The Raspberry Pi is a big hit in the retro gaming world and has proven to be incredibly versatile when it comes to how it can be implemented. Today we’re sharing a beautiful creation from none other than Zarcadeuk who has put together a Game Boy Advance SP kit, dubbed the Mame Boy Advance SP, designed to support both the Raspberry Pi Zero and Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W. This kit has everything you need to get started except for the Raspberry Pi, buttons, and shell.
This isn’t the first time we’ve shared Zarcadeuk’s work. He’s got a plethora of retro gaming kits that integrate the Raspberry Pi and we love to show them off when we can. In the past, he’s put together an impressive Sega Game Gear kit that supports the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 and another kit for the original Game Boy that uses a Raspberry Pi Zero.
The new Mame Boy Advance SP kit is almost ready. According to Zarcadeuk, he’s added USB-C charging with a battery power level indicator, audio jacks and a safe shutdown option for the power switch. The shell used to house the hardware will require a bit of modification to get everything to fit so whether or not you want to use original hardware or a reproduction shell is up to you.
The kit comes with a few components that need to be soldered into place. This includes a 2.8-inch LCD screen, the shoulder buttons, a headphone jack, the volume wheel, as well as button contacts. If you don’t mind paying a little extra, Zarcadeuk offers a pre-soldered module with all of these pieces soldered for you.
This kit isn’t designed to play original Game Boy Advance games, but rather serve as an emulation platform—hence the name Mame Boy Advance SP. The software you choose to run on the Raspberry Pi will determine the experience. The buttons on the PCB will provide the input you need to operate the system you choose. It should work just fine with dedicated retro gaming operating systems like Retro Pie or Lakka.
Zarcadeuk confirmed the new Mame Boy Advance SP is available for pre-order on his Zega Mame Gear website. The base kit starts at $33 USD (£34) and is estimated to begin shipping on June 10th this summer. If you’re a sucker for cool microelectronics creations, check out our list of Raspberry Pi projects to see what else the maker community has been up to lately.
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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.