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Build a Retro-Gaming Machine


Dag
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Dear Honodo's,

 

I've saw that SNES is selling a new machine and I have been reading about it like crazy. One of the articles I read talked about using a Raspberry Pi 3 to build a retro unit pretty cheap and you can play all the games from NES, SNES, Genesis, and PS One.

 

Here is the article with the link.

 

What do you guys think I should do? I bow to your collective wisdom when it comes video games.

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Aw yeah, welcome to modern times :) I know you were talking about wanting something like this for your kid. Actually a friend of mine did the same thing for his kids - he built a full arcade cabinet for a couple hundred that played almost everything that was before the gamecube era on it, and they LOVE it. (and we do too, when it's time for the little ones to go to bed).

 

That's obviously much more than you are looking for, but the fact is that the SNES mini and all that might sell out quick - we just don't know. Devices like the raspberry pi emulators have actually been around quite a long time, but people tend to think of them as having a high barrier to entry. (psst, they don't).

 

I say go for it, they make great USB controllers that simulate the old ones and you always have the collective tech wisdom of hondos if you get stuck!

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that link does look good - obviously go domestic for parts, i'd say you can get a lot for cheap on monoprice. i have folders of all the NES/SNES/etc ROM sets from a good, clean batch i found - i keep them alphabetical & by genre too to make things easier, and would be happy to share em man.

 

they make great USB controllers that simulate the old ones and you always have the collective tech wisdom of hondos if you get stuck!

 

this was exactly what i was gonna say, yeah - there's varying quality builds but ive seen/read of some really great/close to authentic ones, not to mention the stand-alone pad the NES classic uses (sold separately too) is super authentic, but needs a cable extender. there's great control options here.

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I could never do this without assistance.

 

Had no idea what a Raspberry Pi 3 was - clicked the link, looked at the picture...and just sighed in defeat. My brain doesn't understand this language.

 

Good luck, Vagrant - I am painfully ignorant in regard to cpus and cpu building...and my brain has always had difficulty w/ all that - for some frustrating reason. Super-mega sad face.

 

Maybe there's a detailed step-by-step 'For Dummies' vid on youtube somewhere. I still dream of doing sum arcade-action on my tv - one day. (wipes tears) One day...

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I am in no way technically proficient. I thought it reads like a cookbook though, except for a couple of details that I looked up on my own. I learned to cook through cookbooks and experimentation.

 

If it works out, I can send you one if you reimburse me (or if you wait until my wife is working again in a year, I can send you one for free).

 

I will order it today based on the recommendations of the group. What controls do you guys suggest (different than the link?)? Also, I will totally take you up on the offer, NZA!

Edited by The Vagrant
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I ordered all of the components I think:

 

Raspberry Pi 3

A Case

64 Gigabyte SD Card

iBuffalo Controllers (2)

USB Power Supply

 

I plan to hit up NZA for those ROMs. I will let you know how it goes.

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Oh, damn - you for realzies.

 

Yes - post a full review! What works - wut dudn't.

 

I'm gonna do sum serious research into this today and really make a decision - if this something I'd want / what I'm looking for. I'd totally compensate you for a build - if I opt for one...and if you can actually successfully build one.

 

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Holy freakin' God - absolutely sold. Me totally want.

 

My brain started to collapse in on itself w terms like 'Linux' and 'heat sinks' - I just don't know this shit. I don't want it to overheat - he made it all seem so simple - but I started to lose him w/ the installation of programs and SD cards.

 

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Didn't even get into the 'RetroPie' stuff. I know I'd lose even more hair, trying to figure this out on my own. I am gonna check out sum other vids, tho.

 

I'll be down there in a couple o' weeks - for a couple of weeks - for Supercon. I'll totally need help building one and installing the necessary programs, but like I said - I'll keep trying to familiarize myself w/ the process...to the best of my ability.

 

If you can get one up n' running, Vagrant - let us know. Also, what game libraries you were able to fit in your SD card...and how it all works.

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All of those go a bit beyond what I plan to do. I'm not planning on messing around with any wires and hooking things into old hardware. It should be much easier to put together than the thread you posted.

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Built 6 of these kinds of things for a work friend over the holidays. An absolute joy once you get them to work. Hit me up if you run into any problems. I'm not always around but Nick knows how to get a hold of me.

 

Tips:

  • RetroPie is a godsend. I would recommend using that as your OS as opposed to trying to installing that (or any other emulation environment) on top of another OS. You can launch right into it at boot this way.
  • The Raspberry Pi 3 is powerful, but you're going to have some issues if you're trying to run a bunch of N64 games. A handful will work, but most are a pain in the ass.
  • Once you get the roms moved over to the Pi, you might have to go game by game to get all the appropriate metadata (title, screenshots, etc). This is optional, and is a pain in the ass, but it brings the whole system together.
  • Best tip: ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOU PROPERLY EJECT THE SD CARD. I've killed more than a couple cards on various RasPi projects just from yanking the damn thing out of the computer.

Best of luck!

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Thanks for the pro-level advice, Stilly! Good to see you around. I will probably need to read up on the metadata, as I'm not quite sure how that is done. Like everything else, I would be there are instructions online. Thanks again!

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I bought the wrong Raspberry Pi 3. I purchased the basic and I needed to buy the one that had the HD ports and such (it was a $5 difference). I have to wait until Monday so that I can talk to their customer service department. I was hoping to get the retro-gaming machine up and running by my son's 5 birthday, which is July 11. Doesn't look like that is going to be happening now.

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I bought the wrong Raspberry Pi 3.

 

LOL! That sounds exactly like what would happen to me.

 

I was hoping to get the retro-gaming machine up and running by my son's 5 birthday, which is July 11. Doesn't look like that is going to be happening now.

 

Sometimes those best gifts as a kid - are the ones they get after the party is over. You might blow his mind just as he's getting bored w/ his 'Sweathogs - Dream Machine' and 'Super Poo-Chi'.

 

Toys-Sweathogs-Dream-Machine.jpg

PooChi-w101.JPG

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It works! I downloaded Turtles in Time and played for a little while with my son Nicholas. I will hopefully get those ROMs from the NZA soon.

 

I screwed up again once I got my Raspberry Pi 3 B. I broke my first mini-SD card and I had to buy another one. Oh well, at least I learned a lot from making this first machine and can make it again.

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