George Whitcher

Dad, Web Developer, Software Engineer, Graphic Artist, Snowboarder, Musician, Gamer, Nerd

Raspberry Pi and RetroPie is retro gaming heaven

Raspberry Pi and RetroPie is retro gaming heaven

Posted in Technology
December 17, 2016 06:09:23 PM
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I feel I start out all my blog entries with "so I have been very busy". The thing is I always am. It's not bad and I actually enjoy it. Just like everyone though I wish I had more time on my hands for projects like this. I have been working on my Raspberry Pi 2. If you don't know what this is check out the Raspberry Pi website https://www.raspberrypi.org/. Summed up it's a small motherboard that can do an infinite number of things. People do some really cool things with them. Like for my project I ran RetroPie https://retropie.org.uk/.

RetroPie is a compilation of game emulators for retro consoles like NES, SNES, Genesis, etc (full list: https://retropie.org.uk/documentation/systems-in-retropie/). I won't show you how to get games because that is illegal but installation is super easy. RetroPie have a premade ISO (https://retropie.org.uk/download/) and also a nice first time tutorial (https://github.com/retropie/retropie-setup/wiki/First-Installation). Alternativly you can also install it through command line but that is for the more advanced user. Follow the directions and your Raspberry Pi will be setup with RetroPie. A group of folders will be created in /home/pi/RetroPie/roms/ where you can place your legally obtained roms.

You may have seen the Mini NES that came out. Well RetroPie blows it out of the water for around the same price. You have unlimited games for multiple consoles and features of emulators not available to the Mini NES. It's funny to see all the hype when RetroPie is so much better. What I think I like most over the Mini NES is the customization. You are in complete control of your RetroPie and can customize everything. It takes some knowledge but RetroPie has an awesome community with great tutorials. With little work I was able to make my RetroPie boot silently with a custom boot screen so it acts like any other console would. Sure you can't plug the Raspberry Pi in like the Mini NES and go. I will give it that. With what is barely a 5 minute setup though you will have such a better device going with a Raspberry Pi and RetroPie.

The latest version Raspberry Pi 3, has WiFi and bluetooth built in. Also has more power which is great for game emulation. That is so useful for me and here is why. WiFi is convenience in accessing the Raspberry Pi through SSH. Currently I keep my Raspberry Pi in my living room and if I need to do anything I have to hook it up to my router downstairs. Raspberry Pi 2 has onboard ethernet but I don't want to run another cable. WiFi is way more convenient for me and preferably over adding another cord to the house. Bluetooth is for controllers. Currently you would have to buy a bluetooth adapter and use one of your few USB slots most likely forcing you to buy a USB hub.

Raspberry Pi is awesome, any version. It has an infinite amount of uses. I will certainly be buying the Raspberry Pi 3 (Buy on Amazon) for my personal use. Gaming was always and is a big part of my life. It's how I ended up in my career. It's pretty awesome to have all your favorite consoles and games in one tiny little box. Good job Raspberry Pi and RetroPie on making a really awesome piece of hardware and software.

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Hi! My name is George Whitcher and I am a developer from the South Shore of MA.  When I am not busy being a dad I like to play video games, play/write music, snowboard, and skateboard.