While “normies” are out fighting in the aisles of Walmart to snap up one of the official “Classic Mini” consoles that Nintendo lets slip out onto the market every once and awhile, hackers have been perfecting their own miniature versions of these classic gaming systems. The “Classic Mini” line is admittedly a very cool way to capitalize on nostalgic masses who have now found themselves at the age where they have disposable income, but the value proposition is kind of weak. Rather than being stuck with the handful of generation-limited games that Nintendo packed into the official products, these homebrew consoles can play thousands of ROMs from systems that stretch across multiple generations and manufacturers.
But for those old enough to remember playing on one of these systems when they first came out, these modern reincarnations always lack a certain something. It never feels quite right. That vaguely uncomfortable feeling is exactly what [ElBartoME] is aiming to eliminate with his very slick miniature SNES build. His 3D printed case doesn’t just nail the aesthetics of the original (PAL) console, but the system also uses real SNES controllers in addition to NFC “cartridges” to load different ROMs.
The project’s page on Thingiverse has all the wiring diagrams and kernel configuration info to get the internal Raspberry Pi 3 to read an original SNES controller via the GPIO pins. He also gives a full rundown on the hardware and software required to get the NFC-enabled cartridges working with EmulationStation to launch the appropriate game when inserted. Though he does admit this is quite a bit trickier than the controller setup.
[ElBartoME] has put a video up on YouTube that shows him inserting his mock cartridges and navigating the menus with an original SNES controller. If it wasn’t for the fact that the console is the size of a smartphone and the on-screen display is generations beyond what the SNES could pull off, you’d think he was playing on the real thing.
We’ve seen some incredibly impressive emulation boxes based on the Raspberry Pi, and builds which tried to embrace original hardware components, but this particular project may represent the best of both worlds.
8 thoughts on “Homebrew SNES Mini Aims For Historical Accuracy”
Which sea are the Walmart isles located in? (Aisle not isle)
Hackaday: Come for the projects, stay for the constructive comments.
Agreed on the sentiment in general, but the idea of the Walmart Isles is actually kinda funny.
Nicely done, but it needs a bluetooth dongle for 2nd (not to mention 3rd through 5th) player support.
Good point, though he is using a Pi 3 so he has the internal Bluetooth if he decides to use it. Just a matter of software setup.
Nice work. Looks quite similar to this project http://www.daftmike.com/2017/09/snespi.html apart from the full-size controller port. Although I don’t think that guy’s posted all his .stls yet.
The cyclopsian controller port is a little disconcerting, but otherwise a nice clean build with some neat functionality. Even if the carts are just tags that run software already on the console, I bet it has a nice nostalgic tactile feel to it.
I somehow confused historical accuracy for emulation accuracy. I realize my mistake now, this is “only” a really great looking project. :(
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