Gaming continues to be a massive market with global appeal. While consoles like the Xbox One and Playstation 4 battle it out for supremacy, there is a movement that has been building for a while now- a movement that is seeing some of the old school classics make a return to our gaming screens in a big way.
Now, I'm a nostalgic kinda guy and think that people connect best with the things they have fond memories of, which is why Retro Gaming is back with a bang. A serious bang.
The best thing about retro gaming is that it's a relative term. It's a term everyone can relate to, a conversation everyone can get involved with and a passion that even after years of laying dormant can be re-ignited by the sound or sight of your favorite childhood game or console booting up. For me it's Golden Axe, Sonic the Hedgehog and Streets of Rage. For my dad, he's all about Defender and Sinister; the old school arcade type of games he used to play back in the day when he rode motorbikes and listened to Motorhead...
We've seen a heck of a lot of content about retro gaming here on the element14 Community over the last few years, so I decided to delve back, comb through and round up some of the best blogs and projects on retro-gaming and throw them all into one handy place for your personal viewing pleasure Enjoy!
Atari Xbox 360
First we're heading way back to 2011, to one of the early episodes of The Ben Heck Show, when we see Ben build an Atari Xbox 360. Atari asked Ben to do something to help them promote a few new games they had coming out on more modern systems. Ben decided that the best way to do this was to build a 1970's Atari styled Xbox 360 portable.
Not only does this include of the best games consoles made, the Xbox 360, but it also celebrates the cool retro look of the original Atari console too. I must admit it's probably one of the best looking builds I've seen on a Ben Heck episode so that's this got the nod.
Ben's no stranger to using games consoles and retro gaming in his builds, he's also created a Multi-System Retro Controller that's pretty darn sweet too
Retro Gaming Tables: PIK3A Galore!
Yup. We all knew that this blog would include THAT project. Let's face it, it was also inevitable that the Raspberry Pi was going to feature somewhere in this blog too...So now that we've got that out of the way lets jump into why I've included these here: They're awesome. That's it. End of story.
This was one of the first projects that truly opened me up to the possibilities of Retro-Gaming products for the masses. The idea of hacking apart something as simple as a coffee table from Ikea and slapping a Raspberry Pi with RetroPi on there was so simple, so brilliant, that I thought it was crazy it hadn't done before... Luckily we have our own spannerspencer to thank for getting stuck in and creating this... Little did he know what a monster it would become!
Many of our members have taken to creating their own versions of the now iconic table too, and it's great to see how this idea has taken hold. Seeing as there are too many individual projects to mention, check out this round up of all the Retro Gaming tables that have been given life and see the original PIK3A and PIK3A MK II for your guide how to get your own project up and running!
NESberry Pi Mini
Sticking with the theme of using a Raspberry Pi to get your retro-gaming hit, a simple and quick win comes in the form of using the Raspberry Pi along with a few SNES style controllers to create an easy and elegant plug-in-and-play system that we at element14 have dubbed the NESberry Pi Mini.
Working on pretty much the same idea as the PIK3A Table, but this time the Pi is simply hosued in a case and the controllers are plugged directly into the USB ports. So a much better option if your forte is electronics and not woodwork (like me, who would easily lose a few fingers trying to gut the Ikea coffee table).
Perfect for those times you want to retro-game in the go (as long as you have a screen and power supply) and small and compact enough to travel or easily be hidden away...although we're not sure why you'd want to- if people dislike your retro-gaming addiction then they are clearly in need of help and you don't need that sort of negativity in your life anyway
Multi-System Retro Controller
In the interest of continuity (and for the sake of my OCD) we'll stick with controllers and flip back to one of my favourite episodes of The Ben Heck Show.
In this fine installment Ben sets out build the ultimate Multi-System Retro Gaming Controller using an ESP8266 WiFi Module, a transmitter controller and a receiver on a games console. This bad boy pretty much rules the roost and can be used with consoles like the Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Saga and Atari- it's like the freaking master key for retro gaming consoles!! Plus Ben does a great job of combining, in my opinion, the best parts of the Saga controller (six buttons) with the retro look and feel along the lines of the SNES controller. 'Tis a thing of beauty!
Raspberry SUPER Pi
And finally to round things off, here's probably one of the most impressive and beautiful builds of them all. This one truly turns the Raspberry Pi in a fully functional games console and I cannot state how much I want this in my life. The look of the classic SNES, but with interchangable OS thanks to Berryboot makes the Raspberry SUPER Pi one of the best looking and working retro-gaming projects I've ever seen. The practical use of the old school cartridge system is a really nice touch and really gives that authentic retro-gaming feel: You know the one, where you'd had to blow inside the cartridge to get it to work!
So there you have it- some of the best Retro-Gaming builds that we've seen on the Community (in my opinion!) Are there any other projects that you would have included? Also, check out the PIK3A Deluxe Four Player Gaming Table we recently gave to the Raspberry Pi Foundation for their 5th Birthday!