Keychain-sized Game Boy is now a crowdfunded gadget you can purchase

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,680   +124
Staff member

Jeroen Domburg in late 2016 built a fully functional keychain-sized Game Boy clone for the Hackaday SuperConference. He originally planned on publishing build details for DIYers but has since decided to try and monetize the gadget.

Now dubbed PocketSprite, the pint-sized portable console recently hit Crowd Supply for a bit of fundraising. Billed as the world’s smallest playable emulation device, the ultraportable is open-source and features a high-contrast OLED screen, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, an internal rechargeable battery, sound and more.

The complete list of features and specifications is as follows:

  • Dimensions: 55 x 32 x 14 mm
  • Processor: ESP32 dual-core 240 MHz MCU
  • Storage: 128 MBit flash, 520 KB RAM, 448 KB ROM
  • Enclosure: Injection molded ABS with soft-touch finish and screen filter
  • Buttons : Injection molded ABS and tactile click: power, A, B, start, select, game pad
  • Display: OLED screen, 25 x 22 mm, 96 x 64 px, cropped to 5:4 ratio, 60+ FPS
  • Audio: 13 mm mono speaker
  • Wireless: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth Low Energy
  • Battery: Internal Li-ion battery gives hours of gameplay and months of standby
  • Recharging: via Micro USB port, cable included
  • Packaging: Collector’s storage box (95 x 60 x 34 mm) and printed quick-start instructions

PocketSprite is able to play all Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Sega Master System and Sega Game Gear games. The system comes with two emulators pre-loaded, GNUBoy and SMS Plus, and you can add ROMs seamlessly via Wi-Fi.

Having already blasted past its initial $20,000 funding goal in just a few days, PocketSprite is well on its way to becoming a commercial success. The console is being offered fully assembled via the crowdfunding platform at a price of $55 although you can save $10 by assembling the “Hacker Edition” yourself.

The first batch of units is expected to ship out by mid-April.

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Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,271   +2,116
I remember one of the most popular peripherals for the Gameboy were the light and screen magnifiers. They should make a tiny version of one of those to clip on :p
 

Evernessince

Posts: 5,461   +6,132
I wonder what Nintendo has to say about this? I can see patent violations in this product.
Well it comes with 2 emulators pre-loaded and you'll need to download ROMs to this device to play them. It's legal to create a backup of your purchased games but we all know that's not what most people will be doing.

It's a pretty big gray area. Nintendo would have to argue that they are aiding piracy in some way, the device infringes on copyright, ect. They would have a decent case if they argued that it's a device that is designed to look like and play games of Nintendo devices. Then again, you can't merely shoot down a clone if you don't have the patents on distinct features that are required. For example, Apple has useless patents on rounded corners for phones yet I doubt that would amount to anything in court.
 

Camikazi

Posts: 982   +339
Judging by the picture with the hand and my knowledge of my hand compared to others I would not be able to use that thing, I would hit almost every button at the same time.
 
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Burty117

Posts: 3,889   +1,784
It's a shame the screen is so small, if the screen went from Edge to Edge, it would work really well. In it's current state, It would be really hard to impossible to read whats on the screen in Pokemon games.
 

Boilerhog146

Posts: 642   +223
Judging by the picture with the hand and my knowledge of my hand compared to others I would not be able to use that thing, I would hit almost every button at the same time.
I can't type on a normal keyboard with out double keying all the time.I am not that big for a guy ,but its the working hands syndrome.tradesmans hands. cool for the kids house key.