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Picture of ESP32 Handheld Game Console

This instructables show how to use a ESP32 and ATtiny861 to build a NES emulator game console.

Step 1: Hardware Preparation

ESP32 Dev Board

This time I am using a TTGO T8 ESP32 dev board. This board have built-in Lipo charging and regulating circuit, it can help reduce the extra components.


This time I am using a 2.4" IPS LCD. The driver controller is ST7789V and the resolution is 320 x 240. This resolution is best fit for NES emulator 252 x 224 resolution.


This time I am using a 454261 Lipo battery. 4.5 mm is the thickness of ESP32 dev board, and 61 mm is the width of the board.

Pin Header

A 4 pins male round pin header and a 4 pins female round pin header for connecting I2C gamepad.

PETG Plate

A small PET/PETG plate for supporting the dev board and Lipo battery, you can easily find it in product packing.

Multiple Purpose PCB

2 PCB required, 1 0.4 mm thick for supporting the Display, 1 1.2 mm thick for a I2C gamepad.


A 5 directions button, 2 small buttons for Select and Start and 2 for A and B button.

I2C Gamepad Controller

This time I use a ATtiny861 microcontroller as an I2C gamepad controller.


1 SMD 12 Ohm resistor, a ISP programmer (e.g. TinyISP)

Boxoffrogs1 month ago
MissNewtype3 months ago
Could I use an ATMega928p as the controls chip?
陳亮 (author)  MissNewtype3 months ago
Yes, sure. Any chip have I2C feature can do the job.
bearser3 months ago
Hi, how much did this cost to build approx? Thanks.
snappytaco4 months ago
how many games?
陳亮 (author)  snappytaco3 months ago
The esp32-nesemu have many branches variation, I see some can store 6 ROMs to the internal flash and some can load ROMs from microSD card, i.e. not limit the number of games.
SandraN304 months ago
Parabéns, muito show. Só não entendi a ligação dos fios do GND na PCB.
陳亮 (author)  SandraN304 months ago
Hi SandraN30, there 2 GND pins and 4 LED- pins in LCD FPC require connect to GND. I am lazy to connect it one by one, so I cut a copper tape that can just reach these 6 pins, then soldering it together.
sparkydave4 months ago
Very impressive! Well done