Last week, much to the dismay of frustrated consumers that were unable to find a console in the wild, Nintendo announced that they would be discontinuing the wildly popular NES Classic. Now this week, rumors abound on the internet about the impending release of a SNES Classic, leaving many consumers (myself included) feeling more than a little trepidatious about the prospect of coming up empty-handed a second time. Well fear not, there are alternatives available to those of us that were unable to get our hands on a NES Classic, and have “nope’d out” of trying to find a SNES Classic.
For those of you that haven’t heard of the RetroPie before, it is a fabulous piece of programming that uses the wildly popular DIY programming device, Raspberry Pie. While the words DIY and programming might be a little bit off-putting, don’t worry. Even if you don’t have a single byte of programming experience, setting up a RetroPie is very easy and simple. Just head on over to Arstechnica or LifeHacker and follow one of their setup guides. The RetroPie offers a highly customizable experience at relatively low cost (Raspberry Pie starter kits can be purchased on Amazon for around $60), all the while allowing you to play just about any game from the Atari to PlayStation 1. But remember, because this is a DIY project you will only get out of it what you choose to put into it.
The Retro Freak is an all in one gaming console that allows you to play the original game carts from the NES/Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, Master System, Genesis/MegaDrive, Turbografx16/PC Engine, GameBoy, GameBoy Color, Gameboy Advance, & GameGear. Additionally, it also offers a myriad of other features like built-in cheat codes, save states, numerous graphic and audio filters, and the ability to dump any inserted cartridge to the system’s internal memory or optional MicroSD card. That way you can play the game directly from the system’s memory even if you no longer have the cartridge or never even had it in the first place. The only down-sides to the Retro Freak are that the console itself is pretty plain looking, and its cost is fairly high thanks to the lack of an official US distributor (You can typically find the Retro Freak on Amazon or PlayAsia for slightly more than $200). I myself have a Retro Freak and can not say enough great things about the system.