Retro gaming with a Raspberry pi

August 26, 2013

Using a Raspberry Pi for reto I know, that it’s underpowered for quite a few different emulators. I’m very surprised what you can play on it . When you first buy a Rasberry PI, you will have to download their free os called Raspbian. Then you can sign up to the PI store, so you can download all kind of apps. They have four good classic gaming emulators available, all of them are free downloads: MAME4ALL , PiSNES — Super NES emulator, Pcsx_reARMed — PlayStation1, Atari800 — Atari 8-bit computers (800, XL, XE, etc.)

There’s even any image out there call Retro pi. Someone has done all the hard work for you already. The Raspberry Pi will boot automatically into EmulationStation. This is a program running off a custom SD card called RetroPie that allows you to use a controller to select an emulator and a game without ever touching a keyboard or mouse. After everything’s set up, you’ll be able to navigate and do everything you need to do on the Raspberry Pi from a controller.

What systems can you emulate? A lot of them:

  • Amiga (UAE4All)
  • Atari 2600 (RetroArch)
  • Doom (RetroArch)
  • Final Burn Alpha (RetroArch)
  • Game Boy Advance (RetroArch)
  • Game Boy Color (RetroArch)
  • Game Gear (Osmose)
  • Intellivision (RetroArch)
  • MAME (RetroArch)
  • MAME (AdvMAME)
  • NeoGeo (GnGeo)
  • NeoGeo (Genesis-GX, RetroArch)
  • Sega Master System (Osmose)
  • Sega Megadrive (DGEN)
  • Nintendo Entertainment System (RetroArch)
  • PC Engine / Turbo Grafx 16 (RetroArch)
  • Playstation 1 (RetroArch)
  • ScummVM
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System (RetroArch)
  • Sinclair ZX Spectrum (Fuse)
  • Z Machine emulator (Frotz)

Some of the more advanced emulators like the Playstation 1 and Neo Geo don’t work as well, but for the most part the older systems work great. It has a quick usb copy option, so just format a usb stick and plug it into the retro pi and wait about minute. It will make the directory for you, plug it in your pc and you can just load your roms to your favorite emulator instead of using ftp. The other thing I found out when it comes to using the Emulation Station and a PlayStation 3 or Xbox360 controller is mapping out the buttons for each individual emulator it can be a real headache.  There is an auto config tool for the joysticks but it does not always seem to work properly when you jump from emulator to emulator. So I would recommend going with a third-party generic usb Super Nintendo controller or make your own fight stick. I think it’s makes a great  Retro Arcade System and does not cost a lot of money. There a few links on how to build a Retro pi

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