The Tiniest Video Game


As we read [Adam]‘s writeup for an extremely tiny video game system through coke bottle glasses, we’re reminded of the countless times we were told that sitting, ‘too close to the Nintendo’ would ruin our eyes. We’ll happily dismiss any article from a medical journal that says there was any truth to that statement, but [Adam]‘s tiny video game system will most certainly hurt your eyes.

A few years ago, Atari sold keychain-sized joysticks that contained classics such as PongBreakout, Centipede, and Asteroids. [Adam] apparently ran into a cache of these cool classic baubles and immediately thought of turning them into a stand-alone video game system.

For the display, [Adam] used a CRT module from an old Sony Handicam. These modules had the right connections – power, ground, and composite video input – to connect directly to the Atari keychain games. The result is a video game that’s even smaller than a postage stamp. The picture above shows the tiny CRT next to a 25mm postage stamp; it’s small by any measure.


  1. Karl says:

    Well, if you want to go just for how small the viewable display area is, you could couple them with a CRT display I saw at the IEEE show in the mid 60’s – it was so small, you had to look at it under a microscope [about 0.05" across], or even the one this guy made:

  2. Eric Chapin says:

    I have a couple of those tiny CRTs, one with 3 wires as described from a busted Sony camera and another from JVC that has 7 wires. I haven’t figured out 7 wire version yet.

    • dombeef says:

      I have one from JVC with only 5 wires that has been sitting around for about 2 years now, and I can’t find a pinout for it anywhere! I was originally going to make a pong or tetris portable with the arduino-tvout library

  3. BiOzZ says:

    Besides the fact that my mother (who last week i had to explain what the pause button did) was better at pong this is a really fun little project XP

  4. AnubisTTP says:

    Great minds think alike, I made a Tetris game almost identical to this in 2008, with the same display even!

    I used Rickard Gunee’s PIC chip Tetris code, which has been floating around the internet for years and crams an entire Tetris game with sound and NSTC output into 1k of memory.

  5. Hirudinea says:

    Quick, somebody email this guy!

  6. echodelta says:

    The lenses on these viewfinders make great inspection magnifiers.
    With the extra wires, one is often the on-screen stuff. Establish ground then look for a ‘lytic with a plus rating and make it hot and see if it lights up.

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