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Making a personal game system Answered

So everyone and their grandma has posted and made articles for how to make a "universal game system" that emulates the actual hardware of a console on something like a raspberry pi. But my question is this: is it plausible/possible to create your own, unique, personal gaming console?

I mean something that doesn't emulate, but rather is an entirely different system (not an NES or Sega, it's a "You-console"!).

I understand some criticisms for this: "Why re-invent the wheel? Or at least the console...", "This is too complicated...", "You're stupid" and etc. etc.

My reasoning for this is this: Why not? Heck, what a niffty thing to have under your belt to say "Hey, I developed my own game system and make my own games for it! I'm cool!"

So what do you guys think? Is it possible? Has someone done it? If not, you guys have any pointers on what to do? I'd like to do it, but I'm not too electronically edj-imukated. Maybe it'll be something I tackle in the future, but I'd like your input first! :)


Antzy Carmasaic
Antzy Carmasaic

5 years ago

Q: What is a video game?

A: It's just some code. The aim is just to take user input and output a somewhat interesting result. It could be a simple hit-the-button-as-soon-as-LED-glows to as complex as Halo.

Q: What is a video game console?

A: It's a hardware that runs the code for game. It could be a simple Arduino or a full fledged PC or Playstation/XBox.

So basically anything that can run code can be used as a gaming console. Choose what type of games you want. If they are simple ones, start with Arduino. It's pretty easy to make with an Arduino and an LED matrix those handheld-brick-games-console which were the rage a a decade or two ago:




Or maybe use a faster and more powerful Raspberry Pi. It already comes with a few games and you can make new ones easily with Scratch which comes togerther with its OS:

https://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Useemulate-...(My instructable where I modify 2 pre-bundled Raspi games to work with remotes)

Or you can choose from millions of hardware options out there that allows you to run your own code, maybe even mini-PCs.


5 years ago

It is possible but typically takes a large team of designers engineers and programmers to pull it off. Not really something you can do on your own. Very few people have all the skills and know how to do such a thing. But you can certainly put together a small console using a Raspberry Pi and program your own games for it. I think the last guy to do somethng like that was Steve Wozniak in the 70's when he built the first Apple Computer. Back then hardware was a lot less complex and the games where mostly text based.

The only reason to build a new gaming console is if your an already large electronics manufacture and your looking to expand your portfolio of devices. Which is what Microsoft and Sony did. They saw opportunity in the gaming market since there was really only 2 major players (Nintendo and Sega). So they invested millions of dollars and created their own system. In Sony's case they took a project they where developing with Nintendo that fell through and made it a stand alone console. For Microsoft they just introduced a standardized mid range PC as a console. With the wide range of devices available today it's best to leave the hardware to the big companies and stick to designing your own games to suit as many platforms as you can.


Reply 5 years ago

Thanks for your input!

And true, it is a big undertaking, but I wasn't referring to making a full-fledged, commercial console that could be competition for the major systems out today :)

I guess I meant something about what you alluded to with the raspberry pi, but maybe using salvaged parts? Maybe I'm wrong in assuming so, but is it plausible to get a breadboard, a free Texas Instruments sample processor, some flash memory, a small GFX processor, and some other peripherals to make a unique setup capable of running games you design yourself on a firmware you designed yourself?

Someone posted here before about using a digispark as the brain for such a system....