Project: retropie

– PROPER english translation coming soon –
here’s some google translate master piece:

I bought myself a Raspberry Pi (1st generation) some time ago, because I was interested in the topic “single-board computers” and the part was pretty much hyped up as well.

As a deterrent ever picture of the Raspberry Pi board

At that time I used the Pi first as a media center (with Kodi ), which ran rather smoothly – a more comfortable in everyday life Chromecast has replaced the Pi but then quickly. Since then, the small board has spent its life as a NAS server for several backup hard drives, and is allowed to boot up for a few months every few months to back up photos.

At the time I also had on screen that there is a project called RetroPie – an ambitious community project, which summarizes a huge number of emulators of old consoles and game systems in a stylish user interface.
However, the 1st generation of the Pi seemed too weak on my chest to emulate games fluently.

Since then, a lot has happened: The Raspberry Pi is still a perennial favorite in the cartridge market, now there is already the 3rd generation, with a correspondingly faster CPU, on-chip Wi-Fi and bluetooth. Unbeatable for the price of a retro gaming project with:

After buying the new Pi (3b +), I’m now, after a lot of rummaging and trying out, quite satisfied with the final product:

A minimalist setup with all the relevant console / gaming systems of my childhood that can bring nostalgic tears to mind – and such a huge selection of retro games that for the next couple of years I’d just be busy trying out each game for a second.

grocery list

The setup

The “operating system” RetroPie is installed quickly – just copy the boot image to the SD card and boot the Pi with it. The rest is self-explanatory.
ROMs (game modules) can easily be copied to the Pi via Samba Share.
All game systems of the 90s (older than N64) run smoothly and without problems.
For MAME (Arcade) ROMs it is important to know the exact ROM version, the different versions are incompatible with each other.

Here is a list of all available systems.

overclocking

In order to be able to emulate N64 games fluently, you have to moderately overclock the graphics chip of the Pi. With heat-sinks and a housing with fan that is not a problem.

My Pi 3b + runs with the following settings, under real (N64 emulation) load at ~ 50 ° C. So far below the threshold of ~ 80 ° C, from which the Pi would begin to throttle down.

gpu_freq = 525
core_freq = 525
sdram_freq = 550
sdram_over_voltage = 2
sdram_schmoo = 0x02000020
over_voltage = 3
v3d_freq = 525
avoid_pwm_pll = 1
disable_splash = 1

The CPU frequency can be left untouched, the “bottleneck” for N64 emulation is actually the GPU. In addition, this compatibility list is helpful because there is an associated “optimal” emulator for each N64 ROM. Much of the “important” games work smoothly with the above settings.

Style

“EmulationStation” is the user interface of RetroPie. With a bit of work and the right theme , this can look pretty stylish.

Video Player

00:04
00:08

The theme “TronkyFran”

With a “scraper” (script that searches the Internet for metadata about all available on the Pi ROMs and automatically creates a local meta-database (with screenshots, game descriptions, year of publication, etc), such as Skyscraper , you can even watch videos in embed the game overview.

outlook

The RetroPie community , like the Raspberry Pi community , is quite large and active. With over 20 million Pis sold no wonder. Constantly being developed here and also made a lot .

RetroPie is based on Raspbian (the “official” operating system of the Raspberry Pi Foundation). Many games have already been ported for this game (eg Quake 1-3), which can be easily installed in RetroPie via the package manager. And: Quake 3 runs smoothly …

Raspbian himself (ie the standard desktop version) can also be installed via the package manager and can then be started at any time from the “Ports” menu – so that you have a “normal” Raspberry Pi with the standard operating system in the back pocket