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Raspberry Pi Pico Pocket-Sized Ping Pong

The prototype of the PicoBoy
(Image credit: Rahul Khanna D)

PicoBoy, created by Rahul Khanna is a DIY game console project found via Hackster, and it ports the Arduboy handheld console to the breadboard using an Arduino Pro Micro and a Raspberry Pi Pico RP2040 interface for the classic Nintendo Wii nunchuck.

The Arduboy DIY game console

(Image credit: Arduboy)

Khanna's PicoBoy breaks out the hardware inside the credit card sized Arduboy FX to a breadboard. We can see the 128 x 64 OLED screen connected to an Arduino Pro Micro and a Nintendo Wii nunchuck connected to the I2C interface of the Raspberry Pi Pico. The Raspberry Pi Pico acts as an interface for the controller, sending signals to the Arduino Pro Micro via a MicroPython script and a series of GPIO pins.

The Arduino Pro Micro has been flashed using the Arduino IDE with a simple pong clone, and is powered via an ATmega32u4 chip. You can also add and play  homebrew games downloaded from the community.

A recent development saw the Arduino core, used to create the Adruboy, ported to the Raspberry Pi Pico architecture, but Khanna claims that the AVR architecture used in the Arduboy is not compatible with the Raspberry Pi Pico's RP2040 and as such the Arduboy software cannot be used directly on the RP2040, hence the Arduino Pro Micro providing most of the muscle, and the Pico being used as an I2C interface for the nunchuck. In the future we hope to see all of this running natively on the Raspberry Pi Pico, but Khanna's project is a step in the right direction.