Ever felt sorry for the people who didn?t have the chance to play the fun NES games that built up the childhood of most middle-aged people today? Despite the fact that the Nintendo NES Classic Edition is definitely impossible to find these days, people can still bring back the old tiny system. Of course, a little bit of effort here and there are required to bring back that nostalgic feeling.
In addition, there are some things that will be needed such as Raspberry Pi, emulators, and a help from a nerd friend. With all things considered, people can build a mini SNES with controllers included for as low as $100. It is important to realize that it won?t give the exact same feeling back in the day but will surely bring back some.
Building A Nintendo NES Classic
- Raspberry Pi 3 – An older version which is the Raspberry Pi 2 will also do just fine. However, Raspberry Pi 3 features more ports, pre-built wi-fi and is widely available. Hence, there?s no reason to get the older version.
- A case for Raspberry Pi – In order to maximize that throwback feeling, people can use a Raspberry Pi case that looks like SNES is available at Etsy.
- MicroSD card – A microSD card with at least 8GB of storage so it can hold a lot of games
- Pi power adaptor
- HDMI cable
- Gamepad with USB connection – An Xbox or PlayStation controller would also do just fine.
- USB thumb drive
- TV or computer monitor
- Last but not the least, a computer – A computer is required in order to transfer the ROMs, as well as install the software onto the Pi.
First things first, put the Raspberry Pi inside the selected case. Choosing a case that comes with heat sinks is recommended given that the Pi will eventually get hot throughout the playthrough. The Second step is to install the software called RetroPie in which will be responsible for powering the mini SNES device.
RetroPie features a lot of emulators that would let the user play old games from various systems. As a matter of fact, it includes NES, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, TurboGrafx-16, GameBoy, SNES and more. Furthermore, installing RetroPie on a microSD card is required to get this all up and running.
- Download the image for your RetroPie. The links offer two download links and you must select which one according to what type of Raspberry Pi you?re using.
- After downloading the file, the image must be extracted. If you?re using Windows OS, 7-Zip program is what you?ll need. Mac users, on the other hand, can use the built-in Archive utility.
- After extracting the image, you now need to install it which takes approximately 2GB of storage. People who are using Windows can use Win32DiskImager while Mac users can use the software called Apple Pi Baker.
- After installing, remove the microSD from the computer and insert it into the Raspberry Pi. People who are having trouble in the process can watch the video here in courtesy of RetroPie.
Nintendo NES Classic: Controller
The Third step is to configure the controller. After loading the RetroPie software unto the SD card insert it unto the Pi and plug the power adapter to power it up. It will take a few minutes before it boots up completely and the user will be met with a screen in which configuration is required.
Nintendo NES Classic: Game Roms
The Fourth step is to install Game ROMs. ROM files are required for the systems that the user want to emulate. However, the user must own the physical copy of the game first. As a matter of fact, some games that haven?t been in production for two decades can still be protected by copyright.
Furthermore, transferring ROM files from a computer unto the Pi can be done in multiple ways. Mac users should make sure that the card is formatted to FAT-32.
- Put the thumb drive into the computer and create a folder with the name ?retropie?
- Eject the thumb drive from your computer and insert it into the Raspberry Pi. Wait for the Pi to stop blinking which requires a few seconds
- Eject the thumb drive from the Pi and insert it back into the computer
- Within the retropie folder, the user will find a new folder with the name ?roms?. Inside the said folder are folders for each system. In that case, drag the downloaded ROM files into the system it?s associated with.
- Eject the USB thumb drive once again and put it back into the Raspberry Pi. This time, you?ll wait for it to start blinking.
- Refresh the RetroPie by quitting from the start menu.
Once you?re done copying the game ROMs into the Pi, the USB stick can now be removed. In addition, the games are now copied in the RetroPie. The Fifth step is to enjoy playing old games using the new built system.
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