I'm a designer, engineer and game enthusiast from Sweden. Video gaming has always been a huge passion of mine, ever since I first played on the Sega Megadrive as a child. And I have been interested in the gaming hardware almost as long, especially the portable consoles.
When I bought a PSP in 2008, I could for the first time add some emulators to a portable console. So now I could play all the classic games again, that I haven't played for a long time. The only small issue I had with playing emulated games on the PSP, was with the screen. It was quite small and in wrong aspect ratio, which resulted in black borders. Since then I allways wanted to build my own portable console, and take care of those issues myself. So finally, in the late 2018 I had the knowledge and an idea on how to begin with that project.
With a 3D-printer, Raspberry Pi 3, iPad mini 3 display and some other parts and circuit boards, I was able to build this prototype of the portable retro game console that I wanted. The goal was to create a portable console with a big display, that was both functional and aesthetically pleasing.
I chose the Raspberry Pi 3 because of several reasons. It has great software support and it's compatible with many different emulators. It's small and thin. Priceworthy. And has low power consumption, but still powerful enough to emulate most systems.
I use a 7.9-inch LG display, the same model you find in an iPad mini 3. I found many other displays with the size and aspect ratio I wanted. But I chose the LG, even though it was more expensive, because it was brighter and had much better colour rendition than the other displays.
To improve the audio quality on the Raspberry Pi, I included an USB DAC(16 Bit, 48 kHz). I also had to include an amplifier board to power the speakers. For the buttons and the d-pad I use soft tactile switches, in order to get the same feel most game controllers have.
My design inspirations I got from many different sources, not only gaming hardware. I tried to make it as small and thin as I could, but still keep it comfortable to hold for many hours of gaming.
On the top there are two buttons, one is for adjusting the screen brightness, and the other is for shuting down the system. There is also a power switch, to completely power off the console. The 3.5 mm headphone jack and the micro-USB port for charging the battery, is located on the bottom. The power LED on the front indicates low, charging and charged battery. There is also the rest of the buttons, the d-pad and the volume knob. Above the volume knob there is a hotkey button. You use that, with different combinations with other buttons, to do things like save, load, reset, and quit to main menu. In order to avoid high temperatures in the console, I have installed a small, silent fan on the back. It brings air through the intake, then past the heat sink on the Raspberry Pi and out again.
To get access to the replaceable Li-Po battery and microSD card, you only have to remove the back cover. There's no screws, you just slide it downward to open it. And I designed the cover and the area around it in a way, to better conceal the joints.
At the moment, I don't have any final product name for it. But if this campaign succeeds I will have one ready before any shipping. Until then, I'm going to call it PRGC.
The end result is a Raspberry Pi-based console, made for retro game emulation. The PRGC can emulate, seamlessly in full speed, classic consoles like Sega Megadrive, Super Nintendo, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation and many more.
You can store over 6000 games on the included memory card. Simply add your games from your computer, without any cables. Just upload through Wi-Fi via your web browser. Depending on the screen brightness, the console provides approximately 3 to 6 hours of game playing per charge.
- Dimensions: Width: 277 mm, Height: 134 mm, Depth: 21 mm - 25 mm
- SBC: Raspberry Pi 3 A+
- Display: 7.9-inch in 4:3 aspect ratio, 2048 × 1536 IPS LCD
- Audio: Two 3 W speakers Ø28.5 mm and 3.5 mm headphone jack
- Battery: Li-Po battery, 8000 mAh(approximately 3 to 6 hours of game playing)
- Storage: 16 GB microSD card(capacity for over 6000 games)
- Includes: micro-USB charging cable
- Width: 277 mm, Height: 134 mm, Depth: 21 mm - 25 mm
- Display: 7.9-inch in 4:3 aspect ratio, 2048 × 1536
Wii U GamePad:
- Width: 259 mm, Height: 135 mm, Depth: 23 mm
- Display: 6.2-inch in 16:9 aspect ratio, 854 × 480
The PRGC is capable of emulating some of the most classic game systems:
- Atari 2600
- Atari 7800
- Atari Lynx
- Commodore 64
- Game & Watch
- Game Boy
- Game Boy Advance
- Game Boy Color
- Neo Geo
- Neo Geo CD
- Neo Geo Pocket
- Neo Geo Pocket Color
- Nintendo Entertainment System(NES)
- PC Engine(TurboGrafx-16)
- PC Engine CD(TurboGrafx-CD)
- Sega 32X
- Sega CD
- Sega Game Gear
- Sega Master System
- Sega Megadrive(Genesis)
- Sony PlayStation
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System(SNES)
- Virtual Boy
- ZX Spectrum
Why I need your help
A long time have passed since I started this project and now I have a final prototype. But in order to bring the PRGC to realization and make all of this doable, I'll need your help.
I need to order the parts and components in big volumes to keep down the production costs, to make the console more affordable. All the buttons, the d-pad and the case I have to make in an injection mould. So I can mass-produce them and also in a higher quality. And injection moulds are quite expensive. I also have to make custom circuit boards to reduce the amount of wires, to save space and to save time on the assembly of the consoles. During the most time consuming stages, like assembly and shipping logistics. I want to put together a small team of 3 to 5 people to help me out with that.
I don't have this kind of budget, and that's where you come in. I have self-funded this project till now. Most of the development is done. The design and 3D-models are ready, and I have a fully working prototype. And with your help, I can make this possible.
- June - July: PCB prototyping / Injection moulding
- July: PCB manufacturing / Order components
- August - September: Assembly and product delivery to backers, 1st batch(1 - 200)
- October - November: Assembly and product delivery to backers, 2nd batch(201 - 400)
Risks and challenges
As you can see, most of the work is already done and I have a fully working prototype. And I'm very confident with my process and production schedule for the PRGC.
That said, I know that unforeseen circumstances and challenges can occur. If something would go wrong, I will keep our backers updated and informed. And my excellent team and I will work hard to overcome these potential obstacles to minimize any delays.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (17 days)