Posted on September 20, 2018
I first started reading about a Raspberry Pi and registered to get one October of 2004, and I got to finally order a couple in 2012 after they came to market in enough quantity that hobbyist could get their hands on them.
Once I finally got my 2 Pi's, I didn't know what to with them first. I connected them up and started making media centers, desktop PC's and a programming platform for Python. After a little while I found Retro Pie.
RetroPie allows you to turn your Raspberry Pi, ODroid C1/C2, or PC into a retro-gaming machine. It builds upon Raspbian, EmulationStation, RetroArch and many other projects to enable you to play your favorite Arcade, home-console, and classic PC games with the minimum set-up. For power users it also provides a large variety of configuration tools to customize the system as you want.
I wanted to mainly play some NES and Sega games again, relive some memories. There were a few games that I didn't get to beat because a weekend ran out and I needed to return the game to Blockbuster, or Hollywood Video. Skitchin' on the Sega was one of those games.
Some back story, I did some good times on roller-blades and even did some Skitchin' myself through parking lots and Longmont, CO. Both me and my cousin played for the whole weekend straight to beat Skitchin' and got the last level just couldn't pull it off before having to go back to the real world. Then, many years pasts with me living with regret of not being able to beat it.
I setup the 1B and started out to find ROMs, and found that they were easy and plentiful, harder to find were good games. I ended up sticking with Emuparadise and Free ROMs for my ROMs; they seemed to work as expected and got me started. The PlayStation was a little harder, games that worked without some tons of editing and even graphics where an issue. The PS1 incorporated graphics rendering in their console, making getting a exact copy virtually impossible for many games. The PS1 fighting game that really set a different standard was Ehrgeiz – God Bless The Ring. I ran into a RAM issue loading PlayStation and N64 as well with the 1B, having only 512MB RAM; however, I was able to run many games for NES, Sega, Mame, and any other 8-bit & 16-bit games.
Years after getting the 1B, enters the 3B+ Pi. I ended up getting one to create something for LetsRobot.tv since I have been happy with the games I was able to yield out of the 1B. The 3B+ having a whopping 1GB of RAM and 1.4BGHz processor, I knew would be able to run the PS1 games and any of the others. I loaded the Nintendo-64 game Mario Cart and it ran great out of the gate, and the 1B couldn't run past the loading screen. After that, I sought out to create a comparison of the two running RetroPie, the 1B vs 3B+, which isn't real fair.
It's no surpsied that the 3B+ runs far superior over the 1B in the menu's and games. There is a game called Toki that wouldn't run on the 1B, and I am happy to say the 3B+ had no problem running it. Toki is another one of those games I wanted to spend more quarters in the arcade to beat, but had to take back seat to other games.
Overall, the 3B+ is the way to go if you want to setup a RetroPie, but there is still plenty of customization that is needed to get a smoother picture. Filters are still as much as part of a 3B+ as they are 1B, and that has more to do with the TV than the Pi. I have not played with the included Kodi media center in RetroPie, but if I ever get sick of this amazingly cool Retro gaming, I will do a review. I wouldn't hold your breath since, it's been 3 years since I changed anything on my 1B. I see myself getting another 3B+ to upgrade my gaming station so I can play a whole bunch of other games I never knew about, and beat them. If you want to play Atari, NES, Sega you can go with the 1B with no hassles, but if you want the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and some Sega 32-bit games, you will want to get a 3B+ and they are easier to find at this point for the same price.
Stay tuned, I will add what I needed to do to get the PlayStation to work on the 3B+ because the 1B has no chance of playing those games. Want to build your own? My suggestion since they are readily available and offer the most ability, is a Raspberry 3B+; visit RetroPie in related links to get the main image and be sure to make sure the µSD card is compatible by visiting the RPi SD cards link.
PlayStation Update !!! PSX Update !!! PlayStation Update !!! PSX Update !!!
Two things are needed for playing PlayStation games on the RetriPie, a BIOS file named SCPH1001.BIN (caps needed) and a .bin and .cue file for each game. The SCPH1001.BIN file is easy [direct link]. There is a critical component to using .bin files for the PSX, and that is the supporting .cue file. Since PlayStation generally used one track for the game, a cue file only functions as a starting point but the game will not work without one. What is harder to find, is the supporting .cue file with the .bin files in any downloads. All the downloads I came across only have the .bin file for the game. A good piece of knowledge is you can create a .cue file in a text editor like notepad or notepad++. There are programs that you can buy, but this is free and will not try to load any extra software on your machine.
There are only a few things you need to remember when creating a .cue file.
1) The .cue file has to be named the same as the .bin file
2) File names and extensions are case sensitive
3) The .cue file has to be in the same directory as the .bin file on the Pi (PSX)
In the example below, the PlayStation game .bin file being used is named GT2.bin. The .cue file will look like the following:
FILE "GT2.bin" BINARY
TRACK 01 MODE2/2352
INDEX 01 00:00:00
Save this file as GT2.cue (matching the .bin name) and uploaded to the same folder on the pi and it is ready to go.
For those games using a .cue file that is more complicated or if you want help creating one, there is a CUE creation website that allows you to drag the .bin to the page and it will create the correct .cue file needed. You just have to copy/paste it into notepad and save it.