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We are making a CircuitPython based gaming platform … @adafruit

Gamebrd
Hi hi folks, with so many robots going on we wanted to take a little break and design some new hardware. This is a spin on our 2.4″ TFT Featherwing that expands it into a full gaming platform. It will make make a great companion to the upcoming SAMD51 Feather, or with the ESP32 feather. Currently we’re thinking 70mm x 100mm (2.75″x4″) would be a nice pocketable size.

There’s a 320×240 color 2.4″ TFT w/resistive touch (captouch is a bit more $ still but we’ll look into it), SD card slot for storing game assets/music/files, 8 multiplexed buttons w/no-ghosting, on/off switch, analog stereo headphone out, when not plugged in a mono speaker, and 1200mAh battery (feather has built in battery charging).

We think this could make for a very nice CircuitPython game platform – the SAMD51 can buffer a full frame of video and then DMA it out in the background so that all the CPU time is spent on making things blink and beep.

We’re still sketching out the design, see our current schem/board, and we wanted to see what the community could suggest – what’s your favorite DIY portable game system? Post up in the comments!


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6 Comments

  1. Any chance of a Bluetooth capability to allow a Bluetooth QWERTY keyboard to be connected? The PocketChip (RIP !) showed how much fun a pocket sized, self-contained device could be to allow programming or remote login on the move.

    I think the ESP32 has wifi and Bluetooth so maybe this might be possible that way

  2. +1 for capacitive touch on the screen!
    (Make that +1000!)

  3. Looks awesome. Please take a cue from @MicrosoftAccess and add headers to add external switches in parallel with the buttons! 🙂

    Nothing fancy, just add headers/holes that we can connect jacks to so that we can add mono jacks to the board. Then we can replace any of the buttons with external switches. Not picky about how you wire them (pull down to ground, whatever) – we’re flexible 🙂 Just don’t make us tack-solder to the button mounting posts 🙂

    Bill

  4. Circuitpyhon game console exist and is great !!!!! https://www.tindie.com/products/deshipu/game-10-game-console-kit/ and new version is on way sugesting merge forces with Radomir https://hackaday.io/project/86818-game-turbo

  5. Enjoy the Arduboy quite a lot but having SD for game storage would be a big improvement. Could go either way on the color screen. I like the black and white retro-gaming feel of the Arduboy. Look forward to seeing what you come up with.

  6. I have a few of these now:

    – Gamby, an Arduino shield. I haven’t tried programming anything on it yet, but the provided games are fun and the kit itself was fun to put together.
    – Pokitto, a standalone game machine. It’s not a kit. Comes with a really nice case. Unfortunately, flashing over images fails as often as it works. It has lots of potential and feels more like a finished product than the Gamby. I haven’t programmed it beyond scrolling “Hello World” on the screen. It’s about as wide as what’s proposed above, but not as long.
    – PewPew Featherwing, by the aforementioned Radomir. This thing is awesome. Just a 3-color 8×8 LED matrix. No sound. Now, in all honesty, I don’t like Python. That said, the PewPew runs on top of a CircuitPython-enabled Feather and is quite easy to program, yes due to Python. I made a scroll-able maze in a couple hours. I’ve had more fun with this thing that I thought I would.

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