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Exquisite All-in-One Raspberry Pi Emulator Projector for Portable Gaming

Raspberry Pi
(Image credit: Mw33212)

Retro gaming and Raspberry Pi go together like peanut butter and jelly. This project, developed by Reddit user Mw33212, cranks the retro gaming concept up to 11 by not only making this handcrafted wooden retro gaming rig portable but also implementing a built-in projector for on-demand video output.

A quick look at Mw33212’s profile shows an impressively extensive history of handmade wooden projects with an affinity for tossing microelectronics into the mix including creations like this portable walnut audio player and this Raspberry Pi 4B wooden laptop.

According to Mw33212, this project was developed as a gift for their brother. Everything was devised from scratch including the components, overall design and of course the wooden housing. Mw33212 explains the wood case was made primarily using hand tools with the occasional assistance of a cordless drill.

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Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Mw33212)
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Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Mw33212)
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Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Mw33212)

Inside the box, you’ll find a Raspberry Pi 4B powering the rig along with a small amplifier module, used in conjunction with internal speakers for audio output. For video, it relies on a P09-II Portable DLP Mini Pocket Projector which is capable of outputting a WVGA resolution of 800 x 480, more than enough for this era in gaming.

In order to make things portable, it’s backed up with a 4-cell 18650 Lithium battery module. A power button is included for powering up both the projector and Pi. Because this is a retro gaming system, a couple of wireless rechargeable controllers are needed for cable-free multiplayer gaming. Keeping everything cool are two mini fans.

Instead of using the popular retro gaming platform RetroPie, Mw33212 opted to go with Emulation Station for running ROMs. Mw33212 explains the battery system lasts long enough for a full length movie but hasn’t been tested fully to verify its maximum lifespan. Port access has been made available for USB-C charging and SD card access while a hidden panel is built into the top for adjusting projector settings.

If retro gaming Raspberry Pi projects are your speed—or maybe you’re just a sucker for wooden Pi cases—you should definitely take a closer look at the original project thread at Reddit for more details, pictures, and an in depth look at its design. Be sure to follow Mw33212 for more cool projects and hand crafted microelectronics creations.

Ash Hill
Ash Hill

Ash Hill is a Freelance News and Features Writer at Tom's Hardware US. She manages the Pi projects of the month and much of our daily Raspberry Pi reporting.