PiGRRL 2 – Build your own portable gaming console

You'll need a 3D printer though

The tiny Raspberry Pi computer is a dream for DIY tech projects and ideal for custom gaming systems. We recently covered a few in our top 5 Raspberry Pi projects. Being a fully capable computer, the Pi can run emulators for just about any retro gaming platform so these projects let you play the best Atari, Nintendo or Sega games all on one system. If you look at these projects with jealously and don’t know where to start, you might be interested in PiGRRL 2 kit, which lets you build the ultimate portable gaming console.

The PiGRRL 2 comes as a kit you have to build yourself, but ultimately results in a Game Boy-like system that can play anything you can emulate on the Raspberry Pi. Personally I love the idea of having full SNES games on a portable device. Even Nintendo’s 3DS lacks these titles in its Virtual Console. The PiGRRL 2 has ABXY buttons, LR buttons, a D-pad, pause/start buttons and 4 extra buttons for custom uses. It’s battery-powered and has a speaker so you really have everything you need on the go.

The kit includes a Raspberry Pi 2 computer and most of the part you will need. Adafruit want beginners to try the PiGRRL 2 so the components have been designed for easy of installation. There’s a thorough guide that takes you through the build process step-by-step. The downside is that you need to do some soldering and the kit doesn’t include the case itself. Instead they provide the files necessary to 3D-print the case, which is something I think we’ll see more and more of now that the printers are becoming more mainstream.

If you have a 3D printer and an empty weekend, why not challenge yourself to building an awesome portable emulator for your favourite retro titles? The PiGRRL 2 is available on the Adafruit website for $109.95 (£76.53) plus shipping from $16.15 (£11.24).


Main image © Adafruit