Portable gaming for retro console lovers

atari_2600_portable

There have been a fair share of portable video game console conversions over the years, but few tug at our retro-loving heart strings more than this one. Modretro forum member [Mario] constructed a fantastic looking portable Atari 2600 using a Flashback 2 Atari console clone.

He hacked apart the Flashback board to fit inside a small plastic case, then added a 3.5″ LCD screen, as well as some donated controller bits from other portable game systems. A pair of rechargeable batteries were added along with a small amplifier and speaker for sound.

While the Flashback comes with 40 games built in, he really wanted to add a cartridge port, so with the little bit of space he had left in the case, he did just that. When everything was finished, he sprayed on a few coats of retro orange paint and called it a day. Really the only thing that’s missing is some nice fake wood veneer and maybe some shag carpet.

Continue reading to see his portable creation in action.

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Portable Atari the size of a Game Boy

This portable Atari is the result of [Mario's] toils. The core system is an Atari Flashback 2, an embedded system released in 2005 with several built-in games. The stock titles weren’t enough so [Mario] added a cartridge slot in order to play whichever games he wishes. The case was originally the packaging for an iPod touch so you know it’s sturdy. We also like the free-formed audio amplifier as seen in the work log. Does anyone know if the Flashback 2 has a pause feature?

Update: Atari pause button

The Atari 2600 pause circuit is now available in a kit form. We saw this pause method back in February and the kit uses the same circuit. We don’t really need a kit for this, the board is very simple to throw together. But we do appreciate the detailed installation instructions (PDF) that accompany it. After all, you don’t want to kill you classic gaming rig with a botched install.

[Thanks CPUWIZ]

8-bit game console with wireless motion controller

[Luis Cruz] built a gaming console with motion control. The circuit above connects via composite video to a television and communicates with a wireless controller. The controller is on a smaller breadboard which includes an accelerometer for the input and the infrared circuitry necessary for wireless data transmission back to the home system. Take a look at the first game he developed for it in the video after the break. There’s some details available (ie: he’s using ATmega168 and ATmega328 chips) but we’ve asked him to post code and schematics which he is currently cleaning up for mass consumption.

Ah, the 8-bit sound in that game takes us back to the glory days of Atari and Intellivision.

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Palm-sized Atari 2600

[The Longhorn Engineer] is working on a portable Atari 2600. Instead of taking the old gaming system and cramming it into a portable form factor he’s designed his own circuit board in a new-hardware initiative he calls Project Unity. The handheld will include everything you need to play, including video, audio, controller buttons, paddle control, and a cartridge connector. For the demonstration, embedded after the break, he’s using the Harmony Cartridge to store his Atari ROMs but do note that the system is designed to use cartridges rather than work solely as a game jukebox.

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Suska open source Atari ST

Got a special place in your heart for Atari computing? Now you can quench that need using new hardware. The Suska project has achieved complete hardware emulation of the Atari ST using an FPGA. The project’s progress tracker shows implementation of the major chips at 100%. They are running EmuTOS, an Atari emulator, as the operating system because running the original would violate copyright. The chip used is an Altera Cyclone III. You could load up the code on your own hardware but judging from the number of connections needed it might be less of a headache to buy a board from these guys.

[Thanks Erik]

2600 game jukebox

[Yuppicide] sent us a link to a photo album of an Atari 2600 modified to play ROMs stored inside. We did some digging around and have an idea of what’s going on. It seems that the creator, [Victor] has taken his Atari 2600 cartridge emulator one step further.

Previously, he had replaced the chip in an Atari cartridge with an EEPROM that he could reprogram via a ribbon cable. This new iteration places that EEPROM inside the case of the gaming console along with a PIC development board. The PIC board interfaces an SD card with somewhere around 1200 ROMs on it. Three switches added to the front of the Atari allow the user to cycle through available games and flash the desired title to the EEPROM. As you can see, a 2×16 LCD display now resides in the cartridge opening.

This seems a little more eloquent (and less legal) than the Super Genintari.