Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 Powers Lyra+ Gaming Handheld

Creoqode Lyra+
(Image credit: Creoqode)

‘Handheld retro games console’ and ‘crowdfunding’ seem to be pretty common words around here these days, but the Creoqode Lyra+, about to start crowdfunding for a new model over at Kickstarter and brought to our attention by Liliputing, is different. 

Different in that, instead of being a shrunken PC in a Switch-like case, as is the fashion (except for the PlayDate), it’s a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 in a Switch-like case. This makes it a machine for streaming and emulators rather than for playing games directly, but what’s interesting about the ’+’ is that it’s a second-generation device.

The original Lyra was crowdfunded in 2019, and had a Pi Compute Module 3 at its heart. The new model uses the Compute Module 4 with 4GB of RAM, a board with a different form factor that’s required some alterations inside the Lyra+ to accommodate.

There have been some additional changes too, including the expansion of the IPS touchscreen to 7 inches, double the battery capacity and dual analog sticks. The price? $380 For a pre-order, a significant step-up from the original’s starting price of $180. The full RRP will be $560, which sounds like a lot when you can pre-order Ayn’s Loki Mini Pro, with its Intel i3 and 16GB DDR4 addons, for $389.

The Lyra+ runs Raspberry Pi OS, and will happily manage Steam Link, Moonlight, and PS Remote Play for PlayStation streaming. It’s compatible with Google’s Stadia, and Xbox Cloud Gaming. There's RetroPie too, for reliving the thrills of retro consoles. Alongside being a streaming and emulator engine, the Lyra+ is going all-in on the possibilities offered by its central Compute Module. The machine’s GPIO pins are exposed, allowing for the connection of HATs and other electronics, and there are additional I2C pads. USB ports allow for the connection of a mouse and keyboard as well as gamepads, and there's an HDMI port to hook up an external display. You also get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and there's mention of a 5G connection too, though no details about how it will be realized. Presumably through some kind of SIM card slot. Storage appears to be handled by Micro SD cards.

The Lyra+ is available in two versions: a kit you build yourself, and a fully assembled form. Remember that crowdfunding a project is not a guarantee of receiving a finished product. Backing a crowdfunded project is akin to an investment, you believe in the project and want it to succeed. You are not purchasing a retail product.

Ian Evenden
Freelance News Writer

Ian Evenden is a UK-based news writer for Tom’s Hardware US. He’ll write about anything, but stories about Raspberry Pi and DIY robots seem to find their way to him.

  • Peter_Bollwerk
    Any handheld with a pi4 or cm4 now seems outdated, given the alternatives that exist now at similar prices.
  • w_barath
    The plus is that one can expect CM5 to use the same form factor as CM4 so you have a platform upgrade path without buying a new Lyra.

    The negative is that all the compute modules to date have featured ARM CPUs that are 7+ years out of date, and ARM Holdings Coretex in general compare to contemporary Intel Atoms at best. The efficiency cores OTOH compare to 4-year-older Atoms. So the 2019 CM4 with A73 + A53 compares with 2012 Briarwood and 2008 Diamondville Atoms. We can probably expect the CM5 in 2023, featuring A76+A55, and comparing with Goldmont and Briarwood Atoms.

    That means it will be able to play some PS2 titles.

    Meanwhile by fall 2023 you can expect $99 Intel 6005N and AMD 3020E SBCs that will absolutely run circles around it, but there won't be any portables you can pop those SBCs into. So pick your poison.