Tiny Retro TV That Plays Thousands of Classic Games Makes My Childhood Portable

A Redditor shared this wonderful custom build and all the files needed to 3D print your own.

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Turning a Raspberry Pi into a retro gaming machine is relatively easy; we even have a step-by-step video tutorial for those ready to dive in. But turning a Raspberry Pi mini PC into a retro gaming machine with style? That’s not as easy, as one Redditor made it seem with this 3D-printed miniature tube TV packed full of retro gaming hardware.

Although you can play retro games on anything from a smartphone to modern consoles to even your smartwatch, most gamers who grew up with classic consoles like the NES and Sega Genesis remember hours spent crowding around CRTs, basking in their glow, warmth, and gentle dose of radiation. If you’re trying to recapture almost that exact experience, but minus the monstrous and incomprehensibly heavy glowing box, Reddit’s mr_deelee has painstakingly miniaturized a Toshiba Blackstripe TV and turned it into a standalone retro gaming solution.

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On both Printables and MakerBot’s Thingiverse, ‘mr_deelee’ has shared all of the 3D model files needed to 3D print and assemble the tiny Toshiba for free, as well as a rundown of the other hardware and software needed to bring it to life. That includes a 3.5-inch LCD display with an HDMI connector (which can be found online for about $14), a Raspberry Pi 3b (the new model might fit but hasn’t been tested yet), a handful of screws, and software such as Retropie.

The Raspberry Pi should be powerful enough to play any retro games dating back to the 16-bit era and earlier, as well as most games from the original PlayStation. You can also connect a wireless gamepad to the Pi, but if you’re hoping for more authenticity, a corded controller that can accidentally send the tiny console flying when you trip on the cable is the way to go. For an extra dose of nostalgia, you can even install a media player like Omxplayer and use the tiny Toshiba to watch classic Saturday morning cartoons in between gaming sessions.