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.

31 thoughts on “GeneBoy Is The Portable Sega Genesis You’ve Always Wanted

    1. 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.

      1. 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? )

      2. 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.

  1. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. I’ve disassemled quite a few of those over the years.
        I don’t know what it says about you when you recognize something not from it’s case but from it’s inner components….

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

    2. 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!

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