zero and some work, by Tyler Spadgenske aka Mach_5

Game Boy Advance based


The GBA-RaspZero by Ryzee119 (get to imgur for detailled instructions)

20160807_004504Game Boy Advance Zero  by Brett82


Another build by obsidianspider (with at post 143 an interesting flattened Pi 3)

The last Pi in a GBA case:


the NeoPiGamer by Tekkaman_Slade


A lunchbox for hungry gamers made by Tinkernut, unfortunately it does not contains so much instructions as well as good pictures of the product.


Something new: an arcade flat box by Joël Kempf, here again, not a lot of details on how it was built.


Nintimdo RP by Tim Lindquist (hackaday link)


Another Switch-like console: the PiSwitch by cfoote7


Pirakeet, a Pi zero based small console based on Pigrrl by Ampersands (a Pirakeet v2 has also been made by the author)


TinyPi, the smallest of all by moosepr


Retro-CM3 by DeanChu, not running for the cutest build award I guess but the good stuff are hidden under the hood, as this one use a Compute Module 3 and a custom made professional PCB which is far more cleaner than most of the other projects.


a Pi powered Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles handheld game by Matthew Eargle


Cheap builds


A case-less Pi Zero based portable console not to put in your pocket by moosepr


The ZeroBoy a poor man’s retroPie “portable” by facelesstech (with some interesting thoughts about screen extra long header)


Old Pi builds

A 3D printed GameBoy shaped Pi 1 based console by taifur



Professional builds


RaspiBoy by 8BitCraft, not the cutest, but one of the cheapest.

(note: there is a new incoming console named RetroStone, powered by an AllWinner H3)


mintyPi by sudomod/Wermy (photo from sudomod wiki page)


FreePlay Zero & FreePlay CM3, another one using the CM3, by Freeplaytech™ (old website)

To end this tour of Pi based handled console:


the cute, but expensive, MultiGameSystem by Robert Dunn


Just for the record, a cancelled project, the MidoJoy


Other SBC based projects





GamODROID-C0 by Julien Tiphaine (original blog post)


Rock 64

I hope to see some coming soon as RecalBox beta has been released yesterday (08/04/2018), it works great but still need a lot user-friendly oriented improvement (mostly RB issues)



And now other similar projects, starting with


The clockwork Pi Gameshell, with an interesting modular design concept, don’t know where the ‘Pi’ part in name comes from as it has now a custom main board, interesting but unfortunately still a mystery as it is not available to public yet.




The Pokitto a new and not Arduino/Pi based console, but on LPC11U68 chip (ARM processor) with an onlinde IDE. Very similar in spirit to the GameBuino/MakerBuino (see below) including some ported games from these consoles, but cheaper (sell at 49.90 € when writing this) with various tuning options for shell and buttons colors.


Arduino based builds

Arduino based handled console (retro-gaming by style, not by available titles):
Note: Arduino based consoles have custom games made especially for them with technologies and style of (very) old ones: 2D monochrome low-res for instance, some may have fake 3D and/or colours.
For new players who have not known the beginning of video games history, this doesn’t mean they sucks, a good game doesn’t need awesome gfx and sounds to hide its poor gameplay and countless issues (does this ring any bells ?)


The GameBuino Classic by Aurélien Rodot


and the new member of the family: the GameBuino Meta

How all this begin on hakaday.


MakerBuino by Albert Gajšak (compatible with the GameBuino)



ArduBoy by Kevin Bates (kickstarter page) there is also a Tetris® MicroCard console.



Kitco, a project like MakerBuino above, but easier to build made by François Jacob. This is also the cheapest of all (10 € for the DIY kit)


A-Maze, an amazingly small maze game console


made by alojz


And finally, to conclude this Arduino based handled console,


the cute and small Arduino Mintia by 陳亮 (who has also made this breadboard retropie console for the less patient people)

One last Arduino based “console”, for tinkerers/hackers ONLY (no games ready-to-play made especially for it, too much scattered resources): the Esplora


It is quite big and a bit heavy, a bit of work would have been a great addition to ease game development on it. Now, you can grab one with the 1.77″ screen for not too much, I get mine for 12 €  (on ebay, from fr_aurora seller) + 5 € for the screen (on aliexpress)


Esplora + TFT screen (image from 21st Century Digital Home blog by Mike Barela)

Some new products (july 2018): TinyCiruits prowered, this is also the company name,

the TinyArcade


and the PocketArcade


there is also a few more mini thing on their shop (sensors, display, wifi, …)


Full electronic based console back-to-the-70s


ICStation kit based on STC12C5A60S2  and LED Matrices, this is for whose really, I mean really, wish to get back in time (despite the USB connector which is quite “cheating”).


Ready-to-use alternatives

And finally the Chinese builds are very serious competitors and great deal for all those who don’t want to spend 300 $, a lot’s of time and get a super-awesome did-it-by-myself crap retrogaming console they don’t use so much after all.


The PxP 3 “SlimStation”, a light and cheap Sega Megadrive/Genesis emulator with many great games, almost 150 inside a stupid endless menu which let us think there are millions of games inside. Cartridges are mere jumpers (it’s not a joke). Screen has some issue but it’s a cheap way to try if retrogaming handled console are for you or not. It can also be use to make your own using a Pi Zero like the Pigrrl Zero.

This little thing let me discover some jewels of the past like Hellfire and Devil Crash MD.

img_007237_largeThe CoolBaby RS-97 made by (who knows ?), many useful info on dingoonity, including replacing OS and many other thing.

I bought one a while ago and it is a really nice device, controls feeling is great, emulation is quite smooth except some GBA games which can be veerryyy sssllloooww (Crash Bandicoot for instance is unplayable in level 2, most games suffer from a little shift between sound and visual, too bad, Metroid Fusion is just amazing), it support 10 systems (Master System, MegaDrive/Genesis, GameGear, NES, SNES, GB/GBC/GBA, NEO GEO and CPS-1 & CPS-2), play Neo Geo games very well, it is small, light weight, battery life is fair and you can add/remove your own roms. All of these for… guess… only around 45 € !

And its little “sister”, the RS-90:


which looks like to manage only GameBoy (almost all models, at list classic, color and advance, need to be confirmed) games, it is shipped with 36 GBA games. for the price, I bet it’s only for GameBoy addicts as it cannot challenge the RS-97 in games and systems territory.

But, I will not and cannot list all the Chinese builds, there are far too many available with more or less documented features, but be careful many sellers comes with very very bad deals on these (I have seen some sold at two or three times the common price, even some super deal – x % with a very poor base price.) Always compare items and sources before buying to get the a fair price.


This page is still a work in progress, come back later to see more projects and crazy builds.


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