RetroPie Turned Game Gear

Running vintage console emulators on a Raspberry Pi seems to be the thing all the cool kids are doing. The coolest RetroPie builds take a vintage console – usually of the Nintendo genus – stuff a Raspi in there somehow, and Bob’s your uncle. [Phil Herlihy] over at Adafruit is throwing his hat into the ring with a similar build. For this one, though, he’s using Sega’s oft-maligned Game Gear. He might actually get more than a few hours out of the battery with this one, and the battery is rechargeable, too. You can’t beat that.

The build begins with tearing down an old Game Gear, chopping up the PCB to save the button contact, and starting to fit all the components in there. The display is completely replaced with a 3.5″ composite display, a bit larger than the 3.2″ display found in a stock Game Gear. That’s not a problem, there’s a surprising amount of space behind the bezel, and if you’re good enough with an xacto blade and a file, it will look stock.

The rest of the components include an amplifier board, battery charge regulator, a 2500mAh LiPo, and a Teensy to read the buttons. There are a few modifications required for the Pi, but the finished device presents a USB port to the outside world; keep a keyboard by your side, and this is a portable Pi in every respect.

15 thoughts on “RetroPie Turned Game Gear

  1. As I always say for things like this:
    Was the GameGear broken? If so, good job saving the case.
    Was the GameGear working/easily repairable? Boo on you for destroying a cool thing with a pi.

    1. I really don’t like these mods of vintage equipment.
      Why not design and make your own case? You could use the original for a mold. Cutting up the board just for the switches is a waste.

      BTW, shouldn’t it be “Retropi” instead of “Retropie”?

    2. Is the Game Gear really a cool thing? I know lots of people who had it and enjoyed it, and while there’s a certain nostalgia factor but nobody seems to think it was actually a good system in hindsight. It was huge, gobbled batteries, had a crappy screen, and not very many good games.

      1. The GG had quite a few games, and while some were “meh” a lot of them were pretty good. I just dislike destruction of something that can be repaired/used as-is to basically re-implement the same thing a different way, and ending up with a pretty mangled case. You can pick up a GG, and nearly all of the other systems you can play with this, and games, pretty damn cheap.

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