Ultimate Nintendo Game & Watch Emulator

Game & Watch emulator project morphs into a general-purpose portable gaming system.

Jeremy Cook
2 months agoGaming

The Nintendo Game & Watch collection was released in the 1980s, and featured LCD games that – while entertaining at the time – are fairly primitive by today’s standards. Still, they have a unique style, which gives them a fond place in many retro gamers’ hearts. Retro Game On decided to create a handheld tribute to this line of devices, and as seen in the two build videos below, creating this system was quite an involved process. The project started in April of this year (2022), and the videos were just released in December.

The system uses a Pi Zero 2 W to run RetroPie, with the original goal of running simulated Game & Watch titles on it. Although this would theoretically work, the problem is that most of these simulations display the playfield, plus as an image of the system itself, making it rather inconvenient screen-wise for a handheld.

Another option would be to run the Game & Watch collection released later for Game Boy systems, which is a much better fit. The ‘bonus’ here is that the system becomes a general purpose RetroPie device, appropriate for emulating systems like the NES and Sega Master System. The unit is housed in a nice red and black enclosure, and a variety of tricks were used to shrink it down to a usable size. Portability is facilitated via a 3.7V 2400 mAh LiPo, giving it around five hours of runtime, and an Arduino Pro Micro is also included to get inputs from the buttons and D-pad.

Jeremy Cook
Engineer, maker of random contraptions, love learning about tech. Write for various publications, including Hackster!
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