Anyone else made a Retropie instead?

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Matticus

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#1  Edited By Matticus

The NES and SNES classics both piqued my interest, but in the end I couldn't rectify the nostalgia and value with the price or nonsense involved in getting one. However, the idea of a small emulator box with gamepad navigation was still super appealing. Also why limit myself to NES/SNES? So I finally made a Retropie. I had to do some research and learn a thing or two, but all told it was pretty easy and cheap. It also works great and has tons of functionality/customizability. So, anyone else go this route? How did it work out for you?

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ninnanuam

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I've got one, had it since last year it works great mostly but there is an issue with input lag or something.

I'm apparently using good controllers (8bitdo) bit its still not as responsive as my mini snes. I'm almost as good at SG&G as I used to be on the mini snes but on the retro I have trouble beating the second stage.

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fatalbanana

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I did this sometime last year. I think it's worth doing but only just so. Not being able to wirelessly pair my Xbox or PS controllers to it without doing some Linux fuckery was a bummer but those 8bitdo controllers are decent and decently priced. Game compatibility isn't anywhere near how it is on PC emulators so it is a bit hit and miss with what will work well on certain systems. One more negative is couldn't find a layout I liked and if I remember right switching it was a pain.

It's a decent option if you're PC isn't hooked up to your tv and it's a cool thing just to set up and do. The novelty of playing all these games on this tiny circuit board is pretty neat too.

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whitegreyblack

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I had someone local set up a retropie 3 for me but I have to redo it because I have been unable to move to a larger SD Card and have the file system expand properly. It'll probably be 2020 before I get around to it.

For what it's worth, I really like the 8bitdo wireless NES & SNES controllers and my old brain cannot really tell if there's lag (I was able to finish Actraiser so it can't be so bad?). I bought the Hori Fighting Stick Mini 4 for arcade titles (with the added bonus of being able to use this same stick on both the PS3 and PS4 for schmups). I also was able to sync the WiiU classic controller to it and that seems to work well.

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bill_mcneal

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@kingbonesaw: Very well, at least as long as they aren't multi disc games. Haven't figured out how to get those to run properly, or haven't bothered to look it up.

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Matticus

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@kingbonesaw: The one's I've tried have worked great. Once you get into CD games you just have to be a bit more mindful of space since you'll most likely be using micro SD. You can do USB storage as well, but I think there's an added step to it. The nice thing though is that the Pi 3 has wifi, and Retropie automatically sets all folders to share. So adding and removing roms and srms from your PC is a breeze.

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Matticus

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@bill_mcneal: I think it has something to do with going into Retroarch while you are at the prompt in game and changing to the next iso. This is something I've been meaning to try.

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Matticus

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As far as controllers go I use a Buffalo Classic USB Gamepad for anything that was designed to use 8 directions and 2-6 buttons. I use a DS4 for everything else. They both work great, although I do think the Buffalo is a tad more responsive. Most of the recommended emulators have solid default inputs as well, which can be easily edited by pulling up the Retroarch menu.

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Justin258

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I was pretty close to doing precisely this but then the Super NT got announced.

The primary reason I would have purchased a Raspberry Pi is to play Super Nintendo and Game Boy Advance games and the Super NT solves half of that problem much better than a Raspberry Pi would. I modded my 3DS and haven't had any issues playing my GBA games on it. I also have a modded original Xbox with a GBA emulator on it and it's pretty good at playing GBA games if I really need to play them on the big screen.

I'm not saying that I won't eventually tackle such a project anyway, but I've given it a fair bit of thought and I think I've got pretty much everything covered already, and none of that is including the capable PC I already have.

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oldenglishc

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Are you a cop?

I built one during the NES Classic craziness of last year. I just have a 360 controller with the PC dongle plugged into it and it seems to work fine.

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Farkas

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I built mine about 9 months ago and haven't looked back. Once getting the process down through YT videos and the retropie reddit/wiki, it took a lazy Saturday to get everything up and running with all of the cover art scraped. Honestly, even using an old PS3 controller, the capabilities of the pi are pretty incredible. NES, SNES, Genesis, Sega CD, N64, DS, GBA, NEO-GEO, MAME, FBA and PSX... not to mention the latest update allows for a favorites section spanning all systems. Beyond all that, having Kodi as a flawless 1080p media server, the entire project has been a wonderful success.

A 64gb card is more than sufficient.

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deactivated-5f39c75856922

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@ninnanuam said:

I've got one, had it since last year it works great mostly but there is an issue with input lag or something.

I'm apparently using good controllers (8bitdo) bit its still not as responsive as my mini snes. I'm almost as good at SG&G as I used to be on the mini snes but on the retro I have trouble beating the second stage.

Does anyone know how good/bad the input lag is with an 8bitdo controller(bluetooth)? I have a pi I could turn into an emulator and was wanting to buy a controller for my phone but didn't even think of the input being off.

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Brungiel

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@floydeo: my 8bitdo snes controller had noticeable lag playing Mario world and Mario 3. I couldn't figure out how to fix it besides just using buffalo snes wired controller

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deactivated-5f39c75856922

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@var5592: Thanks, ill probably just use an xbox controller then.

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Silver-Streak

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RetroPie itself is fine. I really think Recalbox is the best of both worlds (games and video playback) when it comes to Raspberry PI OSes. It uses a variation of RetroPie and Kodi. It's pretty darn good.

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Dave_Tacitus

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Did mine about a year ago and recently went full idiot and put it in a Retroflag NESPi case.

I've found the 8bitdo pads to be hot garbage and usually run mine with a couple of iBuffalo SNES pads or a cheap Gioteck PS3 pad if I want something wireless or with analogue sticks.

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Akito01

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I just got my RetroPie set up a couple of weeks ago. Up to now, I'd been using my Ouya as my emulation machine, but obviously it is limited by the fact it is now a dead platform. It did take quite a bit of work and figuring out to get everything going -this is definitely not a plug-and-play solution, though now everything is in place it is pretty flawless. Since I never owned a Commodore 64 at the time, it's been fun to revisit some of those titles that I remember watching my friends play.

My controller of choice right now is the wired Hori pad for the Switch. I'd usually use my WiiU Pro controller on the Ouya, but I immediately noticed the input lag on the RetroPie while playing NES Mega Man. My short term goal is to get a USB adapter so I can use my original NES and SNES controllers with it.

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RetroMetal

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Did mine about a year ago and recently went full idiot and put it in a Retroflag NESPi case.

I've found the 8bitdo pads to be hot garbage and usually run mine with a couple of iBuffalo SNES pads or a cheap Gioteck PS3 pad if I want something wireless or with analogue sticks.

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OMG, that is really cool, how much does something like that cost?

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Dave_Tacitus

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@retrometal:

In its entirety, the Pi's around £30 but you'll need a microSD card, controller, case, power supply so you're best off going for an all-in-one kit to begin with.

That particular NES-alike case is in short supply and scalpers are charging £35+ for one, but I got mine in a group buy for little more than a tenner.

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ZeroCoin

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Here's my retropie system next to my old genesis. I used to have it in a basic 3d printed NES case, but decided to change things up a few months back.

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Also, if anyone feels like the emulators feel a little laggy, here's some retroarch settings you might want to change to speed it up a bit.

Turn on Use Fullscreen mode
Turn off Fullscreen window mode
Turn on VSync
Turn off Threaded Video
Turn on GPU hard sync

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Zelyre

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#22  Edited By Zelyre

@retrometal:

You can walk into a Microcenter and pick up a Raspberry Pi 3 kit that has the board, power supply, and SD card for like $60 USD. A Nintendo case is on Amazon for $20, but that Nespi case is $25 on Amazon. Controller was like $16.

You can get a Pi by itself, but chances are the USB power supply from your old phone isn't going to cut it. It'll boot, it'll be usable, but you'll most likely run into stability issues.

@ninnanuam said:

I've got one, had it since last year it works great mostly but there is an issue with input lag or something.

I'm apparently using good controllers (8bitdo) bit its still not as responsive as my mini snes. I'm almost as good at SG&G as I used to be on the mini snes but on the retro I have trouble beating the second stage.

I was worried I was just getting old. My Pi 3 and 8bitdo/PS3 controller combo has a pretty decent lag. Tried different builds, drivers, wired/wireless, TV settings, TVs and monitors, there was always input lag.

It doesn't bother my friends, but I can't deal with it. I thought I just got old and sucked at Mario World (Couldn't beat the first stages without going suuuuper slow), but once I got my SNES classic, I was playing just like I did when I was 10 and it felt great. It plays the games I want and CPS2 arcade titles great.

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Matticus

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@zerocoin: Awesome. Are the switches on there purely cosmetic? I bought a very simple case to start because I wasn't sure how everything would turn out. Now that things are working great I am considering a fancier case and looking into options for a power switch. Also, thanks for the performance tips.

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ZeroCoin

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@matticus: The power switch and volume slider are cosmetic. They move, but that's it. You certainly could actually rig a working switch up if you knew what you were doing with it. The 'case' I used is actually a USB hub that just happens to have enough room to mount a raspberry pi inside if you file away a few holes to accommodate the audio, power, and hdmi ports.

Hope the settings help some people. I never bothered with changing them until a few weeks ago. I had recently started playing through Super Metroid and was having issues doing wall jumps. Remembered seeing those setting changes, made them in retroarch, and was hitting wall jumps without much issue after that.

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damonkey64

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#25  Edited By damonkey64

That attract mode, if done right, makes this thing awesome. The video snips that play help you jog your memory for some of the best games from the past without having to load up each one. It looks very hyperspin-ish.

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RosesAreDan

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I was looking into making a retropie just earlier today. I used to use my Wii for emulation on a TV and it normally worked good enough. But I'm a pretty big stickler for input lag, especially when it comes to fighting games. I like the Super NT it's just expensive and only plays SNES games so I'm not sure if it's exactly what I want. Is there any in between solution for a RetroPie TV set up, Super NT, and a full PC? Maybe my old laptop could do the job with less input lag?

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OurSin_360

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Not yet but i have been thinking about it since last year. I kinda want to see if anything slightly more powerfull comes out.

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Dave_Tacitus

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#28  Edited By Dave_Tacitus

Not yet but i have been thinking about it since last year. I kinda want to see if anything slightly more powerfull comes out.

I doubt we'll see a significantly more powerful Pi anytime soon - It's an educational tool at heart, manufactured down to a price.

A current Pi 3 will run up to PS1 (but not the other consoles of that generation) pretty much flawlessly. In fact, I dumped all my PS1 discs to a usb drive and spent far too much on this case on Etsy for my second Pi.

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It was either that or gut one of my PS1s (I have 4) and stick a Pi + HD inside. Maybe next year.

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stantongrouse

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Made one for my sister as I have our old SNES and as we had a Master System and other older computers so the NES classic didn't have the nostalgia feel for that it would have. Dropped a ton of C64, Spectrum and Gameboy games on a Pi3 for her and now her partner says she's decided she doesn't need society any more.

I barely noticed any input lag on testing the set up - I haven't tried a Nintendo one so I couldn't compare. But for just going back and remembering it seems fine, we wouldn't be speed running or chasing high scores so it's not really an issue. The sad thing about a project like this is the games you've not played in ages almost never meet the high standards of childhood memories.

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viking_funeral

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#30  Edited By viking_funeral

I did both.

I originally made a Retropie when I couldn't get an NES-mini, and while I'm super impressed at how well the games play with iBuffalo SNES controllers, the user interface wasn't amazing. I mostly made it for my kids for when they're older, as I can always just play on an emulator or drag my old consoles out of storage (if i wasn't weird about preserving them).

However, the SNES-mini is really cheap and I really like the interface. I think the kids will have less trouble using it and are less likely to mess with the config. Then I found out you can mod the SNES-mini. So now I get the good user interface with all the box art and easy-of-use, plus any of the games I want to expose my kids to (and have physical copies of).

I really like the SNES-mini UI. So good.

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MillaJ

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Little build with a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. Works fine for its intended use. Those controllers suck terribly but they were cheap. Haven't tried any PS1 games, but people seem to say the RP3 can manage it. N64 is possible though glitchier and less well emulated compared to earlier generations. I am curious about using a more powerful board like an ODROID or something in that vein. I didn't go that route since the process becomes more complicated whereas RetroPie practically runs itself on a Raspberry Pi. Incredibly easy to set up.

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TheManWithNoPlan

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If I hadn't gotten extremely lucky nabbing the last preorder at my local gamestop, I probably would've opted for this.

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harryorgans

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#33  Edited By harryorgans

RetroPie is the way to go. I'm using original SNES controllers with a USB adapter. Incredible responsiveness and better emulation when compared to the SNES mini.