The Raspberry Pi4 was released back in June 2019, but it hasn’t yet found its way in to any mass produced handhelds. There are two main reasons for this. The lack of a more compact Compute Module variant of the RPi4 means that any handheld would have to accommodate the comparatively bulky full sized board. Secondly, there is no official build of RetroPie for the Raspberry Pi4 yet. That hasn’t stopped these guys though, and the PiBoy DMG may be the first RPi4 handheld to be mass produced.
A company named ExperimentalPi have been posting regular updates on the progress they’re making on their own RPi4 powered handheld. The PiBoy DMG has been designed to closely resemble that of an original Game Boy DMG. It’s aesthetically similar in some aspects to RetroFlag’s GPi Case released last year for the Pi Zero.
Unlike the GPi Case though, the PiBoy DMG has been configured with 6 face buttons and an analog stick. It also contains a larger 3.5″ screen with a higher resolution 640×480 panel. On the back of the unit are two shoulder buttons, and there are various I/O around the shell. The addition of a hardware brightness control is a very nice touch too. The PiBoy DMG is built to accomodate your choice of Pi Zero, RPi3B+ or RPi4.
Availability and price
Although the base kit is currently available, this is only suitable for a Pi Zero or Pi3B+, unless you’re willing to do some tinkering. Update: since making this post, they have changed all kits to pre-order for July delivery.
The $90 base kit lacks a fan (required for RPi4), a Li-Po and a charger. A $120 full kit will be available in the near future, and contains everything required to get started. You’ll just need to supply your own RPi4. And finally they will also offer a fully assembled unit with RPi4 included for $180. All you’d need to supply are ROMs.
Personally I think this handheld looks decent. My preference is for landscape oriented machines, but until a CM4 is released then the chunky Game Boy style shell suits the full sized RPi4 board nicely. For most people the $120 full kit will be probably be suitable. With the addition of a 4GB RPi4 this makes a well priced handheld considering what the board is capable of. With better performance for systems such as N64, Dreamcast and PSP the RPi4 is a pretty compelling option in handheld format. I look forward to getting my hands on one of these things!
10 thoughts on “The PiBoy DMG May Be The First RPi4 Handheld”
Personally I’m getting a little tired of RPi4 diy Retro gaming cases based off of the original Gameboy. I wasn’t a fan of the original Gameboy back then and still am not today.
If they can come up with a diy handheld case for the RPi4 with some uniqueness and not copying the PSP or Nintendo Switch design, sort of like the RG350M, Odroid Advanced, even GPD XG, I’m all in. Oh and yes I am already familiar with the PiGrrl Zero. I already have a few.
I’m looking for some kind of diy handheld kit that can unearth me from my now vintage GP2X Wiz and Canoo.
an 3.5 ” ISP Raspberry Pi 4B Video Game Consoles Retropie just showed up in IYO gaming store in AliExpress. Have you heard about it?
Just preorded a kit – this console is exactly what I wanted for yeas 🙂
Is GameCube at all playable on the Pi4? I could have sworn that I heard it had pretty great compatibility, but given its omission in your article, perhaps I was mistaken.
(BTW just discovered your site around late November and I’ve been visiting semi-regularly ever since. I even bought an RG350 thanks to you and Taki Udon. Keep up the good work!)
Yeah Dolphin runs on RPi4 but it’s not quite good enough to be considered a staple emulator for the platform imo. I did look around for a recent compatibility list but I can’t find one. I need to get a RPi4 and try it out myself at some point – maybe things have improved since i last looked.
Any PCB pics?
with 4500mah what battery life does it have?
Looks fun. I have a Pi4 that I’ve been meaning to do something with. I kind of wish there was a shell that more resembled the TurboExpress system (and its turbo sliders)
Loving your site! Keep up the good work!
Thanks, that means a lot!