Want your very own Raspberry Pi Game Boy, a retro-style handheld game console that you can take anywhere?

There are many options available, from adapting an existing case to sticking a Raspberry Pi in a printed Nintendo Game Boy 3D printer.

Read on to learn all about building your own Raspberry Pi Game Boy and building your own from a kit.

Which Raspberry Pi model should I use for my Game Boy case?

Almost all Raspberry Pi models can be used for a Game Boy style project. However, each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Raspberry Pi A A: Lower CPU and RAM speeds, and fewer USB ports, Pi A models should do the job, but most cases won’t.
  • Raspberry Pi B/B+ A: From the original Pi B to Raspberry Pi 4, the B board is the most suitable for emulation. The fastest option, B boards also have more connectivity options.
  • Raspberry Pi Zero : compact but slow, no USB connection without adapter. Various Raspberry Pi Game Boy projects are based on the Pi Zero. Given how affordable the board is, this is your best bet if you’re new to the Raspberry Pi.

While other handheld circuit boards can be used in a Gameboy style handheld gaming system, the Raspberry Pi is the most suitable.

Accessories for Raspberry Pi Game Boy

You’ll need more than just a Raspberry Pi for a Game Boy style project.

  • PiGRRL 2 PCB: This device allows you to control your Pi and games
  • PiTFT display: 2.8 inch TFT resistive touch screen 320 × 240 pixels
  • Charger PowerBoost 1000
  • Lithium polymer battery
  • Rubber buttons
  • Audio amplifier: Adafruit PAM8302 is a good option
  • mini speaker
  • Optional Game Boy (or Game Boy Advance) style 3D print
  • Assortment of switches and buttons, depending on the Game Boy case you choose
  • Suitable stranded wires

You should also have a soldering iron, wire cutters, and a microSD card with RetroPie (retro gaming pack).

Are retro games legal?

You may notice some confusion around retro games, especially with ROM purchases. In fact, these are disk images of cartridges, cassettes, disks and other game media from classic systems. The thing is, if you don’t have the original version, you can’t legally use the ROM.

So, take the time to use the retro games you already have or buy them on eBay or a flea market.

Three Ways to Build a Raspberry Pi Game Boy

What is the best way to build a Game Boy Pocket PC with a Raspberry Pi? You have three main options, each with a different difficulty.

  1. Adapt an existing Game Boy
  2. 3D print Game Boy case
  3. Buy Raspberry Pi Game Boy Bundle

Let’s take a look at some of the best Raspberry Pi game console builds you can carry in your pocket.

1. Revive an old Game Boy with a Raspberry Pi

If you have an old Game Boy cluttering up the drawer, it makes sense to rely on the original case. While you won’t be able to use the insides, there’s enough room inside to hold the Pi. You can even fit a spare, unused or 3D printed Pi Zero case to sit in it.

You must also find a place for the display and controller board. For an authentic feel, keep the original buttons.

The video above demonstrates the use of an old Game Boy case while retaining all of the original internal hardware. If you love the original device, this way.

2. 3D Print Your Raspberry Pi Game Boy

Unusual 3D printed case? If you’re struggling to fit your Raspberry Pi into your old Game Boy without customizing it, try a custom case. This project from Adafruit shows you what you need to do and where to cut through the various circuits.

The end result is a modern 3D Game Boy running on the Raspberry Pi.

You will find 3D printing STL files on this dedicated Thingiverse page.

3. Find a Raspberry Pi Game Boy Kit

Want to avoid potentially costly mistakes when buying the wrong components or a printed case that doesn’t fit?

The solution is a Gameboy kit for your Raspberry Pi. Consists of all the necessary parts you need to be up and running within 90 minutes. Your Raspberry Pi Gameboy will be ready to use.

Raspberry Pi Zero Game Boy: EZ-GBZ DIY Kit

There’s a good chance that all you need is a set that’s easy to put together and play classic games. If so, why not try the EZ-GBZ kit, which contains a Game Boy-like game board, all controls, speaker, and display. All you have to do is connect your Raspberry Pi Zero (or Raspberry Pi Model A board) to the GPIO.

In seconds, you’ll have a great-looking Pi Zero-powered Nintendo Game Boy in your hand.

Pre-assembled label: Gameboy Zero

Don’t want to create a project from scratch or from a kit and just want to play around? Gameboy Zero on Etsy is the perfect solution with a choice of colored and clear cases.

Various configuration options are available upon order, from standard Game Boy buttons to purple SNES buttons. Powered by the Raspberry Pi Zero, you get this authentic Game Boy experience without downloading the original.

Game Boy kit without Raspberry Pi

Finally, if you want a great Game Boy-like retro gaming experience but don’t worry too much about the Raspberry Pi, consider Clockwork’s Gameshell.

A modular device that even has an HDMI output port, this is a great little device, especially suitable for Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, NES and MAME games. Other platforms can be configured, and the device is equipped with the PICO8 game set to create your own games. You can even run Kodi on a game shell!

Want to know more? Check out our Gameshell review

Play Retro Games Anywhere on Your Raspberry Pi Game Boy

Fancy a Game Boy powered Raspberry Pi handheld game console? By now, you should have a good idea of ​​the best option. You can adapt an old Gameboy, print a 3D case, or buy a Raspberry Pi Game Boy kit.

Whichever path you choose, the result should be a gaming console that you can carry in your pocket and play anywhere. You can limit your selection to Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games. Alternatively, you can use the full library of retro games available to you. It will definitely keep you busy!

As noted, you will need to use a retro game pack to run a Game Boy-like Raspberry Pi. While RetroPie is an option, there’s still plenty of room for retro gaming on the Raspberry Pi.

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