Gamebuino is a credit card-sized gaming console powered by ATmega328

Developed by National Engineering School of Saint-Etienne student Aurélien Rodot, Gamebuino is a retro-inspired, pocket-sized game console built around an ATmega328 microcontroller (MCU). No larger than a credit card, the successfully crowdfunded device gives a whole new meaning to portable gaming. With its metallic and vintage appearance, it will surely spark up some technostalgia of the Gameboy Advance of the early 2000s.


As its site explains, Gamebuino is a true turnkey solution that enables Makers of all ages to begin creating their own 8-bit games, even with very little programming knowledge. For those advanced users, Rodot has made it open-source, hackable and expandable.


“That’s what I love about Gamebuino, it’s easy enough for beginners to start playing with immediately but restrictive enough to provide a decent challenge to those willing to push the hardware to its limit,” Rodot writes. “Because everybody doesn’t know electronics and C++, explained examples of increasing complexity will help you to learn seamlessly.”


“To make things even easier, a full library to help you develop games is included. You want to display a keyboard? Simply use keyboard()! You wanna rock out a fancy 4-channel music in the background while blasting and dashing through your level? Just call play(tetris)!”

The project’s library allows a Maker to start programming their game in minutes, while the console is shipped ready-to-operate right out of the box. However, for those with an innovative side, the device’s extension ports offer complete customization by adding modules or connecting several Gamebuino consoles to play against your friends.

“You can use you Gamebuino as an interface for any electronic system: as a controller, a monitor, a data-logger, a console, or whatever. Connect it with your computer, your 3D printer, or your last robotic project… the only limit is your imagination!”


Aside from Atmel’s ATmega328 MCU, key project specs include:

  • 84*48px monochrome display + auto backlight
  • Magnetic speaker, four channels
  • Arrows + A B C buttons (input)
  • 1x micro USB, 1x micro SD card, 2x I2C
  • 24h life, 240mAh LiPo battery, charged via USB

Rodot also noted that Gamebuino supports multiplayer gaming via daisy-chaining (I2C ports), as well as accelerometers, wireless communication and additional outputs with plug-in modules. “Gamebuino is compatible with any I2C module. You can find some of them from Seeed Studio’s Grove System or Tinkerkit. They even have the right connector,” Rodot added.

As you can imagine, the handheld device was a hit on Indiegogo back in April 2014. The engineering student had garnered well over his original crowdfunding goal of €3,141 — raising 10 times the amount! Now for only €35, the initial batch of consoles are selling like hotcakes, with more than 1,000 customers worldwide spanning from North America to Europe.

Interested in learning more or ordering your very own Gamebuino? Hurry on over out the project’s official page here.


11 thoughts on “Gamebuino is a credit card-sized gaming console powered by ATmega328

  1. Matt T

    I know I’m going to sound like a total noob here, but I have a question. These microcontrollers are not capable of multitasking. How does it manage the sensing and processing the control inputs and updating the screen without the audio glitching?


  2. video game development courses

    Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice
    while you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a
    blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast
    provided bright clear concept


      1. Myndale

        Matt T: +1 last comment. To answer your original question though the audio samples are set during period interrupt routines that are triggered by internal hardware timers which interrupt whatever happens to be executing at the time. Obviously this can cause problems if that other thing happens to be something time critical. In the case of the UART it’s not a problem because the FTDI chip has a small buffer so you won’t miss anything. If you have another task that’s purely software driven then you typically write your timer interrupt routine to perform both at the same time.


  3. Ledgrowlight.Metaluck.Com

    Most of them are free and held by people aiming to share
    their knowledge and love for hydroponics. Similarly, solar energy can be used to own cars (indirectly, by charging in the grid offered by
    solar and wind power) and street lights. Led grow
    lights ebay uk It just isn’t too difficult to develop sweet tasting tomatoes within your
    greenhouse natural environment which has a little knowledge.

    In the early stages of growth, your plants are developing their strength to aid flowers or fruit.
    The advancement these lights made over yesteryear two decades has pushed the LED grow light towards the forefront of
    consumer products for in home artificial light sources.


  4. Pingback: Paying homage to the “Father of Video Games” Maker style | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  5. Pingback: Rewind: 14 pocket-sized projects of 2014 | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  6. Pingback: MicroGame is a pocket-sized, Arduino-compatible gaming platform | Bits & Pieces from the Embedded Design World

  7. Pingback: Young Maker creates a portable, 3D-printed game console | Atmel | Bits & Pieces

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s