Framework Mainboard Powers Retro Style Gaming Console

Framework Laptop
(Image credit: Abe Haskins)

It’s hard to avoid the plastic, tan impression left behind by hardware of the past. This style has become the beloved apple of vintage electronic’s fans eyes over time and we are no exception. Today we’re sharing a beautiful creation created by Abe Haskins called Game.Work that captures this nostalgic style in his retro gaming console built around a Framework mainboard.

This system features a custom case and uses cartridges to load up games with inspiration drawn from the TurboGrafx-16. The main difference here is the Framework mainboard that powers the unit. If you haven’t heard of Framework before, this company specializes in modular laptops that are easy to upgrade. We’ve reviewed a couple in the past including the DIY edition, the 12th Gen Intel edition, and even the 13th Gen Intel version.

Cartridges are connected to the console using a custom-designed slot on the top of the machine. The cartridges are made with a unique PCB created just for this project that functions as a microSD card breakout. There is a custom reader thrown into the mix that’s capable of reading these cards. The cartridges also feature unique labels with game artwork for each.

The case is primarily 3D-printed but also features some additional hardware that makes it feel a little more professional. The motherboard is attached to a couple of acrylic boards while a metal back plate serves as a solid foundation for the internal hardware. Rubber feet are attached to the bottom to help keep it stationary when placed.

Haskins was kind enough to make the software for the project totally open source. Anyone who wants to recreate this console or develop something similar can check out the Game.Work source code over at GitHub. To get a closer look at this project and see it in action, check out the official project video shared on YouTube by Haskins and be sure to follow him for any updates on this project as well as more cool creations in the future.

Ash Hill
Contributing Writer

Ash Hill is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware with a wealth of experience in the hobby electronics, 3D printing and PCs. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting while also finding the best coupons and deals on all tech.