Raspberry Pi 3: An NES/SNES Classic Alternative?

raspberry pi 3

Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! Still can’t find an NES Classic or SNES Classic? Don’t want to pay scalper prices for those mini consoles. Well I have an alternative for that. Just build one yourself. It’s that simple. Just build your own mini console that can play a wide variety of consoles from the Atari 2600 to the Nintendo 64. That would be the Raspberry Pi 3.

Now what is a Raspberry Pi 3 you may ask? It’s a single board computer manufactured in the United Kingdom. It’s relatively cheap and you can run a number of operating systems on it. The most popular one being Raspian. They have different versions of the Raspberry Pi with the latest being the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B. They are real cheap as they are about $35-$40. For many people out there it has been a solution to play retro games. You can run any retro gaming software of your choosing on the this single board computer. If you have a micro sd card, and controllers you can have a bunch of retro games in one little machine.

Now I understand doing this may be a bit of a grey area. I understand it may not be original hardware and that’s what some people may want. But if you are a person that just wants to play the game and doesn’t care what the hardware looks like I feel that this may be the perfect alternative for you. I’m going to briefly discuss the different operating systems, and if you decide to go this route hopefully you’ll choose one that is right for you.


Recalbox: If you’ve never done this kind of thing before and don’t have a strong technical background I suggest using this first. It’s excellent for beginners and very easy to use. Easy to use features such as background music, a scraper which will get box art for your games, and it has the application Kodi. They’ve made a lot of improvements to Recalbox recently so you should definitely check them out. It may not be flashy but it’s simple and it gets the job done.


Retropie: Probably the most popular choice among retro gamers and emulation fans a like. It’s very customizable as you can control how it looks. The community for this software is huge so if you need help it’s very easy to reach out to someone who uses this. You can also do video snaps of games which is a big feature a lot of people like. Me personally the box art is just fine but if you want to go further and you know what you are doing then definitely give this operating system a try.

Lakka/RetroArch: This is my software of choice when it comes to it all. It’s made by the people over at Libretro. Both Recalbox and Retropie use RetroArch as a backend. Lakka is pretty much RetroArch but on the Raspberry Pi or any other single board computer. It has a nice xmb ribbon background. If you loved the background of the PS3 then you’ll love this one. What I like is that it can be run on Android as well (simply just as RetroArch). I will admit it is far from simple to use but I plan on making a tutorial walkthrough on how it works later on. There are a ton of tutorials out there so if you like a challenge definitely go for it.

If you plan on doing this I encourage you to check out each of the three operating systems, do your research and make a decision on which one you want to use. I feel they are all very good choices and whichever decide you will enjoy. Now one thing to watch out for is that there are a lot of people selling these types of devices on sites such as Ebay, OfferUp, Letgo, and even sometimes there self own made website. Usually they will sell them for about $250 (possibly even more). DO NOT BUY FROM THESE GUYS!!!!!!!! You can make one easily yourself and you will save yourself a bunch of money in the long run. I would recommend getting the kits but make sure you buy your own controllers. The Raspberry Pi does have bluetooth so many people use old Xbox 360 controllers, PS3 controllers, and even Wii U Pro Controllers. I’ve talked about 8Bitdo controllers on this blog before. That is also a great alternative. If you want something wired I’ll give you some Amazon links at the end of this post. But kits give you everything you need to get started on creating one of these things.

If you are looking for place to watch tutorials look no further than one of my favorite YouTubers  ETA Prime. I consider him the emulation king. If you check out his YouTube channel so much information on how you can get started on making one of these with the operating system of your choice. And his tutorials are very easy to follow. He goes step by step to the point that even a beginner who has never used computers before can follow what he is explaining. Anyway if you plan to do this let me know in the comments below. If you already have one let me know in the comments. A fair warning however the Nintendo 64 emulation on the Raspberry Pi 3 isn’t great. Some games run perfect but other games struggle. If you want Nintendo 64 emulation I would recommend a more powerful single board computer such as the Odroid XU4. I hope you all find this information very useful. Blogging live to you and yours! It’s your boy TWOTALL4UFOOL! Remember that TOGETHER EVERYONE ACHIEVES MORE! Thanks for reading folks and please keep coming back for more great content. Listed below are some links to Amazon that I would recommend if you want to get started. Check them out.

CanaKit Raspberry Pi 3 Complete Starter Kit – 32 GB Edition

2 Pack iNNEXT SNES Retro USB Controller Gamepad Joystick, USB PC Super Classic Controller Joypad Gamestick for Windows PC MAC Linux Raspberry Pi 3 Sega Genesis Higan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s