The Flipper Zero is a pocket-sized multi-tool designed for hardware and software hackers, security researchers, and folks looking to tinker with RFID, NFC, Bluetooth, and IR wireless protocols, among other things.
It’s been in the news this week as the Canadian government considers banning the Flipper Zero which some folks say can be used to unlock and steal cars, but that’s not actually a thing it can do. But the list of things a Flipper Zero can do continues to grow. The developers have just launched a new $49 Video Game Module that transforms the device into a tiny game console.
The Video Game Module features a Raspberry Pi RP2040 microcontroller that’s been overclocked to 133 Hz, which gives the device enough horsepower to support video output.
So while you can already play some games on a Flipper Zero without the game module, you’re normally limited to using the device’s 1.4 inch, 128 x 64 pixel monochrome display. The Video Game Module snaps onto the top of the Flipper Zero and gives you an HDMI port that allows you to send the games to an external display at resolutions up to 640 x 480 pixels at 60 Hz.
Users can interact with games using the Flipper Zero’s D-Pad and buttons, but the module also has a 6-axis gyroscope and accelerometer for motion controls and a USB-C port that can be used to connect an external controller.
The Flipper Zero being what it is though, this USB-C port can be used in host or device modes, which means that you could also connect the gadget to other devices and theoretically use it as a game controller or mass storage device.
And since the Flipper Zero supports a variety of wireless connections, you can also use the Video Game Module’s motion sensors to use the device like a wireless air mouse for interacting with presentations or other applications on a computer.
The developers have released some demo apps and games including a digital oscilloscope, an Arkanoid-like game, and an air mouse app. There’s also a Flipper Zero Game Engine for developers who want to make their own games that leverage the device’s hardware. You can find more details in the Flipper Zero Video Game Module announcement, which also includes links to firmware and schematics for the new module.
Other features include 11 GPIO pins, two ground pins, and a 3.3V power pin, and the ability to act as a standalone device without connecting to the Flipper Zero at all. Just plug in a power source and you can use the Video Game Module to run many games or applications that are compatible with a Raspberry Pi Pico, which also uses the RP2040 microcontroller.
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