End Goal: Keep the SNES Classic Mini "stock" - eg. only running Canoe and Canoe compatible games. Use the Raspberry Pi to run NES, Atari, GB, GBC, GBA, and Atari games. Bonus: Game Gear games!
I have only a passing knowledge of Linux and trying to ask me to do anything in the terminal is awful and terrifying. I know how to write an image to a disk, and most of my systems are running Windows.
Raspberry Pi Rig/Specs:
- Raspberry Pi B+ (chosen as it was $15 locally, and had the hook ups that I could happily use. Not as powerful as the Pi3, but for what I wanted to emulate, it will do.)
- Raspberry Pi B+ white case
- hdmi cable from the SNES CE
- micro usb cable from the SNES CE
- Patriot 32 gb SD card, class 10
- usb SNES controllers (these are okay, they feel like they are off-brand but they work well enough)
- 16 gb flash drive
- usb 104 keyboard
Total Costs: $15 (Pi B+), $13 (Pi case), $25 (sd card), $15 (usb SNES controllers), $6 (usb flash drive) + $0 (usb 104 key keyboard) = $74 Canadian
My Experiences with Set Up (Raspberry Pi):
I live in Canada, so everything is ridiculously expensive and shipping fees rule the day when trying to get things from the USA. Originally, I wanted a Pi Zero W for the small form factor, so I put in an order from Canakit and found all the cables/things I needed for the Pi Zero W on aliexpress. I also went to our local classified adverts and saw that someone locally was selling a Raspberry Pi B+ with all the hook ups I needed. Another trip to Amazon.ca gave me the Patriot 32 gb SD card and the white case. Set up was kind of breezy - I used Etcher to plonk the Retropie image (version 4.3) onto the sd card, and then popped it into the Pi + case. Finding the games was a chore (the "Paradise" site took down all Nintendo based roms, and everywhere else wanted to flood my computer with crap), so I pretty much downloaded the games one by one. It was seriously annoying and cluttered my computer with a ton of rom files, so this is not recommended. Torrents are your friend when it comes to grabbing full rom sets from old systems.
Gameplay with the controllers is solid, although feels a bit laggy on Game Gear games. NES games are pretty perfect. I dislike the feel of these controllers, will try adapters and the like for official stuff. But Tales of Phantasia works and so do all the games that Canoe cannot run. (Dracula X is so laggy with that...)
Future plans: wall mounting my Raspberry Pi to the shelf under my television.
Total Time Until Gameplay: 7 hours (could be less if you had another Retropie system set up the way you liked it, and just did an image of the SD card -- pretty sure that's what the Kodi/Retropie system re-sellers around me do.)
Average Boot Time (measured from power on to main menu): 1:36.57 + 1:37.27 + 1:33.85/3 = 96.57 + 97.27 + 93.85/3 = 287.69/3 = 95.89 seconds(that said, my Raspberry Pi is not very powerful, BUT if you use the newer Raspberry Pi3, it might be better)
SNES Classic Edition Rigs/Specs:
- modified with Hakchi2 with custom file folders/pictures -- SNES only
Total Costs: $200 (yes, I paid a flipper for his/her time, because everyone has been sold out for ages and I do not want to stand in line at 4 am)
My Experiences with Setting Up SNES CE:
I waited until hakchi2 2.21 was published and used the web version make changes. Along the way, I had picked up the entire SNES library for the larger selection. My only niggle with the software is that the web version doesn't specify where your files are stored on your hard drive, so I spent way too long looking for them so that I could use the portable version. Some games work well, and some games have graphical issues...
Total Time Until Gameplay: 4 hours (spent most of my time picking and choosing the games I wanted on the system), as well as creating the custom folder images and other extras.
Average Boot Time (measured from power on to main menu): 12.95 + 12.75 + 13.48/3 = 13.06 seconds
SNES CE: just want a small (I have 104 games on mine plus translations that work) selection of SNES games with great controllers and almost no lag/issues. Choose this - at the MSRP! (Which is $99.99 + 13% taxes - $113 Canadian) Possibly easier to travel with, as the system doesn't look like a circuit board in a case.
Raspberry Pi/RetroPie: Have the knowledge to deal easily with Linux? Have the time/patience needed to track down and test your files/games? Just play RPGs and easily emulated games? Go with this and get better wired controllers (that said, the Raspberry Pi 3 seems like a good thing to track down). Also, be sure to live in the USA where you don't have to get shafted by shipping fees. Flexibility and the capability to have an external usb hard drive from your roms is one of the strengths of the system. People also make cool cases for the Raspberry Pis, but these are extra costly. The smaller form factor means that you can get away with bolting them to the underside of your stuff...
That said, I have two more Raspberry Pi Zero boards coming in. I will be setting up a few SNES/NES emulated systems for my friends, as they can be put to good use.
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