Give yourself horrible cramp with the DIY Game Boy Advance SP keyring

Handheld consoles have come a long way from their early days when impracticality was part of the charm. As a former Game Gear owner, I can tell you that it never left the house, because six AA batteries would barely last you to the end of the road, let alone all the way through Sonic The Hedgehog (saved games weren’t a thing). The best way to play it was permanently tethered to the wall socket.

But handhelds have become better and better, with a huge library of games, powerful specs to make them run smoothly and a battery life that does them justice. Don’t you just miss the good old days when you had to make sacrifices to enjoy gaming on the move?

Then YouTuber Vincent Buso has the answer for you. His latest creation is the Keymu: an Intel Edison-powered Game Boy Advance SP-shaped emulator, small enough to fit on a keyring. It’s both adorable and an amazing feat of engineering, but wholly impractical for extended use, you’d imagine.

Buso’s components list gives you some idea of what’s going on on the inside. Alongside the dual-core 500MHz Intel Edison chip, the Keymu has 1GB of RAM, 4GB onboard storage for ROMS and a 128 x 128 1.5in OLED display, all powered by a rechargable 220mAh battery. Unlike the original GameBoy Advance SP, it has four buttons, meaning you could use it for (whisper it) Mega Drive games as well.gameboy_advance_sp_keyring_hack

If you want to build one yourself, Buso is making it open-source and is publishing instructions on the Hackaday website. It looks like a lot of fun, but your thumbs won’t thank you if you actually use it for extended gaming. This is a device that makes the Game Boy Micro look obese – and that was already pushing the limits for a normal, adult human hand.

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