If like me you’re a child of the 80’s you will certainly have fond memories of the decade that followed and the birth of the home gaming console era. This was the time that Nintendo and Sega were just launching their early machines.
Since then twenty plus years have past but the games live on through the means of emulation.
Emulation is the only way to make the games play on modern hardware and it is thanks to the enthusiasm and passion of the community that these games can be played on such a variety of devices.
Well, that enthusiasm continues in the guise of a BeagleBone Black in fancy dress!
The BeagleBone Gaming cape is a handheld gaming shield / cape for the Beaglebone and is housed in custom hand-held enclosure. It was a project entered into the 2013 Texas Instruments Intern design challenge.
The challenge is to test creativity, technical prowess & might in a competitive design challenge based on TI technology. It takes its inspiration from an earlier project called the MSP430 Launchpad GamingPack which is based on the Atmel AVR architecture.
On first glance you wouldn’t be wrong to think it resembles the epic Nintendo GameBoy. That’s not by accident since everything about this oozes 90’s gaming… The consoles being emulated include Gameboy, NES, Sega Master system & GameGear with a touch of PC gaming added to the mix.
Built upon modern accessible technologies the GamingCape adds newer control inputs including a 3D Gyro, 3D Accelerometer & 3D Magnetometer. It was completely hand-made taking benefit of surface mounted components and the enclosure was prototyped using 3D printing.
Once the design was complete the final casing was made from stacked layers of Delrin that were laser cut to house the BeagleBone board, Cape and Battery compartment. I’m sure you will agree the finished result is a really nice device.
The design has been made open source and the schematics are available from the project site in Eagle format. A full bill of materials is available also. Here are the full specs :
- BeagleBone Black
- 320×240 16Bit Color TFT LCD
- Analog joystick + 2 Thumb Buttons
- 3D Gyro
- 3D Accelerometer
- 3D Magnetometer
- Headphone Out + Mic In