Maker and game developer Kayden has created a pocket-sized gaming handheld using our favorite microcontroller, the Raspberry Pi Pico, and has housed it in one of the most interesting and green-friendly containers: an old Altoids tin. Kayden has appropriately dubbed his creation the mintyPico, and demonstrates not only the final product but also shared a build tutorial for anyone interested in recreating the project.
The handheld works just as you might expect. It has a screen for video output and a series of buttons for input control. In addition to buttons for gameplay input, it also has a button for low-power mode that disables the display and reduces the processor clock frequency by 5x.
This isn’t Kayden’s first DIY game project and doesn’t look like it will be his last, either. Over at his official YouTube channel, you’ll find a history of game projects including some that integrate artificial intelligence. After perusing through his catalog of previous work, it’s no surprise he landed on the Pico-powered handheld.
Instead of using a regular Altoids tin, Kayden is actually using an Altoids Smalls tin which is notably smaller than the regular-sized one. Inside is a 1.3-inch OLED screen, along with a small 100 mAh LiPo battery for power. The main driver is actually a Pimoroni Pico Lipo rather than a standard Pico module. It also includes a series of buttons and a custom 3D-printed mounting piece to keep the hardware positioned inside.
It wouldn’t be a gaming console without some games of course, and Kayden has hooked us up with all of the source code he’s using for the demo. You can find all of the Circuit Python code used in this project over at GitHub, along with a breakdown of the project’s construction details. In addition, you’ll also find links to all of the hardware he used to assemble the final build.
If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project yourself or make something similar, check out the original project demo over at YouTube, and be sure to follow Kayden for more cool projects or any future updates on this one.