Raspberry Pi RP2040 spotted in super tiny unofficial Game Boy handheld

The compact resolution of retro games makes them an ideal candidate to land in tiny handheld projects like this super small Game Boy handheld, shared by maker Elliot Coll over at YouTube. According to Coll, he was looking through Aliexpress when he came across this extra small retro gaming emulator handheld that appears to feature a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microprocessor.

Coll explains that the product listing appeared to feature a custom PCB that, upon close inspection, appears to have an RP2040. The listing was for around $85 (USD) and came with very little in the way of instructions. The device sports a typical D-pad as well as A, B, Start and Select buttons.

The original Game Boy processor was known as the Sharp LR35902 and it could reach up to 4.19MHz. It’s not surprising to see an RP2040 behind the operation, as it can reach up to 133 MHz. That said, it’s unclear exactly what software is used to handle the emulation or ROM files.

The cartridge slot on the back works as a microSD card slot and is where all your (presumably legally obtained) ROMs are loaded. It uses a LiPo battery for power, so a LiPo charging module is a must to make it usable in a portable sense. The closest thing we’ve seen to this before is a Thumby, which is also RP2040-based and resembles an original Game Boy.

Although it isn’t clear exactly what operating system or firmware the device is running, we can see a few menu options with Chinese text. It took a little trial and error for Coll to sort out the input options and how to navigate the menu. Overall, the unit works well as a retro gaming handheld. However, it’s so small that Coll had difficulty seeing the games on the tiny screen. If you want to get a closer look at this Raspberry Pi project and see it in action, check out the video shared on YouTube by Elliot Coll.

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