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How to make a game console with your own hands. You will have 50 emulators

Many gadzhetomany began knowledge of the world of electronics with game consoles and consoles. It was not at all the modern Xbox and PlayStation, but Nintendo / Dendy and Segawith pixel graphics, hardcore complexity and the absence of saving game progress.

To recall past feelings, to go through games that have not been completed in childhood, or simply to show your children games 25 years ago, you can install console emulators on a computer.

We’ll have to tinker with the settings of different systems, dance with a tambourine to work gamepads and play on a small laptop screen. And the quality of the emulation will be so-so.

It is much easier to build a small gaming station , which supports more than 50 emulators ofold consoles. Connect the device to a large TV and play with any gamepad that is in stock.

1. We buy everything you need to build a retro console

Of course, much of this and so will be found in the bins of any gadget. Those who will buy the missing goods, will give some tips.

Buy the “raspberry” of the latest model ( Pi 3 B + ), it has a more powerful quad-core processor that can pull even the first-generation PlayStation 3D games, 1 GB of RAM, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Such a box does not have to be connected to the network via wire or messing with “USB-whistles”, and gamepads can be connected both via wire and via Bluetooth. It is better to take a computer with a case and a suitable power supply immediately.

I recommend to buy a memory card separately, so as not to get a cheap slow card that will quickly fail. Do not take cards of too large volume, 8 or 16 GB is enough with your head.

Game controllers are preferable to take proven brands. If there are old Xbox or PlayStation consoles, they are perfect, you can take retro gamepads in the style of 8-bit consoles or replicas of original input devices from Sony or Microsoft.

You should not take radio joysticks or completely unknown gamepads, they may not be banal to connect to our console.

2. Choose the operating system on which the console will work

After selecting the components, you should decide on the operating system of the future console. At the moment there are three good builds that are suitable for our task:

Lakka – build with a beautiful visual interface in the PlayStation style. The project is developing rather slowly, Lakka still has a lot of glitches and flaws. RecalBox
– a more advanced solution “all in one”. After installation, the image will already contain a couple of dozen of classic games for different platforms. In addition, the KODI media center is integrated into the image . In a couple of clicks, you can turn the game console into a media combine for playing videos from a removable drive, from the Internet or network storage. It is possible to configure IPTV.

RetroPie is another multifunctional emulator of old game consoles. Initially, the image does not include games and there is no media player like KODI, however, it is possible to install RetroPie over the native operating system for Raspberry – Raspbian . This means that the gaming service can work on the “Malinka” simultaneously with other services, for example, with HomeBridge , which connects smart gadgets in the house.

It is worth choosing between the last two options. RecalBox is a simple image with out-of-the-box games and the KODI media center, and RetroPie for those who want to tinker and install the system on top of Raspbian.

3. Install the operating system on the game console

Installing a gaming system on an already running Raspbian is done through the terminal. We will leave this for the future, but now we will try the option for beginners. All the emulators described above are installed in the same way.

For starters, I recommend trying RecalBox . Here is the most intuitive and user-friendly interface, the setup is extremely simple, most of the chips are included out of the box, and as a bonus we get the KODI media center , which will easily replace the budget TV set-top box for watching movies from a flash drive, online or online.

1. Download the selected image from the developer’s site.

2. Download and install the application Etcher to record the image on the memory card.

3. Write the image to the memory card.

4. After the end of the recording, install the memory card in Raspberry and connect it to the TV.

During the first run, the system will install and initial configuration will occur. Nothing is required of the user, just wait a few minutes before launching the visual shell.

Immediately the system will offer to configure the joystick. It can be either a USB accessory or wireless. It is better to have a keyboard on hand to make all the settings in case of problems with the connection of the gamepad.

4. Configure the console

Of course, the main thing is to teach Raspberry to work with a suitable gamepad. Wired models almost always start up out of the box, Dualshock 3 immediately connected from the wireless ones , the rest had to be manually adjusted from the system parameters.

You can connect up to five gamepads, I think this is unnecessary, because most of the old games were designed for 1-4 players.

From the key settings you need to do the following:

1. Switch the interface to Russian. Main Menu (Enter on the keyboard) – System settings – Language . Initially, the “A” key is used to confirm actions .

2. Connect to your home Wi-Fi network for easy game downloads. Main menu – Network settings activate the Enable Wi-Fi item , enter the home network name and password.

3. Configure the web interface. After connecting to the network, we remember the IP address and type it in the browser on the computer.

The system has already pre-installed several games for different consoles, but many supported systems are not displayed in the menu. Do not worry, those consoles for which games are not loaded are hidden. It is necessary to throw in the desired folder the relevant data and the console will appear in the main menu.

The remaining parameters are configured as desired.

5. We put the game, well, then you understand

It remains only to find images of games. Deal with it yourself. Data can be downloaded from well-known sites or special portals, of course, for informational purposes.

Copy files via the web interface to Raspberry, reboot the system or update the list of games through the settings and plunge into a sea of ​​nostalgic feelings.

I first tried 8-bit Mario , Battle City , Battletoads , Contra and Ninja Turtles , 16-bit Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 , Rock n’Roll Racing , Dune 2 , Sonic The Hedgehog and other games from childhood.

Do not forget that the emulator allows you to unwind the game process a few seconds back to correct errors, save and load the game process.

This will not break the joystick, console and TV in the first hours of the game.

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