Play retro games inside this gorgeous wooden briefcase

It’s not often we see a crossover hit between the r/woodworking and r/retropie subreddits, but here we are. This beautifully woodworked briefcase hides a retro gaming system that accommodates two players without taking up too much space.

retropie suitcase

Maker Derick wanted to build a full-size arcade, but his wife wasn’t having it due to having nowhere to put it. I mean, who has space for a fridge-sized piece of kit in their house? Besides your actual fridge. Undefeated, he came up with this portable, pint-sized gaming centre, which all folds away neatly inside a briefcase.

What’s it made of?

A Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is the brains, running Emulation Station to access all the RetroPie games. An old Dell monitor, some switches and LEDs, plus tons of wood, make up the rest.

retropie suitcase

RetroPie lets you play old Atari, Nintendo 64, Sega Mega Drive, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and Game Boy games. Pretty much any classic game you can think of is probably supported.

Upgrade ideas

Derick got so much positive feedback when he posted the project on reddit that he has decided to build another, and hopefully video the process.

retropie suitcase

Reddit commenters also did what they do best and gave him some upgrade ideas for design improvements next time around. At the moment, the briefcase arcade needs to be plugged into a power source to run, so battery power is high on the list for suitcase arcade 2.0. The original is also pretty heavy due to the size of the monitor. Derick just used an old one he had lying around but he wants to source an extra thin, super light monitor for the remake.

retropie suitcase
Nice touch, Derick!

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The suggested method seems very neat, but I wonder isn’t putting the devices into a briefcase causes the temperature of devices to go up easier? Don’t we encounter heat exchange issues ?

Reply to alwh


I’m not sure heat would be an issue with a 3B+, particularly if it had some inexpensive heatsinks on it. I have a 3B+ and it is in an official RPi case – lid on – and it never overheats. Granted, maybe my use case doesn’t push the processor like a game might, but as far as I know those models don’t generally throttle. In fact, there’s probably more room in that briefcase enclosure than in the official Pi case, so again, throttling seems unlikely. Will heat go up compared to being in the open air, or actively cooled (such as by a fan)? Sure, a bit. But not enough to impair performance, I suspect.

Reply to Carl


Thanks for sharing helpful information. I will try this RetroPie wooden briefcase. Very exciting to play retro games inside suitcase.

Reply to shubham


The wood for cases must be properly seasoned or ventilation must be adequate

Reply to Robert Brander


good i like retrogaming and the design is fantastic

Reply to giovi59

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