How to build your own Super NES Classic Edition


How to build your own Super NES Classic Edition

Image: Curtis/Future/REX/Shutterstock

The Super NES Classic Edition is almost everything we could have ever asked for — except that it only plays about 20 games and you’ll have to wait until Sept. 29 to get your hands on it. 

Luckily for rabid Nintendo fans, there’s an easy way to revisit the glory of your favorite 1990s games much sooner than September. All it requires is a Raspberry Pi, a bundle free software, a gaming controller, and a couple of free hours. 

Please note: Before we start this guide, you should know that the that the rules around downloading retro games are somewhat murky. To avoid any possible legal trouble, we recommend only backing up games you already legally own. Be sure to do your own due diligence to investigate what’s allowed as it can vary in different regions.

What You Need:

Step One: Set up the Raspberry Pi

Once you finally have all of the components, now it’s time to start building. The first thing you’ll want to do is set up your Raspberry Pi. In most cases this means sliding your tiny computer into the plastic case. In about 30 seconds, you’ve built yourself a tiny little PC.

Step Two: Install RetroPie

This is the most important step. RetroPie is going to power the gaming console and contains emulators to run basically every major gaming console from the 1980s and 1990s including NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, Sega CD, and much more.

Installing this piece of software is actually pretty simple and only takes a few steps.

  1. First download the image of RetroPie from the company’s website. Make sure you download the one that corresponds with your Raspberry Pi model number (i.e. – You’ll click “Raspberry Pi 2/3” if you have model 2 or 3). 

  2. Use 7-Zip to extract the image.

  3. This is the slightly trickier part. You’ll need to install the extracted image onto the microSD card. You can use Win32DiskImager on Windows or Apple Pi Baker on Mac. Both types of software are pretty simple. You’ll choose the disk image (.iso file) and choose the microSD card as your destination. Then write the disk. That’s it. If you have any questions about this process, we recommend searching YouTube or referring to RetroPie’s official installation guide.

  4. Remove the microSD card and put it into the Raspberry Pi. 

This is the first screen you'll see when you boot up your Raspberry Pi with RetroPie installed.

This is the first screen you’ll see when you boot up your Raspberry Pi with RetroPie installed.

Step Three: Boot up and configure

Plug in your controller, insert your microSD card, and boot up the Raspberry Pi. You should see this welcome screen that prompts you to begin setting up your controller. Use the controller to navigate the system, and be sure that the buttons are all correctly mapped on the controller.

Step Four: Get some games!

Now that you’ve created your gaming console, it’s time to find some games. The software powering the system needs ROM files of games. The only issue, as mentioned earlier, is that installing ROMs falls into a legal gray area. They are incredibly easy to find on the internet, but you should only download and use ones that you have the permission and the rights to use.

To avoid any legal issues, we recommend trying to legally rip NES and SNES games that you already own using a USB connector like the Kazzo. There are some very detailed guides about exactly how you can rip games from the original cartridge onto your desktop computer as a ROM file. We’re going to go ahead and assume you’ve already ripped all of your favorite games and now have a library built.

Step Five: Install the games

This is one of the trickier parts of the process, so we’ll try to walk through each step as clearly as possible.

  1. Insert the blank USB flash drive into your computer and make sure it’s formatted to FAT-32. If you’re not sure, chances are it already is. 

  2. Create a folder on the USB drive called “retropie.”

  3. Take the USB drive out of your computer and plug it into the Raspberry Pi. Boot up the Raspberry Pi and let it sit for a few minutes.

  4. Take the USB drive out of your Raspberry Pi and plug it back into your computer. You’ll see that it created a small library of folders in the “retropie” folder you created earlier. Some of the sub-folders will be labeled BIOS and configs. 

  5. Choose the folder labeled “roms.” Navigate to the SNES folder. Drop all of the game rom files into this folder.

  6. Take the USB out of your computer and plug it back into the Raspberry Pi. Boot up the Raspberry Pi, and voila!

Step Five: Enjoy!

You’ve finally completed building your own SNES Classic Edition.When you boot up the console (AKA your Raspberry Pi), you should see a full list of games in the Super NES section. Now it’s time to kick back, relax, and try to pull off an epic speed run of some of your favorite classics.

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from Mashable!