PicoSystem libraries and examples
PicoSystem is a pocket sized handheld games console, built around Raspberry Pi's RP2040 chip (that's the little fella that's the core of a Raspberry Pi Pico).
We've taken these lucky bits of silicon to the component spa and treated them to the full works: a big chunk of flash memory, a vibrant 240x240 screen and a nice D-pad and buttons picked out by our most particular arcade enthusiasts. There's also a piezo speaker for discreet retro bleeps and chirps and a rechargeable LiPo battery so you can take your homebrew games on the bus.
- PicoSystem libraries and examples
We also provide a custom MicroPython image for PicoSystem which provides support for this API. Visit our MicroPython PicoSystem documentation for more details.
This is the source code and documentation for the PicoSystem C++ API. It is intentionally designed to be lightweight and get out of your way when you're developing games for PicoSystem.
The entire API is exposed as around 40 functions which provide access to the hardware and help with drawing, audio, and user input.
Once you're comfortable with building your project for PicoSystem you may find our PicoSystem C++ API Cheatsheet a useful reference to keep open.
First things first! You must install Raspberry Pi's Pico SDK following the instructions they provide.
Then to setup the PicoSystem API simply follow these steps:
- Create a directory to store the PicoSystem code and navigate into it
cd ~ mkdir picosystem cd picosystem
- Clone this repository
git clone [email protected]:pimoroni/picosystem.git
- Create a build folder and build the examples
mkdir build cmake .. make -j8
You will now have the examples built in
~/picosystem/build/examples for example
~/picosystem/build/examples/snake/snake.uf2. This file can be dropped onto your PicoSystem when in DFU mode.
Booting PicoSystem into DFU mode
Hold down the
X action button and toggle the power. PicoSystem will boot into DFU mode and appear as a disk on your computer.
Simply drag a
.uf2 file onto the PicoSystem disk and it will be uploaded and launch immediately.
If you're building your own out-of-tree project you'll need to include and import the
pico_sdk_import.cmake file, as per regular Pico SDK setup instructions.
cmake_minimum_required(VERSION 3.12) # Pull in PICO SDK (must be before project) include(../../pico_sdk_import.cmake) project(snake C CXX ASM) set(CMAKE_C_STANDARD 11) set(CMAKE_CXX_STANDARD 17) # Find the PicoSystem SDK find_package(PICOSYSTEM REQUIRED) # Set up your project and sources picosystem_executable( my_project my_source_file.cpp ) # Example build options pixel_double(my_project) disable_startup_logo(my_project)
There are a few options you can set in your project to change the behaviour of PicoSystem.
These can be set by adding one of the following lines in your
pixel_double(NAME): set resolution to 120x120 for a retro chunky pixel aesthetic (and significant RAM saving)
no_spritesheet(NAME): do not include the default sprite sheet (saves 32kB of RAM)
no_font(NAME): do not include the default font (saves 1kB)
disable_startup_logo(NAME): disables the PicoSystem statrtup logo animation
no_overclock(NAME): disables overclocking of the RP2040 (by default we set it to 250MHz)
In all cases
NAME should be the name you supplied to
If you need them, the build options are also available as compiler flags:
-DPIXEL_DOUBLE: set resolution to 120x120 for a retro chunky pixel aesthetic (saves 84kB of RAM)
-DNO_SPRITESHEET: do not include the default sprite sheet (saves 32kB of RAM)
-DNO_FONT: do not include the default font (saves 1kB)
-DNO_STARTUP_LOGO: disables the PicoSystem startup logo animation
-DNO_OVERCLOCK: disables overclocking of the RP2040 (by default we set it to 250MHz)
- Powered by RP2040 (Dual Arm Cortex M0+ with 264kB of SRAM)
- 16MB of QSPI flash supporting XiP
- 1.54" colour SPI IPS LCD (240x240 and 120x120 modes)
- D-pad and buttons
- 525mAh LiPo battery (6hrs+)
- Piezo buzzer/speaker
- On/off power button
- RGB LED
- Programmable and rechargeable via USB-C (cable not included)
PicoSystem supports two graphics modes.
- 240x240: the native resolution of the LCD
- 120x120: pixel doubled mode (saves RAM)
Generally pixel art will look best in the pixel doubled mode (with the added bonus that you'll save a lot of RAM!). Projects that use vector art (think asteroids) will benefit from the native mode.
Both modes are 16 bits per pixel with 4 bits per channel (red, green, blue, alpha). This gives a total of 4,096 possible colours and 16 different levels of transparency.