Raspberry Pi 4

For information, Recalbox IS NOT compatible with Raspberry Pi 4 yet.
Pour information, Recalbox N'EST PAS encore compatible avec le Raspberry Pi 4.

The Recalbox Team.

My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display



  • alt text
    Good day

    I've launched this project on Kickstarter that hopefully interest some of you:
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cjiniinni/portable-retro-game-console-with-a-big-79-inch-display
    For more info and pictures: https://hackaday.io/project/164930-portable-retro-game-console-with-79-inch-display

    I know it's a bit more expensive than other Raspberry Pi-based consoles.
    But the biggest reasons for that is the high quality IPS display and 8000 mAh battery.

    All kind of support would be greatly appreciated.
    If you have any questions, I will try to answer them as fast as I can.



  • @cjiniinni

    looks nice!
    but is a 7.9-inch display with 2048 × 1536 resolution not overkill for the systems, that run on the RPi3A+?
    also such a huge display makes the whole system a bit bulky and not really portable (it is too big to put it in a pocket or to carry it around much).
    and it is a pitty that there are no analog sticks (would be useful for PS1 and N64).
    i would prefer the size of a Nintendo 3DS (XL) or PSP (in my eyes a 4 or 5 inch display with 480p or 720p resolution should be enough and it would also reduce the costs, because such displays should be much cheaper than a 7.9 inch display with 2048 x 1536 resolution).
    but that are just my thoughts about it.



  • wait, this is made of pi3 ? wow



  • @ninjaw a RPi3a+ Card !?



  • @joinski said in My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display:

    @cjiniinni

    looks nice!
    but is a 7.9-inch display with 2048 × 1536 resolution not overkill for the systems, that run on the RPi3A+?
    also such a huge display makes the whole system a bit bulky and not really portable (it is too big to put it in a pocket or to carry it around much).
    and it is a pitty that there are no analog sticks (would be useful for PS1 and N64).
    i would prefer the size of a Nintendo 3DS (XL) or PSP (in my eyes a 4 or 5 inch display with 480p or 720p resolution should be enough and it would also reduce the costs, because such displays should be much cheaper than a 7.9 inch display with 2048 x 1536 resolution).
    but that are just my thoughts about it.

    Thanks!
    Yes, the resolution is a bit overkill. But I didn't chose the display for that reason. I chose it because of the size, the 4:3 aspect ratio, the high brightness and the much better colour rendition(because it's an IPS display) than all the others I'd found.

    It already exists a lot of Raspberry Pi-based portable consoles in that size, like a Game Boy or PSP.
    That's why I wanted to build a bigger one, more like a Nintendo Switch.



  • @ninjaw said in My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display:

    wait, this is made of pi3 ? wow

    @scavy said in My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display:

    @ninjaw a RPi3a+ Card !?

    Yep, that's correct :)



  • @cjiniinni Anyway, the product is very nice and smells quality :)



  • Impressive build !
    And the price is fair. I’ve already build a wii u gamepad one with a Pi3, and it cost me about 250... And a lot of time (of pleasure) B-) !
    The 4/3 screen is amazing, I didn’t know about it...
    Hope you can succeed your kickstarter !



  • @cjiniinni said in My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display:

    It already exists a lot of Raspberry Pi-based portable consoles in that size, like a Game Boy or PSP.

    But with RPi3A+ there are only a few custom self made builds, and no professional ones, that you can buy like Freeplay CM3 (which is a bit too expensive and overprized in my eyes) for example.

    So a small build with RPi3A+ (in a case with 4 to 5 inch display, analog sticks and not bigger then 3DS XL or PSP) to buy for everyone (as a diy kit for example) would be very nice!
    If I had the opportunity (knowledge, utilities, contacts), I would produce something like that.

    All cheap diy kits that you can buy online, are unfortunately only for RPi Zero (like Zero Boy, 8bcraft Raspi Boy or retroflag GPi Case for example) :(



  • Except the a+ is not as powerfull as the standard pi3 so I don't really see the point...
    And as already said no analogic controls really takes away any benefits of buildind something aroind pi3 rather than pi 0



  • @voljega said in My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display:

    Except the a+ is not as powerfull as the standard pi3 so I don't really see the point...

    That's not true!
    The RPi 3A+ is more powerful than the standard RPi 3B (i own both of them and i already compared them, not with Recalbox, because it did not boot on my RPi 3A+, but with Batocera it works and it performs a bit better than my RPi 3B (without +)).
    The RPi 3A+ has the same CPU as RPi 3B+ (1.400Mhz), but less RAM (512MB instead of 1024MB).
    The standard RPi 3B (without +) has 1.200MHz and 1024MB RAM.

    See also this Review with Benchmarks:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dL8gxaSK-zk



  • @joinski the lack of ram on the pi3b is already a big problem with themes for instance so from a purely logical point of view, I don't see how the a+ could fare better than the standard one.

    Abstract benchmarks doesn't tell much and are preety much useless, what could be interesting is psp or dc emulator performances, ben hmark which are already not very good on pi3



  • @voljega
    For a portable device (for which the 3A+ is perfect for, because of it's tiny size) with a lower resolution screen you would/should use a light-weight theme anyway.
    So i don't see less RAM as a downside here.

    And as i said, i tested several emulators on 3B (without +) and 3A+ and the 3A+ definitely performs a bit better (because of higher CPU Clock speed). Also Bluetooth and Wireless LAN work better on 3A+ (on 3B, when you enable both you may have some Input Lag or sometimes Inputs are recognized with a delay, which is really annoying. You have to turn off Wifi or even use a seperate Bluetooth-Dongle, to get rid of those issues. With 3A+ those problems are gone).

    I would guess, that PSP and Dreamcast perform the same on on both (3A+ and 3B+).

    Why not just get a RPi 3A+ and compare it with 3B yourself ;)



  • @joinski why waste money for something which is totally useless and doesn't bring anything interesting to its owner ?

    Bluetooth and wifi are not really recommended anyway on a portable device with embeded controller or will kill battery life.
    And your own youtube video shows a very very feeble improvement which is actually even less than the margin of error

    And this project doesnt' even use a lower resolution screen...

    So the any thing there is to show for this a+ is a pure feeling that you maybe gain a few fps. Maybe, without any numbers to show for it

    The oly good thing for this specific project about it could be that the power comsumption is much less than the pi3, but I didn't even read anything about that



  • @voljega technically, the pi3a+ is better than a pi0w. 4 cores than 1. 1.4 Ghz than 1.0. And same RAM.
    @joinski @cjiniinni what about the heat in the console ? You can't extract it i guess. And how much time lasts your 8000 mAh battery while playing ?


  • Staff
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    Nice projet.

    Unfortunately, I see a lot of issues.

    First, the Pi3A+. We already have some memory issues with the 3B+ and its 1Gb. With 512Mb, you won't be able to launch the PSP emulator (As it requires a 256Mb chunk of memory).
    What about the cooling system? Not cooling a 3A+ would be a very bad idea as it may raise quicky 70°, which is now the 1st threshold of throttling (actually at 70° the 3A+ drops 200Mhz instantly)

    Then, the screen. That's a nice resolution. But way to high for such boards. We recommend not to use higher than 720p resolution on RPi board. Not only because of performance hits, but mainly because of, once again, GPU memory.
    Having 2000x1500 pixels requires 12Mb of memory for a single RGBA image. That means with 20 active systems running with a theme like Next-Pixels, all the VRAM would be eaten and you wouldn't be able to run any emulator!
    Even with the default recalbox-next theme, things would become very complicated beyond 30 active systems.

    To sum up, having a resolution that consume 3.41 times more memory than a 720p resolution running on a board with half memory seems not a good idea.



  • @scavy said in My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display:

    @voljega technically, the pi3a+ is better than a pi0w. 4 cores than 1. 1.4 Ghz than 1.0. And same RAM.

    and I never compared them.



  • i just tested Dreamcast and PSP on my RPi 3A+
    PSP does not start (because of too less RAM, as @Bkg2k already mentioned), but Dreamcast runs fine! Slightly better than on my RPi 3B (without +)

    In my eyes the RPi 3B (and i think 3B+ also) is too slow for PSP Emulation anyway. Most popular and more demanding Games (Gran Turismo, Grand Theft Auto, God of War for example) do not run good.
    Only a few less demanding games and PSP Minis can run on RPi 3B(+), so if you want to play PSP games on the go, better get a used PSP on the second hand market (you can find one for 30-50€, at least here in germany on ebay and local market ebay-kleinanzeigen).
    And also many Dreamcast games do not run perfect on RPi3 (the same with N64).
    If you want to play more than 90% of the game library of certain systems without issues, i would recommend RPi3 only up to SNES/PS1.



  • @joinski said in My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display:

    @cjiniinni said in My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display:

    It already exists a lot of Raspberry Pi-based portable consoles in that size, like a Game Boy or PSP.

    But with RPi3A+ there are only a few custom self made builds, and no professional ones, that you can buy like Freeplay CM3 (which is a bit too expensive and overprized in my eyes) for example.

    So a small build with RPi3A+ (in a case with 4 to 5 inch display, analog sticks and not bigger then 3DS XL or PSP) to buy for everyone (as a diy kit for example) would be very nice!
    If I had the opportunity (knowledge, utilities, contacts), I would produce something like that.

    All cheap diy kits that you can buy online, are unfortunately only for RPi Zero (like Zero Boy, 8bcraft Raspi Boy or retroflag GPi Case for example) :(

    Yes, you're right. And I did actually considering making one in that size first, but the problem was that I couldn't find a display that I wanted.
    I looked for a 4:3 IPS display I could connect through hdmi, but unfortunately most displays in that size are SPI-based in 16:9.

    If you ever find a display that meet my needs, please tell me :)



  • @scavy said in My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display:

    @voljega technically, the pi3a+ is better than a pi0w. 4 cores than 1. 1.4 Ghz than 1.0. And same RAM.
    @joinski @cjiniinni what about the heat in the console ? You can't extract it i guess. And how much time lasts your 8000 mAh battery while playing ?

    @bkg2k said in My Portable Retro Game Console with 7.9-inch display:

    Nice projet.

    Unfortunately, I see a lot of issues.

    First, the Pi3A+. We already have some memory issues with the 3B+ and its 1Gb. With 512Mb, you won't be able to launch the PSP emulator (As it requires a 256Mb chunk of memory).
    What about the cooling system? Not cooling a 3A+ would be a very bad idea as it may raise quicky 70°, which is now the 1st threshold of throttling (actually at 70° the 3A+ drops 200Mhz instantly)

    Then, the screen. That's a nice resolution. But way to high for such boards. We recommend not to use higher than 720p resolution on RPi board. Not only because of performance hits, but mainly because of, once again, GPU memory.
    Having 2000x1500 pixels requires 12Mb of memory for a single RGBA image. That means with 20 active systems running with a theme like Next-Pixels, all the VRAM would be eaten and you wouldn't be able to run any emulator!
    Even with the default recalbox-next theme, things would become very complicated beyond 30 active systems.

    To sum up, having a resolution that consume 3.41 times more memory than a 720p resolution running on a board with half memory seems not a good idea.

    I actually have a small fan inside, you can see the air intake and outtake here: 0_1560397697249_cover1.png

    And there is no problems with the resolution. Because I changed it in config.txt to run in 1024×768 ;)



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