Why buy a mini NES and be limited to only 30games? Why not to build your own retro console?
How to build a Raspberry Pi into a retro games console
What You’ll Get; Retropie
Emulating old-school video games requires two things: game ROMs and an emulator to play them. A ROM is a copy of a game that exists on your device. An emulator is an application that can play that ROM.
Your Raspberry Pi will boot automatically into EmulationStation. This is a program running off a custom SD card called RetroPie that allows you to use a controller to select an emulator and a game without ever touching a keyboard or mouse. After everything’s set up, you’ll be able to navigate and do everything you need to do on the Raspberry Pi from a controller.
What You Need
You don’t need much to get started here:
- A Raspberry Pi 3, full game compatibly as well as built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
- Micro USB power supply 5V 2.5a.
- At least a 8GB Micro SD card.
- USB Controllers (Personally i had a good experience with iNNEXT and Kiwitata, RetroPie also natively supports PS 3/4 and Xbox 360/One controllers as well.
- A USB keyboard, i have the Rii i28c, wireless keyboard and the tiny wireless receiver can be connected inside the NESPi Case.
- TV/monitor with HDMI cables
- A Windows/Mac/Linux computer to set up your SD card and transfer your ROMs.
What is RetroPie?
RetroPie allows you to turn your Raspberry Pi or PC into a retro-gaming machine. It builds upon Raspbian, EmulationStation, RetroArch and many other projects to enable you to play your favourite Arcade, home-console, and classic PC games with the minimum set-up. For power users it also provides a large variety of configuration tools to customise the system as you want.
RetroPie sits on top of a full OS, you can install it on an existing Raspbian, or start with the RetroPie SD image and add additional software later. It’s up to you.
What is an Emulator?
An emulator is software that makes a computer behave like another computer, or in the case of RetroPie a computer that behaves like a video game console such as the Super Nintendo. The RetroPie SD image comes pre-installed with many different emulators. Additional emulators may be installed from within RetroPie.
What are ROMs?
ROMs are digital versions of game cartridges. Loading up a ROM in an emulator is the equivalent of putting a cartridge in a game console.