Kids these days; with their bouffant beards, rolled-up jeans, sock-less shoes, appreciation of non-franchise establishments and all things retro, they seem to be pretty happy with themselves. I am not that happy as, by proxy, the things I appreciate somehow disturbingly coincide with the hipsters of today.
"I was doing it before it was cool"
I would cry out ... but people would just nod and then mutter under their breaths: goddamn hipster. Which brings me to today's point: I built myself a retro console that is not only cool and nostalgic but also fun. The things I needed were:
- 2 SNES bluetooth controllers (http://www.8bitdo.com/snes30/)
- Raspberry Pi 3
- 32GB Micro SD
- Retropie Case (https://www.adafruit.com/products/2604)
- Power adapter
- The patience of a saint
This micro-device plays most classic consoles: Atari, ZX Spectrum, NES, SNES, Master System, Megadrive, N64 ... and even the PS1! Naturally, with such an under-powered machine, the higher-fidelity games (RE: newer) will chug a little but that's not what this is about. I would have thought that with the base software system (https://retropie.org.uk/) being at 3.8, most of the bugs would be sorted out. This was not the case. I had a devil's own job getting the bluetooth controllers to get hooked up and exiting the emulator correctly (press select+start) but I persevered. The steps were:
- Install baseline image
- Boot up raspberry pi
- Plug in controller via USB cable
- Set up wifi
- Update retropie setup script (upgrades settings so they're usable)
- Manually register bluetooth devices via bluetooth settings
- Change bluetooth auto-connect settings to poll
- Disable overscan
- Open retroarch settings UI
- Bind keys for each bluetooth joystick and save
- Press F4 and then traverse to /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch-joypads
- Modify hotkey/exit button mapping stored under configurations
There was a bit of mapping confusion under /opt/retropie/configs/all/retroarch-joypads which necessitated me removing all the config files under that path and redoing it cleanly. Naturally most this was not documented at all. I had to glean direction from various sources and my own desires to get 'r done. The end result is pretty nice. I can do all things retro and it all works pretty well. Yes, I spent a little more than buying a stock/pre-made console but the end result is pretty cool. However, this is not recommended unless you enjoy masochism (or you know someone really cool) although you cannot deny the results.