Since the introduction of the Raspberry Pi, there have probably been 100 different home-brew gaming consoles people have made using the popular SBC. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, everybody loves an excellent retro system that can be made cheaply. One of the more interesting builds comes from Swedish maker Christoffer Jonsson, with his Portable Retro Game Console, which boasts a large 7.9-inch 2048 x 1536 display. To put that into perspective, the Nintendo Switch offers up a 6.2-inch screen, with a 1280 x 720 resolution.
As with most maker-built systems, the Retro Game Console uses emulation software, allowing you to play games from a myriad of systems — including the Sega Megadrive, Super Nintendo, Game Boy, PlayStation, and a host of others. Jonsson states that you can store over 6,000 games using a 16Gb microSD card, which is more than enough for long flights or road trips.
Jonsson designed his platform around the Raspberry Pi 3 A+, and measures out at 277mm x 134mm x 25mm, putting it on the larger end of the portable console spectrum. Other features include red/green/NeoPixel LEDs, a pair of 3W speakers with a stereo audio amplifier, USB DAC, and headphone jack. It also sports 15X soft tactile buttons, 2X regular tactile buttons, SPDT slide switch, 5.2V (2.1A) power supply/charger, and 8000mAh Li-Po battery.
No doubt Jonsson’s Portable Retro Game Console is a good platform in all aspects, but you could probably design a more powerful system using a different SBC, such as Nvidia’s Jetson Nano, Udoo x86 Ultra, or a LattePanda. Sure those boards are pricey, but compared to what Jonsson is asking for his system on Etsy ($452), it still comes out cheaper in the grand scheme of things, although you do have to build it yourself.