Over the decades, console gaming has been the most intense medium of entertainment. In fact, when I was 12, it used to be the sole thing that nurtured my bond with my dad through playing games in my PlayStation. Now, you might not have a PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox, or a Sega Genesis! On top of that, being a teenager by myself, I can’t stand the ability to afford any of them.
That’s why when my PlayStation stopped working; I neither could alter it nor purchase a new one. So, what I did was crafting my own gaming console, which roughly cost 100$, and guess what? It worked!
And let me tell you that I am a legit novice in programming, so there was nothing much I needed to do. So, I am pretty sure that you are already intrigued to know “how.” Hence, I have everything lined up for you today to instruct you on how to build your own console gaming!
Let’s get started!
Tools You Need to Build Your Own Console Gaming
Well, first thing first you must know that you’ll be needing a computer which is the biggest investment that no one intends to make! So how can you get it done in a tight budget?
Rejoice! You have “Raspberry pi,” a mini memory card-sized computer. And it’s one of the finest architects I have ever come across.
Because the raspberry manufacturers thought to come up with this non-profitable idea is because of the young teenagers who are very much alike to immerse in programming, need an affordable way to streamline their skills.
And, here when we are talking about gaming console, raspberry pi brings all the nostalgia because it allows you to play retro games simply by equipping it with few accessories.
However, you need to work with your expectations as, unlike another exclusive gaming console, it won’t provide you the high-resolution graphics, and no wonder the “real -life” gaming experience may not happen as well. But one thing that I can bet is that it won’t lag or stutter during the gaming session.
Now, all you need is to collect the necessary tools, assemble them orderly, and finally — playing games!
So, let’s glance over the tools you need. Also, I would recommend you Toolscue, where you’re gonna have everything you need to set up a console gaming in your personal space!
- Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Version (here I am suggesting the new ones instead of its predecessors because it doesn’t lag or buffer. Also, the processor is more efficient than the previous models)
- A case for your raspberry pi
- A 5-volt power supply with accurate 2 amps current (if you can’t manage to have a 5-volt power source then you can use a new android phone charger; though it won’t be sufficient)
- A micro SD card ( here if you are into some serious gaming as in live game streaming on twitch or Netflix then you can use the ultra 3 class SD card for high power and support)
- Of course, a controller. I have used the Nintendo pro controller, but if you want, you can experiment with other Bluetooth controllers or the latest Logitech controller.
- A display which can be your tv or a monitor powered with an HDMI cable for sure
- A USB keyboard to monitor the settings if you want.
Alright! So you are all set to build your own gaming console once you have gathered all the essentials!
Directions in Building Your Own Gaming Console — Step by Step
Let’s see the direction step by step to finally assess the raspberry pi into console gaming.
Step 1: Place Your Raspberry Pi Into a Case
I have plenty of videos about how you’re gonna craft your console with the raspberry pi, and sadly every one of them skipped showing how you’re supposed to put the mini-computer into a casing. Now casing is important in order to protect the computer and also to seize it in its right place.
So to start with the process, needless to say, you need a case. It’s crucial to purchase the official raspberry pie case if you don’t get it in the box of your raspberry pie beforehand.
Once you have it, its time to get to the work, which is notoriously tough and needs your undivided concentration. Follow these steps,
- Take the case and put the pi in. Here make sure that the pi isn’t connected to any cables or HDMI — not even your SD card. It should be all by itself when you are embedding it inside.
- When you are putting it inside, find out the cut-outs where you are to insert the SD card and HDMI cable. It will help you to place the pi ideally so that it doesn’t cover the cut-outs. You need to make sure that the inputs where you are going to plug your cable and insert the SD card are aligning accurately to the cut-outs.
- Don’t rush while trying to put it inside as it can break if you show aggression. Just angle it upside down and try to maneuver it slowly, releasing a little exertion, and you are all done!
Now when you have your pie inside the case, it’s time to opt for the next steps!
Step 2: Formatting SD Card
The next step is to format your micro SD card using an SD formatter. For this, I presume you already have a computer or if not, then you can use someone else’s as well.
Now when you have the computer, you need to insert your micro SD card into your computer, and once you have formatted it using an SD formatter, it’s time to hit on the file search bar and write the name of the operating system.
And to install your operating system, you can use a disk imager! Make sure you use the right imager; otherwise, if you select the wrong line accidentally as in your harddrive or something, then you might end up making a fuss.
However, if you are still confused about the operating system, then you can surf the official “Retro Pi’s website to download the operating system.
Step 3: Remove the SD Card and Insert it Into the Pi
Once you have written the operating system into your SD card, unplug it from your computer and insert it in your raspberry pi.
Now, bring your HDML cable and plug it into the monitor you are using as your display. Also, don’t forget to plug in the power supply!
After that, it will automatically go through its boot and in which case it shows up like little splash screen and some text quoting “retro pi” in your display!
Step 4: Configure the Controller
Here you need to wait for the setup, and as you are new to use the controller in the retro pi operating system, you need to configure the controller. Just go through all the buttons on the screen, and you will see everything you need to know in order to work with your controller; hence you are all good to go!
Step 5: Installing Games
Well, now comes the most important part, which is to install games. For that, you can google the best retro games with some moderate graphics. Here you need to install the games and zip it into a folder named: “retro pi” on your computer.
And then, by simply putting out the USB from the computer you have to plug it back into the raspberry pi, and when you power up the raspberry pi, it will start detecting through the USB stick to find that zipped file and create folders in order to copy those files into it.
So here you have your games on your display, choose the one you want to play, and bang on the controller.
That’s a fin! I hope you will be able to build your own gaming console by now.
However, one thing that you’ll be happy to know is retro pi features plenty of pre-installed games into it, and to include emulators; you’ll need internet access. And for your kind information, emulators don’t arrive by default.
To get them into your retro pi, you can follow these 3 methods; one is to use a USB key, second is using a network share, and lastly downloading the web interface or you can also trade files via SFTP.
And you are good to go!