Raspberry Pi/RetroPie as an Emulation Machine

Were you also one of the unlucky saps who never even got a chance to see a NES Classic Mini in real life, much less buy one from someone who wasn’t an asshole scalper? Never fear, huddled masses, for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B is here!

WIth the Raspberry Pi, Now You’re Playing with Power

myraspberrypi3

The above video at the top of this post demonstrates the awesome emulation capabilities of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, in 1080p! Hey that rhymes, three times, is it a sign? I should really be a rapper, but anyways…

The Pi uses a MicroSD card as its primary storage instead of a bulky HDD, and I was even able to get a 128GB PNY card that wasn’t a cheap knockoff!

From the NES all the way to the Playstation One, the Pi can definitely do what the Mini Nintend-can’t! After a solid month of programming, I now have:

  • a dedicated capture device that blows away the original consoles and easing the burden on my already taxed PC.
  • a new heart for my XArcade-powered home arcade cabinet that’s leaps and bounds ahead of the Windows XP computer that currently runs it.
  • a highly portable and customizable console that can output to HD and SD monitors with ease.

Further, the Pi is fully functional with many USB and Bluetooth controllers, including XBox 360 controllers. Other popular offerings from Amazon include 8bitdo’s NES30 and FC30, and wired SNES Classic USB Controllers. Some of the top sellers who currently have these items available are included in the image links below.

As for myself, I’ve been bopping between generic PS2 and NES controllers, which only require the initial setup through RetroPie the first time you plug it in, and are automatically recognized each time afterwards. The Pi is even able to support hotswapping without a reboot, much like when we were younger and wanted the neighbor kid or little brother/sister to use the shittier controller. Mad Catz all day, amirite?

Getting Started

gettingstartedraspberrypi

And as for the games themselves, the emulators are already included with the RetroPie image, leaving it up to the user to fill each emulator’s folders with their respective ROMs. Full instructions on how to perform the initial setup can be found here, and I should mention that multiple emulators can be installed for the same system and assigned to a single ROM should you encounter any issues with a specific emulator.

I had an old 8GB USB stick lying around, and I was able to automatically create a filesystem from my Pi. I then plugged into my PC, dropped my ROMs into it, then movde the USB stick back to the Pi, where all the files were automatically transferred. Detailed instructions on performing these steps can be found here.

Wrapping Up

My total investment into the Raspberry Pi project is around $70 for the kit and the 128GB MicroSD card. If you’re looking for something that you can truly make your own, I highly suggest getting yourself a Raspberry Pi and get gaming!

If you’d like to get the same kit that I used for this video, you can pick up your own Raspberry Pi 3 on Amazon! You can even pick up the 128GB PNY card here if the included 32GB is not big enough!

Thanks for watching, and Lumpz the Clown OUT!

Curious to see some more gameplay capped right off of this Pi? Check out my run of Super Castlevania IV for Summer Brutality 2017!

Wanna see what the Wii looks like using a Component cable? Here’s the tech demo in 720p!

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