Re-building my Playstation, NES, SNES & Arcade classic console

Following the disappointment that was the PlayStation Classic Console, which I was totally set on buying; I decided to re-build one myself. I really wanted to have one for nostalgia and to revisit Resident Evil 2 before I play the remastered version on the PS4 next year… unfortunately the overwhelming negative reviews knock some sense into me. So After window shopping on Lazada and Shopee, I ended up with a cheaper yet more capable system. Here’s a quick rundown

  • Raspberry P 3i Model B plus : 2,349.75 PHP (Lazada)
  • Raspberry Pi Official 2.5A wall charger : 374.75 PHP (Lazada)
  • Raspberry Pi fan and Heatsinks : 179 PHP (Lazada)
  • Retroflag NESPI Case+ (with safe shutdown/reset) : 1,089 PHP (Lazada)
  • Retroflag SNES Wired game controllers 2 pcs. : 1,424 PHP (Shopee)

This brings me to a total of 5416.50 PHP which is still cheaper by 1,000 PHP compared to the PlayStation Classic which as of the time of writing retails at 6,500 PHP locally. I didn’t buy a micro SD card since i got a lot laying around, but the cost can be easily swapped out with the fan and heatsink which were optional. I primarily use an XBox One controller with this but I purchased 2 wired controller for visitors and/or kids who wanna play.

I opted to get the Retroflag NESPI Case+ primarily because it had the safe Shutdown and Reset functionality which works with Retropie 4.4. It also helped that it looked and functioned almost the same as the Original NES Classic from Nintendo. In order to make the buttons on the NESPI Case+ work, you’ll need to install a script on GIThub:

In order for the script to work, you’ll need to turn a switch to “ON” on the NESPI Cae PCB as shown in the upper left corner of the photo below. The PCB also has a fan header you can use to attach a fan to the case. I  attached one to mine along with some heatsinks to help with thermal performance.

I used this guide I found on reddit to build Non-merged rom-set for Final Burn Alpha and load most of the games I played as a kid.

Once everything is put together, it looks identical to the NES Mini.

Retro Gaming

Because the NES mini is hard to find and/or too expensive, I decided to build a RetroPie computer at roughly the same cost as the SRP of the NES mini. At the time of writing, you can buy an Nes mini for 5,500PHP (110USD) …if you can find one, while a RetroPie will cost around 5,150PHP (103USD) for the bare essentials.

  • Raspberry Pi 3 Model B 2,350PHP (47USD)
  • 16gb class 10 Micro SD card 300OHO (6USD)
  • 8bitdo NES30 Pro Bluetooth controller 2,500PHP (50USD)

The Bluetooth controller is optional, you can opt to use any USB controller  you may already have to save money. You can also use any 2.1A cellphone charger as a power supply.

In the long run, the RetroPie will cost more if you want to personalize it like I did but you get a lot more functionality out of it, like a media player, bitcoin server etc. I use mine as a media center and an emulator for consoles from my childhood such as:

  • PlayStation 1 (PSX)
  • Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES)
  • Sega Megadrive
  • Nintendo 64 (N64)
  • Family Computer (FamiCom)

I’m happy on how it turned out, it’s a fair system. The functionality you get is equal to the effort you put in to it. The readily available parts and price isn’t bad as well considering what you can get out of it. Yes it doesn’t have the Nintendo look, or the “plug and play” feature like the NES mini, but I find that building the RetroPie was more of a nostalgic trip for me than owning an NES mini …which I actually did then sold in less than 24 hours.