Retropie Portable Gaming Device

build a "gameboy" like device running retropie on a Raspberry Pi Zero

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Demo video on

That project is inspired by @steveonjava FOSDEM 2016 session ( - and a lot by Pocket PiGGRL (

Goal is to construct a Pocket Pi Grrl : a gaming device inside a 3d printed case.
It will contain :
- a Pi Zero
- custom controller with a d-pad, a/b/x/y buttons + reset & start
- PiTFT 2.4" 320x240 display
- 2000 mh Li-Ion battery + charging circuit
- a stereo jack plug

I’m thinking using a Raspberry Pi zero instead of a Rasbperry Pi A+.

Pi Zero runs at more Mhz and I think it uses less energy which means more battery.

I would like to add a jack for audio to use headphone instead Pocket PiGGRL amplifier and speaker (I expect better sound quality and something not disturbing other passenger in public transport).

Adafruit already done that for the Pi Zero and is documented here.

An USB wifi dongle is needed during installation part. You won’t need it afterward.


Bottom case with a few changes for jack output, removing amplifier and adding support for TFT screen.

x-openscad - 1.83 kB - 04/02/2016 at 17:44



Bottom case with a few changes for jack output, removing amplifier and adding support for TFT screen.

sla - 2.89 MB - 04/02/2016 at 17:43



Initial case from

sla - 1.13 MB - 03/23/2016 at 06:55



Initial case from

sla - 963.27 kB - 03/23/2016 at 06:55



From PiTFT buttons to be printed in in Ninjaflex only !

sla - 409.85 kB - 03/20/2016 at 10:51


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View all 8 components

View all 12 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    Basic setup :

    Download latest Retropie install for Pi zero and burn it on SD card (a 8 gb sd card is enough)

  • 2
    Step 2

    Wifi setup :

    Connect Pi Zero, add an USB dongle and configure wifi on /etc/network/interfaces :

    auto lo
    iface lo inet loopback
    iface eth0 inet dhcp
    allow-hotplug wlan0
    auto wlan0
    iface wlan0 inet dhcp
       wpa-ssid "Your Network SSID"
       wpa-psk "Your Password"

    More information here :

  • 3
    Step 3

    Pi TFT screen setup :

    You can then halt the pi and connect the Pi TFT screen.

    Get the Adafruit kernel and software :

    curl -SLs | sudo bash
    sudo apt-get install raspberrypi-bootloader
    sudo apt-get install adafruit-pitft-helper
    And then "install" the screen :
    sudo adafruit-pitft-helper -t 28r
    (type twice `n` for no output console and no on/off switch)

    Reboot and you can then test screen by sending random data to it :

    cat /dev/urandom > /dev/fb1
    It that works, you can then tune screen by editing /boot/config and update dtoverlay value :
    Values below rotates screen, update display speed from 32 to 80 Mhz.

    More information here :

View all 11 instructions

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