Game Boy Zero

We see a lot of Pi Zero retro gaming mods, but I think this one might just take the biscuit.


This rather beautiful mod from Wermy (leave your real name in the comments if you’d like us to use it, Wermy!) has a few details that really make it stand out. Pi Zero in a controller or hand-held device isn’t new: we’ve seen it before. But this one’s got a couple of special features. First up, there’s this glorious cartridge hack:


What you’re seeing here is a customised Game Boy cartridge which has been re-soldered and gently Dremeled to house a micro SD adapter, which will accept any micro SD you pop in there, and enable the Pi Zero inside the Game Boy itself to read from it. (Wermy’s running RetroPie on the Game Boy Zero.)

People with sharp eyes will have noticed that the Game Boy Zero has one big cosmetic difference (aside from that display) from the original Game Boy. It has two extra buttons, so you can play SNES, NES, and later Game Boy model games on there. There are also a couple of shoulder triggers. (The buttons Wermy has used are from a NES controller, and he says they’re very similar in look and feel to what you’ll find on the original Game Boy.)

The screen’s a little composite display from Adafruit, which was a little larger than the original display, and required some careful removing of struts inside the case. Wermy’s added three buttons inside the case to control brightness, colour and contrast, along with a USB Bluetooth adaptor – it’s a tight fit to get everything inside the case, but he’s done a stand-up job.

final layout

Here it is in action.

Game Boy Zero with custom SD card reader game cartridge

UPDATE: I set up a blog where I’ll be posting how-to guides for this project. You can also enter there for a chance to win the one I’ll be building! I made a RetroPie handheld using a Raspberry Pi Zero and an original DMG-01 Game Boy.

Wermy’s documenting the build here (and running a giveaway so you can win one of these gorgeous little things): head over to read more!

Oh – and to preempt Pi Zero stock woe in the comments, we’ve got some news from Eben:

Raspberry Pi Zero production is restarting in Wales next Monday after a hiatus to allow us to focus on Raspberry Pi 3 (a million units built and counting). We have placed 250ku of new orders, and are aiming to produce at least 50ku/month for the rest of this year. Distribution will continue to be via Pimoroni, Pi Hut, Adafruit and Micro Center for now.

To thank you for your patience, we’ve taken advantage of the hiatus to add a (much requested) new feature. I’ll leave you all to guess what it is (it’s not WiFi).

We expect the new Raspberry Pi Zero units (with the new feature) to be available in two to three weeks’ time. They’ll be stocked exclusively in the usual Pi Zero stores: The Pi Hut, Adafruit, Pimoroni and Micro Center.