How are game consoles made?

Yes yes I know that people will say. “You need a big team, you can’t do it by yourself.” But here’s the thing. I just want to have fun and ic programmed for a couple years(same for Arduino)

I don’t know where to go to make a somewhat console/Nintendo DS/Switch type thing. I mainly want something that can hook up to a screen and then run my OS program that I would make. Then be able to be controlled with a controller. I know how controllers work but I have no idea how or what microcontroller or anything that I would need to run hdmi ports or just to display and play a game or run my software. (I have no idea what the software would have, I’m just giving an example)

I’m just asking for general guidance or some type of book I could read for what I need to learn/use. Obviously an Arduino wouldn’t be able to do it and a raspberry is way too weak.

Well, there is
And the less-complex
or Arduino Playground - TVout

I want just a microcontroller. I just want to learn how to make my own board for it.

a raspberry is way too weak.

So you are looking for a microcontroller that you can single handedly design and build a board, operating system and code games for, which is way more powerful than a raspberry pi? Lower your expectations, or prepare for disappointment.

I want just a microcontroller. I just want to learn how to make my own board for it.

That's not a sufficiently detailed description. An Attiny84 is a microcontroller but I doubt if it is powerful enough for what you want to do.

If none of the Arduino boards or an ESP32 is sufficiently powerful then I suggest you start with a RaspberryPi

If you get a prototype working with an off-the-shelf board then you can consider whether a custom board would offer advantages.


The GameBoy Classic had an eight bit processor, sub 5MHz, 8KB RAM, plus another 8K of display memory.

You can play Doom 3 at up to 30Hz on a Raspberry Pi.

How about one of those ESP32 with SPI colour LCDs? Probably cheaper than a Uno.

Thanks for the answers. I’m assuming most consoles or like Nintendo ds’s are like, computer motherboards with just integrated graphics.

I wonder if there’s a book for that?

I'm assuming most consoles or like Nintendo ds's are like, computer motherboards with just integrated graphics.

I'm don't know much about it, but I believe so. Plus an operation system. Essentially a computer optimized for graphics & gaming.

Some motherboards have integrated graphics too.

The earlier video games wouldn't have had an operating system. I just did some quick Googling and games (like Pong) didn't even have a microprocessor.

The Raspberry Pi probably is a "good start" because it has an HDMI port and it can run an operating system. There are other small "single board computers" but the Pi is economical and market toward hobbyists.

Thanks! Do you know if there’s any books about making a motherboard? Because if it’s going to be small for something like this, I don’t really want to go and make a giant piece of trash. I heard that you can’t even find a motherboard schematic online and that you have to make it all yourself.

You had it right, in your first sentence. Motherboards are not designed by individuals, they are designed by engineering teams comprised of many generalists and specialists, with enhanced direct support from the parts manufacturers. Good luck. I admire your ambition but it is not realistic.

You really need an Electrical Engineering degree to make a Motherboard.
Schematic capture software to create the electrical design, and then create the board layout.

Well, you may not need a degree, but I can assure it certainly helps!

RPi are pretty inexpensive, can drive an HDMI TV with sound from the internet (such as playing music videos), has multiple USB ports, so I would think it is more than enough for you to write and play games on.

We are doing a project now with a '1284P board for gathering, sends it to a Pi which diplays results on a 7" LCD, and sends information about the results over the internet to server.

Writing a game will be more complex than that.

If you don't want a Pi, use another processor board that can accept a USB controller and has a video output.

Whatever you would make should fit what you want it to do.

"A game".... could be Coleco Football to Skyrim.

Are you by any chance just trolling?

Thanks! Do you know if there’s any books about making a motherboard?

Do you want to make a game or a game-console.

It is the idea and the software that makes a game successful. The hardware is just there to make it possible.

People only buy games consoles because they can't play the games without them.