DIY Gaming, Now is an amazing time for gamers.
Things like the above Arduboy are why it’s great to be a gamer right now. If you grew up with the retro games like I did, it’s all rose-tinted glasses and nostalgia for days. If not well I’m sorry you’ll have to wait till you’re older or buy the Old Aged DLC pack. There is hope though you can stop paying for broken, half-finished games and join us old timers for another round of Battletoads or FF7. Now you could buy the Oldschool games and systems which I would applaud you for but let’s face it guys like me bought all the good ones and worse than Smaug, so getting them will cost you. With that, I offer the hope and freedom of the DIY Consoles. Above is the Arduboy a credit card size gaming system. It’s an Arduino so it can do more than just play games. If you want a pocket gaming friend That won.t make you use micro transactions to enjoy its games, this is an excellent start and only 35$. Homebrew for days. This is less a DIY system and more a powerful DIY tool so that is why it’s up to bat first.
The Pocket Chip
Next up is the Pocket Chip another mostly finished solution at around 69$. I like this because it offers a lot of possibilities as well as being a game console and the LCD it comes with out of the box looks great. Overall a great buy for someone that wants to game right away and not have to do a lot to get going.
The Raspberry PI
Here is where the fun begins. The new model 3 Pi Is a powerhouse for the Retrogamer. Retropie is super easy to install and with just a couple minutes in the settings and your up and running. Install some Roms and play all the awesomeness while you wait for the next patch that will finally fix the bugs in the last batman game. I didn’t post any builds for the other options. Both of them have some Communities but Arduino is more about building gadgets than games but I will come back to that. Chip is still young so going can be slow. Now the PI has a huge following in the retro scene. I have built a few different retro systems. I hope you will look around and see what they can do but for the rest of the article, we will focus on Retro gaming with the pi and the things it has helped come to market.
The PI’s effect on the market
I wanted to showcase what gaming companies have done because of The RetroPie community first. I love building stuff but you might not. One of the largest gaming companies Nintendo is releasing a Mini Console. This isn’t news at this point but it was definitely influenced by gamers building Pitendos. If we weren’t clambering to get our retro fix they would never have made it. The fact that it is Tiny is proof they have been watching. Go to Thingiverse right now and Search Raspberry pi. Go ahead I’ll wait. No, I’m not going to link you, this time, go search I don’t want you to think I cherry picked a page. Go search I’ll be right here when you get back…………………………. See what I mean Every other line almost has a pi gaming device and funny how the first few are Nintendo’s. Nintendo didn’t miss that either. That’s why it’s a great time to be a gamer. Rom gamers are an untapped market and nintendo caught on. Other companies will see this as well but in the meantime we have nintendo. Ok back to the DIY fun.
There is nothing I can say about setting up RetroPi that hasn’t been said So I am going to leave that in the hands of those who came before me. Starting with Lifehackers How to Build a Raspberry Pi Retro Game Console for $35 . Now I can say RetroPie has made Serious advanced but the basics are right there. You don’t even need a case. Just pick up a PI install Retropie and play. Here’s where I play Inspiration. I’m going to post a few Of my favorite Retro Console builds. And since this is an area I’m immensely familiar with if you guys decide to build your own and don’t already know how to do this I’ll keep an eye on the comments if you need help. With that some Awesome Pi Builds.
Look if you’re a Gamer with a Girlfriend or visa versa this is the gift. It’s adorable and one hell of a conversation piece.
You kinda need a 3d printer for this one but if you do Adafruit has a full tutorial on their website on how to build this Pocket Retro system.
Ok this one used an Odroid Pi clone but if you decide this is the way you want to go you can swap the Clone for a 5$ Pi Zero then follow everything else as it is in the video. Or make it better.
Mini Pi SNES 3d Print
This is the last one but more for An Idea than for this project. My Pi Project is a little more involved. Last year I bought me son an SNES but as we all know games are spendy. I have a few Pies laying around and some already in Retro cases or old dead systems. This gave me an idea. With the Pi Zero you can make smaller systems but what I am in the process of doing is installing it in a working SNES The goal of the project is to have the system boot up like normal when a cartridge is installed but switch to the pie when it isn’t. It’s taking me a while because I don’t want to break the system. It’s also not just wire and go job. I’m making it wireless and Bluetooth compatible. When it’s Finished I’ll have a full write up for anyone interested.
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