PiBoy DMG Review – $120 Super Gameboy!

The PiBoy DMG is a treat to the classic Nintendo Gameboy fans for its nostalgic design and powerful emulation. It is one of the best handhelds made by Experimental Pi which boots the advanced RetroPie software and is based on the powerful Raspberry Pi 4 hardware.

It is a follow-up after an older DMG model, which was a DIY handheld similar to the Odroid Go Advance. The new PiBoy DMG, however, is ready to go out of the box with little to no setup required, even for software.

For $120, you get outstanding emulation performance that beats most of its competition along with the original Gameboy nostalgia. Its build quality also deserves an honorable mention, but it can be a bit heavy and uncomfortable to use for long periods of time. It is also using a few outdated ports, but that is only a minor issue.

Here are the specifications.

Product Specs:Details:
CPU1.5GHz quad-core CPU and an ARM Mali 450 GPU
Storage64-256 GB
Ports1 HDMI, 2 USB-A
Price$50-$80 depending on the storage


  • Solid build quality
  • Powerful emulation
  • Gameboy nostalgia


  • Some outdated ports
  • Heavy for long use



The screen is a 3.5-inch LCD panel with 480p resolution, which is more than enough for a screen that size, and for the games, you will be playing. The gameplay looks crisp on this screen and it is only complimented by the bright and colorful panel with good viewing angles. It is the kind of screen that makes you go wow as soon as you boot it up, at least if you’re familiar with the usual retro screens.

It is even covered by a modest screen protector for extra scratch protection. The bezels around the screen could’ve been a bit smaller, but you quickly zone them out after a bit of gameplay, so it’s only a minor flaw. It is also very easy to use under bright lights.

Design and Build Quality


The PiBoy DMG is designed to be a buffed-up Nintendo Gameboy. It has the same appearance and dimensions but is made better with superior build quality, additional buttons, a vastly better screen, and more functionality thanks to the added ports.

The handheld is jampacked with buttons, and that’s a win for DMG as a lot of retro consoles lack 6 buttons. Instead of the usual XYAB buttons, you get XYZABC, and you also have R and L shoulder buttons despite the vertical design. Except, the shoulder buttons are not on the shoulders but on the back for reachability.

The DMG doesn’t miss out on a joystick either and brings a variety of ports for extra functionality. This many ports make the console a bit ugly from a few angles, but we won’t complain as it brings great features to the table. Getting a Micro USB port instead of USB C is a bummer though.

The whole package is quite portable and comfortable to use, though it can feel a bit heavy during longer use. However, the build quality of all its parts is incredible, making for a solid handheld that feels good to use.



The PiBoy DMG’s emulation performance is far from disappointing. It is powered entirely by the Raspberry Pi 4b kit, which is a beast, so the DMG is almost like a mini-PC in your hands.

Thanks to all this power, the handheld is easily able to handle games from powerful retro consoles like the PlayStation Portable (PSP), PlayStation 1, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, etc. It can handle complex 3D graphics (complex for a retro handheld) just as smoothly as older 2D pixels. Games like Crazy Taxi, for example, will run flawlessly on this hardware.

The DMG struggles a bit with newer consoles such as the Gamecube and Nintendo DS, but most older titles are a joke for it. It lets you save games from exact frames, load up cheat codes quickly, speed up gameplay, and even support wireless co-op games.

It is undoubtedly a very powerful handheld that will get even better with future software updates.

Software and UI


The RetroPie software is just as much of a treat as the build and performance. This is because it is advanced software ready to go out of the box with minimal work required.

Once you boot it up, you are greeted with a clean and well-designed UI with several pre-loaded games and supporting emulators ready to start with a press of a button. The interface makes it incredibly easy to navigate and find all your emulators and games, even on your SD card.

This software is so advanced that it can even run Gamecube and Nintendo DS games if it has supporting hardware. Additionally, thanks to streaming support, you can even stream games directly from your PC, Xbox, or Gamecube.  

As mentioned earlier, the software is only getting better with new updates and is expected to evolve even more in the future.

In short, the RetroPie software is one of the best retro handheld software we have reviewed.


Overall, the PiBoy DMG is easily one of the best retro handhelds made by ExperimentalPi. The powerful Raspberry Pi 4b hardware makes for splendid emulation performance that nails video games even from Sega Dreamcast and the PlayStation 1.

This is paired with the reliable RetroPie software that is incredibly newbie-friendly. You don’t need any technical knowledge, research, or any tinkering to get it going. You simply pick it up and start playing.

All of this is cased inside the nostalgic Nintendo Gameboy design, but much better. There are no problems in terms of build quality either.

All in all, the PiBoy DMG is easily a 9/10 device that is highly recommended to all, newbie or techy.


Can the PiBoy DMG run Gamecube?

The PiBoy DMG can easily handle PS1, Dreamcast, or PSP, but will struggle with Gamecube or retro PC games.

What is ExperimentalPi?

ExperimentalPi is the company behind the PiBoy DMG that develops unique kits based on the Raspberry Pi single-board computer platform.

 Will there be Raspberry Pi 5?

The Raspberry Pi Foundation reportedly has its next-generation Raspberry Pi 5 single-board computers in the works, but it is not out yet.

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