I decided recently to clear up some clutter. Specifically, stuff that takes up a lot of space like old video game systems and cartridges. While that stuff is fun, the amount of room it takes up is pretty large. So, I’m going to box up all that stuff and put it into storage. Of course, I still love playing old video games. Enter the Raspberry Pi. A Raspberry Pi is a type of single board computer, which can be used for a number of things, including retro gaming. I ordered a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with a 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU, 1GB RAM, Dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2. It’s a powerful device for something so little. I ordered that, some heatsinks, a retro gaming case and a power supply with a switch on it, and I got all that in the mail from Vilros today. I also picked up a SanDisk 128GB microSD card at work last night. Not including the controller, I just grabbed one of my PC gaming controllers, I have a little over $80 into this thing.
Yes, the door opens up to reveal the USB and Ethernet ports:
The side and back, showing the microSD, Micro USB (for power), HDMI and audio ports:
All put together, it’s a neat little package, about the size of a NES Classic Edition. In fact, this sort of system is essentially what the NES Classic Edition is, a single board computer that’s designed for game emulation. This one is just less restrictive. For software, I’m running Recalbox 6.0. Recalbox is designed specifically for creating game emulation systems. I chose it over RetroPie because I’ve used it before, as Recalbox has PC versions and can be ran off of a flash drive, which I was doing on an old computer over the weekend.
So, after getting the things from Vilros in the mail this morning, I got all excited and put the Pi and case together right then and there. Then I remembered the heatsinks. So, I took it back apart, installed those, then reassembled the thing. I’d like to say that was my last mistake, but I accidentally put the X86_64 version of Recalbox on the microSD. I realized something was up when my screen was all screwy, so I put the correct version of Recalbox on it, and it works like a champ now.
For games, I had plenty downloaded for various systems, so I just transferred them to the microSD. Note: you’re legally allowed to have ROMs of games you legitimately own, but we’ll just say that I have some I shouldn’t. 😉 But, it’s not like I’m hurting anyone, most of these games are ones the companies don’t make money off of anymore anyway, and the ones that are still sold for newer systems are a lot of the ones I legitimately own.
Anyway, this was a fun little project, and one I’ll be continuing to add to. The OS supports about 30 game systems and I have plenty of space on that microSD, so many more games will be added. Then I can finally start cleaning up some clutter.