Another retro gaming handheld

Android smartphone based retro gaming console.

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This is simple a smartphone retro gaming (NES, SNES, PS1, PS2 etc.) portable handheld console.

Growing up in the 90's I grew up plating NES and SEGA. By the time PS1 became affordable, I had a PC with emulators. I loved the option to play all my favorites and classics on a PC. Now, many years later, I have a dream on making my own, portable retro gaming console. Portable is the keyword, otherwise, I'd just buy a controller and use my PC.
I pulled out my phone and started searching for portable retro handhelds. Raspberry Pi, hands down, is the King. Zero W is good choice, low power, small form factor. However, even with wide range of console emulators available, it can't emulate anything past PS1. Raspberry Pi 4 of course can but with current price and unavailability, it did not appear an appealing option. Not to mention that I need to add a battery, battery monitor circuit, speaker, screen, controller etc. Price quickly skyrockets.
Staring at my phone - Oneplus 6T I pulled up the playstore and what do you know, RetroArch, PPSSPP and Aether. Wow, PS2 in palm of my hands, are you kidding me! Doom, Wolfenstain, Quake, Morrowind even.

Idea was born. On FleeBay, a Oneplus 6T goes for about the same price as barebones RPI 4 but wit added benefit of already having toucscreen, speakers, bluetooth, battery, battery control etc. All that is really required is a case with controller.

The controller will be wired. no Bluetooth. As little as the latency is these days, I want to have none and android OTG supports peripherals.

And before you ask, yes, I know there is such thing as Nintendo switch. I'm of a mind that if I buy a device, I own it. It should work without needing further subscriptions, payment plans or updates to continue working, I bought it, I own it. I don't play online games and I don't play pay to win games. So, Switch is not an option for me. Besides, as far as I know, Switch does not play PS1 or PS2 games or PC remakes. So no thank you.

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  • 1 × Oneplus 6T The main component
  • 1 × Teensy LC microcontroller for all the buttons
  • 1 × USB C adapter cable to connect teensy to the phone
  • 1 × Adafruit soft touch buttons Buttons
  • 1 × tactile momentary buttons more buttons

View all 9 components

  • Design and redesign

    eedge05/16/2022 at 18:38 0 comments

    While the buttons were on their way, I started to design the actual controller. I started with a square handheld where the phone would slide in. Soon after, I realized that it is just too massive and buttons would be far apart and it would be uncomfortable to hold and use.

    The next iteration was something akin to PSX controller. however, first, it ends up being rather big and second, it would be top heavy and painful on wrists.

    So, I figured, something that would plug into the phone from both sides, like switch. I designed the first right hand side and printed it. It ended up being too big and buttons would be hard to reach.

    The next iteration, I reduced the size and rounded the bottoms. This actually worked. Next up, printed the face place and buttons arrived. Found out that the button holes are too small so fixed that.

    Next came the challenge of he phone mount. I made it modular and surprising, it holds the phone well with it's case as well as my very old Oneplus 3T. The downside was that the little box underneath the phone where I intended to hold start and select buttons curled up while printing.

    Not to worry, thickened the sidewalls and used a brim. Came out beautiful.

    While all parts are printing, time to work on the electronics.

  • Getting all the components

    eedge05/07/2022 at 17:40 0 comments

    Step 1. Gather all the needed components

    The with needed apps I have.

    Teensy and cable I have

    Buttons, boards are ordered

View all 2 project logs

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