I have an old Playstation that we don’t use anymore, and probably haven’t used in nearly 20 years, so I’m thinking I might just need to adapt it to a modern purpose. You see, My Lovely Bride™ got me (among other things) an off-brand, Dremel-like multi-tool kit, and I’ve been itching to use it ever since. My first inclination was to tear out all the guts and put a Raspberry Pi 3 system in there, to play retro games on. That’s a perfectly fine idea, but I also got a new RPi3 case for Christmas that looks like an original Nintendo Entertainment System, so that’s what I’ll be using with my current RPi3 instead.
So, what do?
Well, here’s a thought: The Raspberry Pi 3 isn’t very good at emulating any gaming system more than the 16-bit systems (Super Nintendo, and so forth). I think the most advanced system the RPi3 emulates consistently well is the Gameboy Advance, which leaves out a lot of my favorite gaming consoles. It will do most Playstation games, but the system tends to slow down due to overheating with extended play, so it isn’t really viable.
So, again, what do?
Well, I had an idea. What if I were to purchase a micro form-factor computer, place that inside of the gutted Playstation casing, and use that as a game emulation system?
Here’s what I have in mind. I’m looking at putting an Intel-based NUC (barebones micro computer) inside the PSX case, modding said case so I can access the front panel of the NUC to access the power switch, a couple of USB3 ports, etc. I would run the power, HDMI, and Ethernet cables through the open ports in the back, which no one would see, anyway. As for the NUC itself, I plan on putting 8 to 16GB of RAM in it, and a 4TB 2.5 inch HDD. Yes, it would be a bit pricey, but consider what this machine would be capable of emulating.
- Sony Playstation
- Sony Playstation 2
- Sony Playstation 3 (?)
- Nintendo 64
- Nintendo GameCube
- Nintendo Wii
- Sega Saturn
- Sega Dreamcast
- Microsoft Xbox
And yes, there would be plenty of space on the 4TB hard drive to hold as many ROMs as you’d need for these systems. Personally, I would most likely stick to just Sony and Nintendo consoles on that list, because those are the ones I enjoy most. Sony PS3 is a bit of an unknown, though, as emulation for this console is very much still in an experimental phase. But it should work, in time. The only questions I still have now is do I mod my original Playstation, or do this to my Playstation 2, so the colors match better? Or install ports on the front of the PSX, and keep the NUC completely inside the case?
As for the game consoles prior to the PSX, I’ll keep emulating them on my Raspberry Pi 3 system, because that’s perfectly fine.