Classic NES: Build your own Raspberry Pi version

By Russell Barnes. Posted

An excellent guide to building a real NES emulated system in an original Nintendo game cartridge

Nintendo has released the NES Classic. The reboot of its classic console packs 30 games into a smaller version of the original case.

The new NES isn't the traditional console by any stretch. You don't get a 6502 processor inside, and it doesn't use cartridges.

A teardown by Polygon reveals an ARM-powered system with 256MH DDR3 RAM and a 512MB SLC NAND Flash. It turns out the new NES  isn't even as powerful as a Raspberry Pi Zero.

It's also rumoured that the NES Classic is running a custom build of Linux. We think makers would be better to just make their own NES from a Raspberry Pi and RetroPIE.

The thought certainly occurred to Snazzy Labs. They just uploaded this video demonstrating how to assemble a Raspberry Pi Zero inside an NES cartridge. You can install RetroPie on your DIY NES and play all the games you want.

DIY NES Classic Mini Killer

It's an excellent guide to building a real  NES emulated system in an original Nintendo game cartridge. It combines a Raspberry Pi Zero with a central USB hub and USB Gamepad.

DIY NES Classic parts list and build instructions

  • Raspberry Pi Zero
  • iBuffalo USB Gamepad
  • Amazon Basics USB Hub
  • Mini HDMI to HDMI
  • USB OTG Cable
  • Micro USB Extension
  • NES Security Screwdriver

"Nintendo is releasing their NES Classic Edition console this week," says Snazzy Labs. "It’s exciting to see the Japanese gaming giant excited about their old games again, but the $6o mini console only offers 30 games and is in short supply due to limited quantities and high demand. We suggest an alternative – one that is half the price and half the size – but can hold thousands of games from over three decades of consoles.

They don't use an original NES controller with this build. But there are plenty of NES-style USB Controllers around, like this NES Controller from Amazon.

We love the look of the NES Classic but building your own will deliver a much more versatile system.

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