PocketSprite: An ESP32-Based Gaming Device

Reporting from Shanghai, China
Mar 5, 2018

The ESP32-based PocketSprite is simply awesome and ready for production, due to an unprecedented crowdfunding support! What’s more, the man behind PocketSprite is Espressif’s Software and Technical Marketing Manager, Jeroen Domburg, a.k.a. Sprite_TM.

PocketSprite is the result of a collaboration between passionate hardware hacker Jeroen (Sprite_tm) and fabrication fanatic Steve (kx). Although, initially, it was a side-project of Sprite_tm, geeks, gamers and the console generation were so captivated by the tiny device that soon enough PocketSprite became a fully-fledged project which yielded a high-quality product anyone would be proud to own. No wonder why, then, it is 610% funded already 18 days before the end of its funding campaign on CrowdSupply.

There is so much packed into one tiny device that PocketSprite becomes way more than just a tiny gaming device which can fit in your keyring. It is an open-source, highly capable and mature hardware development platform.

A presentation video of PocketSprite on YouTube can be viewed here.

PocketSprite Lineup

Game Selection & Adding ROMs

PocketSprite comes pre-loaded with two emulators, GNUBoy and SMS Plus, which allow you to play every single game on the following platforms:

Nintendo Game Boy

Nintendo Game Boy Color

Sega Master System

Sega Game Gear

When you are tired of the pre-loaded open-source games, uploading a new ROM is literally one click away. It is done over-the-air on Windows, Linux, Mac, or Android, with no cables or drivers needed. Just connect to PocketSprite’s Wi-Fi network, upload the ROM through PocketSprite’s web interface, and start playing.

PocketSprite has 16 MB of internal storage. Of this, 2 MB are used for the operating system and game emulators. The remaining 14 MB can be filled with game ROMs, the precise amount of which depends on the size of those ROMs. If your ROMs are small (e.g., 64 - 128 KB), then you will be able to fit hundreds of games on your PocketSprite. If they are bigger (e.g., 1 MB), you will be able to fit only ten or so. Of course, you can always use the Wi-Fi connection to change ROMs at any time.

Features & Specifications

PocketSprite specs

Open Source

The PocketSprite is all open source and posted on GitHub repositories. This device is meant to be in the hands of as many people as possible. Whether you are a gamer, developer, tinkerer, or anything in between, PocketSprite will bring you endless hours of fun. You can pull it to pieces or run your own code. It is surprisingly hard to brick, and surprisingly easy to develop on. 

Programming Challenge

Actually, the team behind PocketSprite is so excited to see what developers will do with their PocketSprites that they have kicked off a programming challenge. They will award €1000 in prizes to the programmer who pushes PocketSprite to its limits in new, surprising, or useful ways. You can view the full terms and conditions of this contest here.

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