Which handheld to build?
I'd like to build a handheld but not sure which one, there are many to choose from. There are kits and DIY ones. I've never been into gaming so I don't have an old favorite game I want to play. It's more of a "that would be a cool project" type of thing. Plus it will be fun to build and use.
So which ones do you like and which one should I build. Also what are your favorite games to play?
Sliver X last edited by Sliver X
I recently built a Retroflag GPi Case system using a Raspberry Pi Zero 2: The device was originally designed around the original Pi Zero but a Zero 2 W will fit in it and is around twice as fast, CPU-wise (Runs up to PSX but no N64): However, it requires some fiddling as of now to get all the hardware working with Retropie.
I've actually just built and image for this device + a Zero 2 that has everything working out of the box but I think my account is too new to post about it in the Projects subforum?
@Sliver-X that's a nice looking unit. How do you like it? How's the button action and the resolution on the screen?
Thanks for getting back to me
Sliver X last edited by Sliver X
The buttons are fine (It even has two shoulder bumpers on the back above the battery compartment) but the Dpad is somewhat lacking: I replaced it with a Gameboy Pocket dpad and it's great, though.
The LCD is only 320x240 but has amazing clarity, brightness and view angle.
Sliver X last edited by
I kept getting a "Forbidden" notice, even after adding tags. I'll try again and see how it goes.
As I mentioned, I'm just getting into gaming. I have a RetroPi I made on my TV, I got the ROMs from a friends system. I have over 300 games but don't know how to play them. So I've started playing Super Mario 3 and F-Zero, a car racing game, I do better at that than Mario.
What games are you playing?
retropieuser555 last edited by retropieuser555
@johnl52 depends what you're looking to play really. I do find the retroflag gpi is great for games that were originally designed for a handheld of that makes sense (Atari lynx, Gameboy, GBA, game gear etc), for fun I have managed to get 1 or 2 low spec psp games working (retro city rampage and half minute hero) but it's fair to say it's not as powerful as the pi4 or even your smartphone when it comes to processing.
But the form factor of having a Gameboy with extra buttons and other 16bit and below era games is great.
Oh also you mentioned some SNES games, most of these are excellent on the pi zero 2 w, but with the retroflag gpi the shoulder buttons are a little awkward so things like street fighter give hand cramps. But most SNES games seem to avoid the shoulder buttons, except maybe Mario kart and f zero.
The other thing worth pointing out is I donno where you're based but the pi zero w 2 can be hard to come by as it's quite new.
The other thing about handhelds is how's your soldering skills etc? As there are other options that require abit of assembly skills
Edit: re not knowing how to play old games can be a double edged sword, as half of them have a couple of buttons and are pick up and play (Mario, sonic, Castlevania 1 etc) and then other half can be incredibly unintuitive and leave you stuck in places unless you know the game inside out (Castlevania 2). So be prepared to have to read into certain games that are considered masterpieces that aren't that easy to pick up.
@retropieuser555 thanks for the insight. This is more of a build project than a gaming one. I'm not looking for any particular games, just something to play around with. I live just outside of Boston Mass, my soldering and build skills are pretty good, I've been making electronic gizmos since I was about 10, I'm 69 now and still enjoy building, better than watching TV.
I do like the Retroflag GPI, I've also looked at the Null 2, the MintyPi (just because it's cool that it's in a Altoids case) and Adafruit's Pigrrl2 but it doesn't look like either of those are available right now.
As far as the games I do have a lot of the really old games on my retro pi but the graphics are pretty crude, I prefer the newer games with better color graphics.
Thanks again for the info
cnoto last edited by
Ill second the recommendation on the gpi case.
Ive also built a couple handhelds using the freeplay zero kit https://www.freeplaytech.com/product/freeplay-zero-diy-kit/
The gpi case seems to perform a bit better.
If you are into old games and looking for a project, I might suggest building a bartop arcade. You can get into woodworking, graphic design (exterior stickers and bezels), painting, in addition to the retropie image build.
I also have to admit I enjoy tinkering more than playing the games.
@cnoto that FreePlay is pretty cool, that's a real DIY kit. I'll put that on the short list. I do plenty of woodworking now, I belong to a makerspace and just finished a stand up desk for a friend. I have no room for a arcade even a desk top, although they are cool. My RetroPi is just a Pi 3 in a plastic case, fit's on a shelf under the TV
Thanks for the comments
retropieuser555 last edited by
@johnl52 if you're looking for a real building project I wouldn't recommend the retroflag gpi I guess as it's all presoldered and all you do pretty much is just assemble it in 5 minutes. Not much building to speak of, you'd struggle more with assembling kids toys.
It's main appeal is people who like the idea of a handheld or have a nostalgia for the Gameboy specifically but don't want to buy a screen, printed case, PCB, speaker and wire it up etc.
On the flip side, if software modifying is your thing, RetroPie has that in spades. Getting different aspects or functions setup is a lot of fun
Thanks @retropieuser555 it is more about the build than the playing. It will probably be a project that after I build it it will go in the drawer and I'll pull it out now and then to kill some time, or let my granddaughters play with it.
That being said I have enjoyed the feedback I've gotten here and I've learnt quite a bit so it's been well worth it to me.
Fruitybit last edited by
Had to chime in here, you could look at making a pspi
I made one and loved it.
@fruitybit That's the first I've see it, I'll check it out.
Thanks for letting me know.