Flipper Video Game Module Turns the Hacking Tool Into a Gaming Handheld

The Flipper Zero has been around for three years now, but it seems to finally be getting its time in the sun these past few months, with increasing media coverage and chatter regarding the palm-sized digital hacking tool. This month, they’re even releasing an entertainment-focused add-on for the device in the form of the Flipper Video Game Module.

Designed to mount atop the original Flipper Zero, the device turns the hacking device into a gaming handheld. That way, you can also play games on the same pocket-sized rig you already to use to hack into cars, open digital safes, spoof digital keys, and perform all sorts of legitimate, questionable, and outright illegal activities.

The Flipper Video Game Module houses a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller, which runs on a 133MHz dual-core ARM Cortex-M0+ processor, so this thing isn’t running on any cutting-edge hardware. However, it is powerful enough to run games written in C, C++, and MicroPython, while also being overclocked to enable the generation of a video signal. Of course, playing games on the Zero’s minuscule 1.4-inch screen isn’t a whole lot of fun, which is why they added a video out port that allows you to hook it up to a TV or monitor, so you can see the visuals on a bigger display. Do note, it only produces a 640 x 480 pixel signal, so this is some low-res, retro-quality gaming graphics, although it does have a 60Hz refresh rate, so you can get frames that are suitable enough even for fast-paced, action-heavy games.

While the Zero has a D-pad and a couple of buttons that you can use for controls, the add-on module also gives it a variety of additional input options. There’s a hand-tracking sensor, for instance, so you can use hand gestures to interact with the games, as well as a three-axis gyroscope and a three-axis accelerometer, so you can use tilt and shake movements, similar to the Wiimote from back in the day.

The Flipper Video Game Module has a 14-pin port that you can use to plug in joysticks, gamepads, and other external devices, so you can enjoy games with a more traditional control scheme, as well as expand it for a whole host of other projects. There’s also a USB-C port that you can use to connect the device to a PC even without being attached to a Flipper Zero, which should make it easier to flash the firmware and use it with external computers.

Will this make for a fun gaming handheld? That’s probably up in the air, considering the form factor isn’t really designed for gaming (i.e. the screen is too small, there aren’t enough buttons). It does, however, open up a whole new avenue of DIY projects for the kind of people who will be interested in the Flipper Zero, so it will be fun to see what the open source community will eventually end up doing with this thing.

Want one? The Flipper Video Game Module is available now, priced at $49. You will need a Flipper Zero to properly use it, though, and that retails for a pricier $160.

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