The PiBoy


What do you do with a broken Gameboy, a 3″ LCD, a pile of wires, a USB SNES controller, a 32gb SD card, and a Raspberry Pi? You make a pocket emulator, of course!

[Anton] decided he wanted to build an emulator awhile ago. He had a few specific goals in mind: it had to be hand-held, portable, child safe, and usable without a keyboard. He started by stripping the broken Gameboy down to its external shell, then removing all of the internal plastic mounting features with a hot soldering iron. Next was the challenge of fitting everything into the case and powering it. Because his 3″ LCD runs off 12V, [Anton] needed a way to get 5V to the Pi. Lucky for him, it turned out that his LCD’s controller board had a 5V test point/expansion pin-out!

From there it was just a matter of reusing the original Gameboy’s speaker, closing up the case, and loading the emulator! As always, there’s a demo video after the break.

Looking for other Raspberry Pi-based emulators? How about kicking it old school with an Atari 2600? Too old? Okay, how about a rather normal looking SNES with its slot sealed shut?

22 thoughts on “The PiBoy

  1. This is cool. Got a lot of gameboys I want to get in and try some hacks on and just got a megamanX2 and X3 for SNES for christmas. Need to fix my original NES; but going to be very careful…classic electronics! Also got a broken original Xbox, going to tear that piece of crap up! lol

  2. Might be just me, but doesnt the piboy bear resemblance to a certain male bodypart? (or maybe its my mind being in a dark place due to just commenting on the my little pony cord exit point)

      1. It was not meant in a bad way, i quite like what you did. It even looks pretty ergonomical (but i guess nintendo did put some thought into the individual part’s ergonomity(is that a word?))

        I had a quick flash in my head with a person playing a game in his lap… well, i will let your own imagination decide how bad that looks :-) After that it was too late, couldnt unsee the mental image. Like a song stuck in my head.

    1. The only information regarding the video output that i can find is “The [USB] controller lead was cut, shortened and soldered directly to the Pi, as was the AV output.”. All that tape makes it pretty hard to try to follow where leads go (and i dont own any of these devices to actually check where what is on the boards).

    1. I have a soldering iron modified to have an exacto blade at the tip. works awesome for this kind of stuff to have a 400 degree razor blade to trim away pesky standoffs and other parts.

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