Gamepad Zero: a Raspberry Pi Retro Gaming Rig inside an Original NES Controller

What's cooler than running all your favorite emulated games on a $10 computer? Putting that computer into an original NES controller, of course. Introducing: the Gamepad Zero.

I decided to install a Raspberry Pi Zero W (wireless) into an original Nintendo controller, solder the original controller's circuit board to the Pi's GPIO (general-purpose input/output) pins, and 3D print a new bottom half of the controller housing to store it all neatly. This allows us to play games using the original controller. Pretty neat. :)

Don't have a 3D printer? No worries! Read on, and I'll explain several options for getting your model printed.

The Gamepad Zero connects directly to your TV or monitor using an HDMI cable and is powered using a normal Micro USB power supply. You can also connect a secondary bluetooth or wired USB controller. With ultimate portability in mind, you can now fit 5000+ retro games in your pocket, bring them over to a buddy's house, and plug right in.

This is a super simple, super fun build. If you're familiar with my PiCart build where I built a similar rig inside an NES cartridge, this might interest you! This build is even easier.

Today I'm going to show you how to make your own. I also created a full video for this build; check it out below!