Does this count as PC gaming? I think it counts. A modder has made a mini Nintendo Entertainment System out of a Raspberry Pi. It even has working cartridges and a tiny, adorable gamepad. Just when he completed the project, Nintendo announced their $60 NES Classic. But it was too late. They had been beaten to the finish line.
The finished machine is 40% of the size of the original and the case was made by 3D printing a downsized version of the original design. Inside, a Raspberry Pi 2B is running emulation software called RetroPie. There are two USB slots for controllers and the cartridge slot is handled by an Arduino.
The cartridges themselves are tricksy – they don’t contain the actual game but instead house an NFC tag – a small tag that contains the filename of the ROM. When inserted, the machine reads the filename from the tag and runs the game from the Pi itself.
But maybe the best thing about it is the gamepad, which is also scaled to 40% of its original size. Look how cute and tiny it is! It’s a BABY GAMEPAD.
The modder also explained the ins and outs of the process in much more detail in a blog post and walked through it all in this video. Although it isn’t the first time this has been done by Pi hobbyists it is definitely the most true to form. So much so that it is hard to see the difference (apart from size) between this and the old version.
“I decided to make my little NES after seeing so many NES cases for Raspberry Pis on Thingiverse and thinking they were kinda cool,” Mike told us.
“I thought that I could make a more proportionally accurate version than some of the ones I’d seen and used it as a way of teaching myself 3D design.
“It’s really been a huge learning experience, and took about a month on and off working on it.”
Nintendo’s own version won’t be available until November 11. Meanwhile, there’s at least one person out there who can enjoy miniaturised nostalgia right now. And he can even boast about it.
“Mine’s a bit smaller than Ninty’s though ;)”