If you are one of the masses who tried and failed to get hands on the NES Classic game console before Nintendo discontinued it, you can still get your retro gaming fix. Only the retro gaming won’t come courtesy of a cute little Nintendo console that looks like something from the glory days of gaming, but if you have some DIY skills you can build your own retro game console.
It will come in the form of a Raspberry Pi and some freely available software, RetroPie, to let you emulate those old games. The big upside to this is that when you are finished it will allow you to play more than classic Nintendo games. This project is outlined very well over on ArsTechnica and requires a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B with a 5V 2.5A micro USB power adapter and heatsinks for about $38.
The project also needs a microSD card with a 32GB version going for $13. An official Raspberry Pi 3 case costs about $8. A Buffalo classic USB gamepad could be used as well for $13. The Pi 3 has Bluetooth though and you can use any PS3 or PS4 controllers you have lying around. Personally I’d go that route as nostalgia in games is much better than nostalgia in hardware in my opinion and it would save $13 on the cost of the project.
If you opt for the 32GB card, one controller, and the hardware mentioned you’ll spend around $89. The actual assembly is said to be dead simple with the case needing no tools, if you thought you were going to need to solder things, you were wrong. The software configuration is the hard part and Ars walks you through that easily. The OS used in the project is RetroPie and Ars walks you thought all you need to install and update the OS. After you follow all the steps, you have your own retro game system that is small and sleek and will play all sorts of games up to items from the PS1.