Flipper Zero Gets the Big Screen Treatment with a Raspberry Pi RP2040-Powered Video Game Module

Usable as a Flipper Zero module and a standalone development board, the Video Game Module adds a new processor, IMU, and DVI-D video output.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months agoGames / HW101

Flipper Devices has announced a partnership with Raspberry Pi to bring a new string to the Flipper Zero bow: an RP2040-powered add-on Video Game Module, complete with TV connectivity for big-screen gaming.

"We're excited to announce the Video Game Module, our new product developed in collaboration with Raspberry Pi! The module is powered by the first chip designed by Raspberry Pi — the RP2040 microcontroller, the same as in the Raspberry Pi Pico board," Flipper Devices says of the add-on. "We slightly overclocked the microcontroller so it could generate a video signal. This allowed us to add the Video Out port for connecting to a TV and mirroring the Flipper Zero screen."

The Video Game Module is, as Flipper Devices says, powered by the dual-core 32-bit RP2040 microcontroller, but that's not all that's housed within its casing: there's also a TDK ICM-42688-P six-axis inertial measurement unit (IMU), allowing the movement of the device to be used as an input, and a DVI-D signal brought out to an uncertified HDMI connector "getting certified to use the name seemed like too much work," the team notes) offering a 640×480 resolution at 60Hz — low resolution, admittedly, but usable given it only duplicates what's visible on the Flipper Zero's own 128×64 monochrome display.

The module isn't primarily designed for standalone use, but connects to the general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header of the Flipper Zero — originally launched as a "multi-tool for hackers" and offering interfaces including software-defined sub-gigahertz radio, infrared, Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID), and Near-Field Communication. Its ability to run third-party apps has seen a range of basic games written for the monochrome display, and Flipper Devices is clearly hoping the new Video Game Module will see that number expand.

Despite its primary use being as an expansion module for the Raspberry Pi Zero, it's also usable as a standalone microcontroller board. "The Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller inside the Video Game Module makes it compatible with many open-source Raspberry Pi Pico projects," Flipper Devices explains. "This means that the module can be used as a standalone device without connecting to Flipper Zero. We exposed all unused RP2040 pins at the 14-pin GPIO breakout and Flipper Zero connector for you to use in your projects."

The partnership comes at a slightly awkward time for Flipper Devices: earlier this month the Government of Canada announced the outcome of a summit on automotive theft, in which the Flipper Zero was specifically name-dropped as a device to be banned in order to fight back against keyless car theft — despite its complete unsuitability for such a purpose. "We're not aware of any events like this," the company said at the time, "and frankly speaking not sure what was the reason for this discussion to begin with."

The Video Game Module is now available on the Flipper Devices store, priced at $49 plus shipping. The project's firmware has also been released on GitHub under an unspecified open-source license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
Latest articles
Sponsored articles
Related articles
Latest articles
Read more
Related articles