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Rebuilding a broken Gameboy with a Raspberry Pi (superpiboy.wordpress.com)
159 points by Aldo_MX on July 23, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 20 comments



This is a really nice example of a project post/build log.

Related, I think it would be a lot of fun to interface the Pi with the original (not very good) LCD. Then you could make some kind of 'alternate history' nextgen gameboy where the processor was massively upgraded but the screen was not - enabling low res 3D, temporal dithering to expand beyond the 2bit palette, etc.

(I guess you could also simulate this on a regular computer or even the mod discussed here, but that's somehow slightly less charming)


I don't know if the latency on the original LCD would allow for temporal dithering, but it would be pretty cool.


If this was a commercial product I'd be interested in buying one. The formfactor (yes, yes, no internal batteries) is impressive for what essentially amounts to a full PC.

Although myself, much like the OP, would almost certainly run RetroPi off of it.

There are a few emulation stations kicking around (you can find them on Amazon) but nothing near this compact or with this good of controls.


Adafruit has a great Raspberry Pi 'game grrl' kit you can make: https://learn.adafruit.com/pigrrl-raspberry-pi-gameboy/overv...


>There are a few emulation stations kicking around (you can find them on Amazon) but nothing near this compact or with this good of controls.

I've found a DS flash cart and a DSiXL to do this job well enough for what the system is capable of emulating (up to GBA, Genesis, SNES). Not sure what the state of 3DS flash carts is. For ~N64/PS1 a modded PSP is a great choice from what I've heard.


I've gotten by for quite a few years with my old GP2X-Wiz. Fantastic battery life, and big library of software for it, including lots of very good emulators. I've even watched quite a few movies on it and played some SCUMMVM games on the touch screen. It's about the size of a GBA and has been a near constant companion to me.

It'll do just about anything up to SNES, which includes Neo Geo, and a huge subset of the MAME library.

just checked ebay since the company that made the GP2X-Wiz is out of business, holy smokes I can't believe how much they're going for

These days, I'd probably go in for a GCW-Zero, an A380e, or if you have the money, get an NVIDIA Shield (on my list to replace my GP2X-Wiz).


Classic modded PSPs definitely work well. They're also pretty good for Gameboys of all generations. DS wouldn't work though, at least as far as I know.


If I am not mistaken, what jimmaswell is describing is the same mod that made my Gameboy Advance my most favorite of systems... Just google 'ds homebrew' and you will discover a wealth of information... For gbas and ds(es???), you could/can purchase a flash cart. There is a surprising amount of homebrew and software hacks available out there that this flashable cart brings to the table - not the least of which is the ability to load up emulators for everything 'equal to or less than' the gba/ds(in general regards to cpu/ram requirements) to play 'backups' of the games (which were also flashed onto the cart along side of the emulators). My former GBA (paired with 2 flash carts) was likely the third most used gaming system of my life to date(2600, NES, GBA). All the games you could want (or fit on 512MB (A LOT when the games are a few hundred k (nes) to a few mb (gba)) - 2600, NES, GBA, GEN and SNES - with few/no issues.

All of this said, the PSP (1001?) was/is an awesome emulator... Capable of playing everything up to PSP backups, you could play all of the above, with PS1, NeoGeo/Capcom, and PSP support... Definitely a very nice gaming system with a lot of power and capability... In the end, it was the GBAs battery life, wonderfully thought out screen and compact size that always made me come back to the gba. The PSP got a lot of play, but being able to stomp turtles and collect rubies while sitting on a beach without shade just made the gba the general purpose go-to for this casual gamer (as the PSP could serve as little more than a mirror and hand warmer in this setting).

While generally frowned on by gaming manufacturers for obvious and founded piracy concerns, there are some awesome hybrid systems that can be made out of existing on-market systems. While I am sure that there are many whose ultimate goal is piracy, there are a lot of people who enjoy modded systems for their flexibility and enhanced capabilities.


Yeah my PSP 1001 was a great all-around device, especially when I used homebrew apps and games - that's what got me interested in programming.

But as far as my original comment, this is actually what I meant: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8082102


There are flash carts for the DS like the DsTwo. It's a custom-made DS cartridge with a slot for a microSD card, which is where you put the OS of the flash cart along with any roms/software to run with it. Getting one for the old DS/DSi line is a safe bet because their firmware isn't updated anymore. Firmware updates are liable to brick flash carts.


Right. Sorry my wording was actually unclear. I meant that I didn't believe there were any DS emulators for the PSP.


Commercializing it could be as simple as a Pi plate which connects to a Raspi Model A GPIO header, and has breakouts to connect everything else (and builds in some obvious bits such as the audio amplifier).

A more intense and compact route could be to use the Compute Module, but it might actually end up a little more expensive doing it that way.


The Open Pandora can pretty much do the same thing (and much more): http://openpandora.org/ (It can emulate everything up to PSX, N64 and is nicely pocketable, not like the Nvidia Shield).


The NVIDIA Shield just came out: http://shield.nvidia.com/ Ordered one yesterday, so it hasn't arrived yet, but I'm looking forward to playing everything on it.


The Shield has been out for almost a year now. It was released July 31, 2013. You might be thinking of their new tablet version, which has a detached controller.


Indeed, and the tablet has nothing to do with the original Shield concept.


What about a Pandora?


Fantastic work. I think the pride one would feel in making this work is well worth the $90 or so required for parts!


Put this up on Kickstarter! :)


shame how the midi music doesn't work in so many doom ports




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