ARCade Reactor - RetroPie Based System


As a young boy I grew up playing some of the classic computers like the BBC, Atari ST and the Amiga 500, later moving onto consoles like the SNES and the PlayStation. While the modern generation of gaming consoles and high-end PC's provide a graphically rich experience, there is a charm about the older games that you don't tend to get these days. Maybe it's just nostalgia, but they offer something that is often forgotten in the current generation.. games built purely around gameplay! Some of the older games can be so much fun and so immersive to play, the visuals become secondary to the whole experience.

Wanting to find out if my fond memories of classic games were nothing more than rose tinted nostalgia or if they really were that awesome, I decided to build a Retro gaming console and revisit the past. I wasn't stopping there though, this is not only a Retro gaming system but also a Media player. To keep things as cheap, simple and as light-weight as possible I opted to build it with Raspberry Pi using RetroPie, Emulation Station and Kodi.

The whole thing is enclosed in one of the most iconic games consoles of all time, Nintendo's Entertainment System (NES). To put a little extra polish and shine on the overall look I decided to paint the enclosure in the colour scheme of the Marvel Comic Hero Iron Man, this lead to the system being dubbed the ARCade Reactor (did you see what I did there?). As an added bonus the system also supports the use of original NES controllers, this adds a real sense of authenticity to the whole retro gaming thing.

The ARCade Reactor Gaming and Media System has the following specification and features:

  • RetroPie Multi-Platform gaming with support for over 20 systems
  • Kodi (XBMC) Home Theater
  • Modded NES enclosure for that retro look
  • Marvel Iron Man themed paint scheme
  • Raspberry Pi 3 model B (1.2Ghz x64 Quad-core ARM CPU, 1 Gb RAM)
  • USB-2.0, Bluetooth, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and HDMI Connectivity
  • 1 TB USB-2.0 Hard Disk Storage Drive
  • DVD Optical Drive (slot-loading)
  • Wireless Controller (PS3 DualShock)
  • Support for original NES Controller
  • Heat-Sinks and Cooling Fan to enable overclocking