We love retro gaming consoles and DIY Raspberry Pi projects, so we’re obviously delighted when the two overlap. Some of our favourites have involved 3D-printing a case around the Raspberry Pi and components to recreate Game Boy clones that run emulators. For example, the amazing PiGRRL 2 looks like a Game Boy but can play Minecraft and SNES games thanks to software emulation. Inside its 3D-printed casing is a credit card-sized Raspberry Pi 2 computer running the show.
Is the original Game Boy not portable enough for you? You want something smaller? That’s what Thingiverse user Ampersands has delivered with the Pirakeet, a tiny gaming handheld that uses the miniscule Raspberry Pi Zero instead. The regular Raspberry Pi computers seem bulky and expensive relative to the Pi Zero that costs just £4.25 and is half the size. It’s perfect for a teeny tiny gaming system.
The main advantage of the Pirakeet is that you don’t need to have a huge 3D printer in order to recreate it. The case only requires print bed size of 80 x 104 mm so many low-end 3D printers can handle this DIY project. The fact that it uses the Pi Zero and doesn’t require a big 3D printer means this is one of the cheapest DIY handheld gaming projects to try out.
There’s no shortage of Raspberry Pi gaming systems but we welcome projects that make it easier for those with a low budget to get involved. If you want to give the Pirakeet a go, the parts list and 3D printing files have are available. The build itself follows the Adafruit Pocket PiGRRL but with a few changes mentioned on Thingiverse. This is a relatively easy build and Ampersand has included photos and PDFs to make sure it all goes smoothly.
Main image © Thingiverse/Ampersand