How to make a retro portable console with Raspberry Pi?

The Raspberry Pi is one of the most popular single board computers currently on the market. Its price-value ratio is excellent, as well as being useful for multiple functions. Discover how to make a retro portable console with Rasberry Pi with a few settings.

The benefits that Raspberry offers are exceptional and every day a new function is discovered that this computer can carry. It allows you to integrate most of the components necessary for its operation on your motherboard and can be used with different operating systems .

In this case we are going to transform it into an attractive retro console to play all the classic games. You can install emulators for Super Nintendo, Game Boy and even an emulator of the legendary PlaySation .

Materials to make the retro console

The Raspberry works like any computer , but with fewer resources. For the installation of the new console it is necessary to have the following materials:

  • Raspberry Pi.
  • Power adapter
  • Micro SD card
  • Game controllers
  • HDMI cable
  • Mouse and keyboard

The most recent version of the Raspberry on the Pi 4 and there are places where they sell the motherboard with some of the components necessary to assemble the console, such as the HDMI cable and the power adapter cable.

Some include a transparent casing to protect the board and components, as well as a heat sink to prevent overheating. This version supports up to 4GB of RAM and has HDMI, network and USB ports.

The Micro SD card is necessary because the Raspberry Pi does not include storage memory , which is extremely necessary for software installation. Installing the Raspberry is a simple process, but you have to be patient to avoid making mistakes when assembling the connectors and laying the cables.

Make a portable console with Raspberry Pi

Now comes the interesting part to assemble the console. Once you have all the hardware implements, we go to the next level, which is the installation of the operating system. 

Install RetroPie

Download and install the RetroPie image on the Micro SD card from its official website . In the download section select the version of the image corresponding to your Raspberry Pi.

The download may take time, but it will depend mainly on the speed of your connection. Once the download is finished, you must now save the image to the Micro SD card. There are specialized applications for that task such as Win32diskimager and Linux users only have to use a command to perform this action.

Start and configure the Raspberry Pi

Put the Micro SD in the Raspberry and in theory you already have a classic game console ready to use using the mouse and keyboard. Doing the installation in this way you have at your disposal different types of default emulators installed.

Connect the keyboard next to the controller to make the necessary settings to play. The first time you start an automatic configuration that will end in the EmulationStation interface 

Set up command control

With the game controller connected to the Pi, you will configure the direction buttons of the controller in parallel with the indications on the screen by pressing up, down, left and right. In addition to the movement buttons, you can also configure control shortcuts to simplify many processes while playing the game, such as saving games.

Access your ROMs remotely

The latest versions of the Raspberry Pi include a Wi-Fi adapter so you can connect to your home network wirelessly. You can even flash your downloaded ROMs on your main PC to the Pi.

You just have to connect to the Wi-Fi network from the Raspberry from the EmulationStation system settings . Now make sure that both the Pi and your computer are connected to the same network and from your computer’s file explorer go to \\ retropie.

When you establish connection with the Pi add all the legally obtained ROMs that you want to use to play. When you finish this process, restart the Raspberry Pi for the changes to take effect.

 

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