Playing Triple-A Video Game Titles on One of the World's Smallest Monitors

See how Mr. Volt enjoys his favorite video games on a screen that is slightly larger than a physical thumbnail.

The idea

It seems like every gamer is chasing the latest and greatest high refresh-rate monitors that come with amazing resolutions and a massive screen size. But for Mr. Volt's pro-gaming battlestation, he was trying to go in the opposite direction by finding the smallest possible display, which could still be seen somewhat well and would interface nicely with his gaming rig. Luckily, he was able to come across a 1080p OLED screen with a diagonal length of a mere 0.7 inches, making it nearly 34 times smaller than what many would consider to be the minimum-sized display for any competent setup.

Monitor hardware

This puny OLED screen came in at a whopping $275, but according to Mr. Volt, it was still worth the price. The screen has a resolution of 1920 by 1080 pixels for a DPI of 3,147 pixels per inch. For comparison, a typical 1080p 24-inch monitor only has a DPI of around 92. Driving this display is an accompanying board that has a connector for USB power and a Micro HDMI port for attaching a video input device. The ribbon cable simply slots into the locking MIPI connector that feeds data and power to the screen from the processor.

Building a frame

In order to dress things up a bit and make it usable, Mr. Volt designed and 3D printed a simple bezel that fits around the display and attaches with two screws. The entire driver and OLED assembly was then placed onto a small wooden board that draws the attention of whomever is looking at it squarely onto the screen.

Loading up some games

The final step of playing some video games on one of the world's tiniest displays was to plug in an HDMI cable, boot up a PC, and run a game or two, of course. The game being tested was an answer to the classic question "But can it run Doom?", and the answer was, yes.

-Even better than merely running, the game came across clearly and without screen tearing or other visual anomalies. Even though this 0.7-inch OLED module appeared to be the smallest at the time, Mr. Volt came across a smaller one that is just 0.39 inches in diagonal length, which might warrant a revisit of this project in the future.

Arduino “having11” Guy
20 year-old IoT and embedded systems enthusiast. Also produce content for Hackster.io and love working on projects and sharing knowledge.
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