GeneBoy is the portable Sega Genesis you’ve always wanted


There’s something about portable gaming systems that just doesn’t get old. Perhaps its the nostalgia, or the unique cases and form factors the modders come up with. Whatever it might be, we think they’re great.

[Downing] wrote in to share a portable system he just wrapped up, called the GeneBoy. He broke down a Sega Genesis console to the bare necessities, then attached a 3.5” backup camera screen to serve as the display. A 3rd party Genesis controller donated its buttons to the GeneBoy, while his D-Pad was salvaged from an original Playstation controller.

The case was built from vacuum formed plastic, which made it easy to get just the size and shape he needed to hold everything together perfectly. Even though he says that the outside of the case got a bit roughed up during final assembly, we think it looks great. I would certainly enjoy having all the fun of [Sonic the Hedgehog] or Road Rash in the palm of my hand any day!

Continue reading to see the GeneBoy in action, and be sure to check out [Downing’s] blog along with the Modded by Bacteria forum thread where he discusses the finer details of its assembly.


  1. ob3sus says:

    I wonder if this pulls more juice than a sega nomad

  2. WiredUp says:

    Sega Nomad v2.0?

  3. Karl says:

    like the sega nomad you mean?

    • Yorkshire says:

      The nomad was awful for control, feeling and battery life though. This is probably at least not going to kill you on battery costs and it looks like it is nicer to hold and use.

    • dombeef says:

      I still have mine colecting dust over here

    • bsparks says:

      I wonder if it gets better battery life than the Nomad did though? Though, the Nomad did have AC adapter ports, and video out ports, and a 2nd player controller port.

    • Willaim says:

      I have the Sega Game Gear is the Nomad like its precursor?

      • bsparks says:

        The Nomad is, quite literally, a Sega Genesis handheld. It was a Sega Genesis II with a rather crisp LCD screen and a battery pack. But you could use your Genesis II AV and AC cables to use it with a larger TV and with wall power, even had the second controller port. The only things not compatible are some of the top add-ons because of the cartridge slot shape ( though a bit of dremel work fixes that ) and the original X-Men game, because there’s no reset button on the Nomad. ( slight spoiler? )

      • GrizzlyAdams says:

        Game Gear was basically a portable Sega Master System, but had a different palette. You can actually play games interchangeably between the two if you ignore the colors. The Nomad was a portable Genesis (aka Megadrive) and played most if not all Genesis games. I believe they had TV tuners for both the Game Gear and Nomad.

  4. svanheulen says:

    I can’t tell if that’s more or less bulky than the Sega Nomad. Either way, nice build… and now I have a craving to play some Sonic.

  5. morlog says:

    Um, thats the castlevania theme playing in that video.Wrong game system

  6. Just me says:

    I wish I had the SEGA here, and not at my parents. I’d really like some serious Sonic playing now.

  7. Super Dave says:

    I’ve been to Downing’s Basement… You leave there a changed man. This guy is a wizard with a Dremel tool.

  8. Drakon says:

    looks awesome!

  9. n0lkk says:

    Nice build. The paint finish looked great until he started moving around, and what flaws there where made apparent under the changing light angles. But I guess that would be filed under looking too closely I suppose.

    • Downing says:

      Naw, you’re right. It’s not perfect by any means as I’ve yet to master the paint and finishing part of these projects. I fill and sand, but sometimes (most of the time) it just doesn’t come out right.
      I’ll get it one day, but I’m happy with how this one came out.

  10. Richard says:

    Is that an original xbox I see a reflection of??

  11. Greenaum says:

    I realise it’s beside the point, but you can buy these now. They’ve been available for a few years with a crap screen and 20-odd built-in games. The latest model has a better screen and an SD card slot for yer ROMs. Smaller and lighter too.

    You could always adapt this model to use the Megadrive-on-chip that so many modern Megadrive remakes have. EG those joypads with Street Fighter built-in or whatever. Adding a screen to one of those would be neat.

    • Downing says:

      Sorry, meant to leave a reply and I hit report! Disregard that if you get a letter! haha, oops.
      No I realize you can, but like I said, I didn’t do it just to play games on. If that were the fact than I would have done just that. But it’s a hobby, it’s fun and you learn a lot by doing it and pushing yourself just a bit further.

    • Pup says:

      There’s the argument that the SOC versions don’t provide accurate sound/video emulation in some instances, and don’t have support for special types of cartridge.

    • blue carbuncle says:

      I hear ya. Those are nice (I have a PXP that I love) and it handles the RGB quite well for that screen for the emulators :) The SNES gradients can get a lil blocky if there is a lot of action, but overall a great unit for the price and ya get a stick too :)

      @Downing-Love your build! I gotta get (or get a friend with) one of those vacuum formers. They are quite nice. I will have to add that, whilst watching the vid, I kept glancing at my old scsi barracuda drive and the bulbous spindle cover and thinking it could find a new life as such a case ;) Keep up the good work and I love your genuine interest and attitude (or lack thereof) :) We seem to have a similar tinkering mentality. Any suggestions on using an original gamegear screen (rest of the unit is doa) or any links about it in your research? Thanks!

  12. Garret says:

    Can someone suggest a display? Ive been having a really hard time finding just the display on ebay.

  13. medwardl says:

    Great build would be even better if you could add the cd to it. I have several Sega’s I’m wondering what model was used.

  14. Taufeeq says:

    Thats a really nice hack !!! true genius.

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