One of the most common projects you can find online for Raspberry Pi boards is a retro-gaming set-up. Sometimes, however, you come across a project that goes above and beyond a standard old-timey mod.
One dedicated retro gamer, who goes by the name of Wermy online, recently showed off the Game Boy Zero: a first-generation Game Boy packing a Raspberry Pi Zero. The early Game Boy is in many ways an ideal target for a project like this since it was so boxy—at least by modern standards.
Wermy added some modern features to the Game Boy, but still managed to maintain that old school feel. Specifically, Wermy turned an old Game Boy cartridge into an SD card reader. He said he did this to “have the same satisfaction of putting a cartridge in and powering it on like you would on a regular Game Boy.”
The SD card packs RetroPie and Emulation Station and appears to run nicely with the Game Boy Zero. Thanks to the software, the handheld gaming console runs all kinds of older games from original Game Boy titles up to Game Boy Advance, as well as classic games for consoles like Super Nintendo.
But the changes go much deeper than the cartridge. The original Game Boy only had two buttons, so Wermy drilled holes for another pair, giving him a modern four-button handset. He also added some very small shoulder buttons on the back of the Game Boy.
Beyond the controls, the Game Boy Zero also adds a 3.5-inch composite color display, a rechargeable 2,000mAh battery where the four triple-A’s used to go, mini-HDMI out (where the contrast scroller used to be), micro-USB for charging, regular USB for an external peripheral like a keyboard, and Bluetooth.
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has never met a tech subject he didn't like. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, social networks, and browsers. When he's not covering the news he's working on how-to tips for PC users, or tuning his eGPU setup.