Gaming with the ESP32


Categories: Gaming Tags: ESP


This is an exploratory post for gaming on the ESP32. I’ve been wanting to build a handheld NES emulator and I didn’t really want to go the Pi Route, which felt overkill. So when I figured out ODROID-GO and PocketSprite were based on the ESP32 I became very interested in checking it out.


cheungbx’s ODROID-GO clone instructable warns the firmware, GO-Play, requires more than 4MB Flash RAM and they had to replace the RAM chip on a TTGO T8 ESP32 WRover to accomodate this (ODROID-GO uses 16MB). Looking at the datasheets, it appears ESP32-WROOM-32D and the ESP32-WROOM-32U are available with 8/16 MB flash as custom order modules, but generally the devboards have 4MB onboard standard. I found several LOLIN boards with 16MB flash.

You can add flash but I read posts on how this is generally problematic and it is easier to replace the chips as cheungbx and others have done. Now, I think it’s safe to say I have learned my lesson on this sort of thing, and I’m actually having trouble telling from pictures where exactly the flash is mounted on some of these devboards.

Um I’m just gonna stash this REtroESP32 link here for reference. Considering the battery life, cost of a LOLIN, and form factor, the ODROID is looking pretty good right now.


ESP32-NESEMU is a Nofrendo emulator port that appears to have sound issues, but I found badvision’s fork as well as MittisBootloop’s WemosMini fork.