Gaming on a Giant Playable Wooden Game Boy Advance

CNC & Machining Raspberry Pi Technology Woodworking
Gaming on a Giant Playable Wooden Game Boy Advance

wooden game boy advance

This wooden Game Boy Advance created by Ryan Bates of RetroBuiltGames is the solution to hipster gaming on the go. Its 9″ screen is 300% bigger than the original Game Boy Advance. Bates has named his creation the “GBA XXL.”

Bates says that the CAD file was an expansion of a key chain design he created a while back. His development of this project is a funky addition to the world of portable gaming. This prototype utilizes 30mm small profile knock-off Sanwa-type buttons. He chose these for their soft click and ease of use.

The D-pad is also wooden. It functions with the use of 4 micro switches beneath the pad — clipped into a perf board that is held on with a simple bolt. They are wired out to an angled male header which then, in turn, goes into a straight through header with bent leads. All of the systems buttons are plugged into this header.

giant game boy advance

The brain of the Game Boy Advance is a Raspberry Pi B+. Described by Raspberry Pi as “The Model B+ is perfectly suitable for use in schools: it offers more flexibility for learners than the leaner Model A or A+, which are more useful for embedded projects and projects which require very low power, and has more USB ports than the Model B.” The unit runs on game emulators.

wooden giant game boy advance
Image from RetroBuiltGames. There wasn’t an explanation of why this D-pad appears to be made of plastic, while the one in the video is made of wood.

For functionality, the Game Boy Advance XXL has a power plug, full access to all ports as well as the SD card, and monitor buttons.

Bates says that Game Boy Advance XXL’s CAD drawing took three hours and his build was an additional six hours. He says that the only element missing to this device is a set of speakers which will later be cannibalized from a set of headphones. If interest in this project kicks up Bates promises to create a build kit. One can only hope.

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4 thoughts on “Gaming on a Giant Playable Wooden Game Boy Advance

  1. michaele1 says:


  2. Quinton Reeves says:

    Please make the kit available!

    1. Al Billings says:

      This is probably a year old. He’s discarded it to work on something smaller, from what I remember him telling me on twitter.

      1. Quinton Reeves says:

        Aw, thanks for the info.

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Leia Gatch

Leia is a crafty mom who loves to create. Sculpture, painting, drawing, and crafting are some of her greatest passions. Her favorite projects are the ones she does with her family.

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