BeagleBone Black Becomes A Handheld Classic Gaming Console

Over at TI, the 2013 Intern Design Challenge is underway, an opportunity for the interns of TI to flex their engineering muscle for a few prizes and a chance to have their designs turned into actual products. We’re thinking [Max] might just pull this one out with his BeagleBone Gaming Cape, an add-on to the BeagleBone Black that turns this ARM-powered Linux board into a retro gaming system.

The build was inspired by [Max]’s earlier MSP430 Launchpad GamingPack, an add-on board for the Launchpad that put two NES controllers, a VGA out, and an FPGA to create a custom gaming console that’s up there with the brightest and best consoles of the 16-bit era. For the new BeagleBone-based build, [Max] eschewed off-board processing, but did manage to include a magnetometer/accelerometer and an audio codec IC to provide the best gaming experience for all those NES, Game Gear. Gameboy, GBA and Doom .wad games.

In addition to a fabulous piece of hardware, [Max] also has the case design down to a tee. He first printed out a dozen or so layers of his case, sandwiching the BeagleBone, his cape, battery holders, and LCD display. Once he knew the dimensions would work, he sent his files off to be laser cut out of a matte black delrin. The finished piece is a work of art, and considering how well everything goes together, we wouldn’t mind giving this new retro-gaming console a spin ourselves.

13 thoughts on “BeagleBone Black Becomes A Handheld Classic Gaming Console

  1. “Retro gaming system”
    “… provide the best gaming experience for all those NES, Game Gear. Gameboy, GBA and Doom .wad games.”

    I’m led to believe from this article that it’s able to emulate a retro console, but nowhere on the site do I find this.
    All these “make a game console out of an arduino” things are useless until they can run an emulator, or preferably android.

    1. This is using a BeagleBone, not an arduino, and its running a full blown linux distro. If you watch until the end of the video you can see it running all those systems listed. I also talk about getting the emulators running on the bottom of the page. You could run android on it if you wanted.

  2. The real shame here is that it won’t win TI’s contest because TI’s lawyers won’t want to touch a console emulator with a 10 foot pole. The IP lawsuit and DMCA liability is just too high.
    It’s too bad because it’s pretty cool. Thanks ambulance chasers.

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