Raspberry Pi Zero Powers ‘Gem Boy Zero’ Retro Handheld

No—this Game Boy wasn’t zapped by a shrink ray. In fact, it was created from scratch by a maker known as Wermy from the channel and blog Sudomod. Wermy calls it the Gem Boy Zero and inside is one of our favorite SBCs, the Raspberry Pi Zero.

The little Game Boy-shaped handheld features a 1.44-inch colored screen, protected by a laser-cut acrylic bezel. The shell was created by Wermy and 3D-printed using a resin printer, such as the Elegoo Mars 3. For controls, users have a functioning D-Pad, Start/Select buttons and A/B like the original Game Boy. To play with more modern emulators, X/Y buttons were included above the original A/B buttons.

Inside you’ll find a custom PCB made just for the Raspberry Pi Zero. The board is a revision of the Circuit Gem board, designed by a developer known as Kite, which was created for a similar project resembling the Dreamcast VMU. It offers micro SD card access on top as well as a working power switch.

Raspberry Pi

(Image credit: Wermy, Sudomod)

The Gem Boy Zero runs RetroPie and can emulate anything the Pi Zero is capable of, which includes some PlayStation and Nintendo 64 titles. There’s a UI overlay allowing users to adjust settings, set safe shutdown options, and even use a full-sized keyboard for text input. An 850mAh battery is used which, according to Wermy, can last over two hours without Wi-Fi enabled running a SNES emulator.