Video game console emulators are fraught with controversy. On the one side, you have enthusiasts who just want to be able to play classic video games and who choose emulation when there is no other option available. On the other side, you have corporations who want to protect their intellectual property, but don’t want to bother making those games available through official means. Regardless of your opinion on the subject, emulation isn’t going anywhere, and now you can emulate video game consoles on your Teensy 3.6.
Most gamers know that you can emulate video games on a computer, and we certainly feature a lot of Raspberry Pi builds running RetroPie. But the Teensy 3.6 doesn’t really fit most definitions of a “computer.” It’s an inexpensive development board built around a ARM Cortex-M4 running at just 180MHz. Thanks to the work of Jean-Marc Harvengt, however, you can use your Teensy 3.6 to emulate the Atari 2600 and 5200, Phillips Videopac and Odyssey, ColecoVision, NES, and Z80-based home computers.
These emulators are designed to output video to an ILI9341-based touchscreen display, or to a VGA monitor. They’re configured for three buttons and a joystick, which can be wired directly to the Teensy 3.6. You can also use a full keyboard through I2C. That means that you could pretty easily use Harvengt’s code to build an affordable handheld gaming platform that you can take with you to play your favorite classic games on the go.