In recent years Nintendo have returned to their roots with great success. The NES and SNES Classic both sold out almost instantly when they went on sale, with extra units of the NES set to be produced next year.
If you weren't able to get your hands on one of the classic consoles, and you don't want to pay huge amounts online, there is a way to build your own. It won't look exactly like the real deal but it will

allow you to play all your favourite video games from childhood. Here's how to do it...

What you'll need:

  • Raspberry Pi with power supply (you can buy a Retro gaming bundle here)
  • Micro SD card with adaptor
  • A controller (you can buy a retro controller or use a PlayStation / Xbox one)
  • HDMI
  • A USB memory stick
  • A TV or Monitor

What to do:

Before you set anything up, you'll need to download the software. The most important thing you need to create your own SNES or NES is an emulator, and for this project we'll be using the emulator included with the retropie operating system.

Insert your SD card into your regular computer and make sure it is blank and formatted to FAT32 (details on reformatting here).

You can download retropie for free from the company's website. The file will be in the format gz.img and you will need to download etcher to transfer that file onto your SD card properly.

Once that's done you're ready to set up the Raspberry Pi. Put the Pi into the cover (if you have one), connect it to your TV or monitor with the HDMI cable, then insert the Micro SD card into the Pi and connect the controller. You're now ready to plug in the Pi and get started.


The first time you turn on the Raspberry Pi with Retropie you'll be prompted to configure your controller. The following controls can't be configured but can be used on the system.

Select+Start -  Exit 
Select+Right Shoulder - Save
Select+Left Shoulder - Load

Once this is done, the first thing to do is connect to the Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi setup can be found in the retropie menu (press A while on the Retropie configuration icon as shown in the top image). Press B from this menu to get back to the Emulation Station.

On your memory stick, create a folder called retropie. When this is done, insert the memory stick into the Raspberry Pi into and wait until the green light on the side of the Raspberry Pi stops flashing green and turns red.

Extra folders will have been added to the memory stick, where you can add game files.

Plug the memory stick back into the Pi, and restart the emulation station via the menu. Your games will then appear and you can play away.

Simple as that. You have your own NES or SNES without having to go near Smyths.