Just last month Nintendo announced that most of its classic arcade titles from back in the day would be making their way to Switch. Certainly exciting news for nostalgic gamers, but we are still waiting for a proper, full-blown retro game store for NES and SNES titles, among others. While many of us will have to stick with PC-based emulations, some tinkerers are sick of waiting for an official storefront and less-than-ideal desktop ROMs.
We recently published a detailed breakdown of how to create your very Retro Pi gaming console from scratch using nothing but readily-available consumer products. And just recently we spotted a homemade Nintendo Switch clone designed by Tim Lindquist to play just about any vintage title you can think of.
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The perfectly named Nintimdo RP, is a completely homemade console made to look like a Nintendo Switch but with access to a much larger library of retro games. In fact, it supports emulated games from more than 50 different classic systems. Were there actually 50 of them? I’m having hard time thinking of that many classic consoles, but nonetheless it’s a lot.
The actual design of the Nintimdo resembles the Switch quite a lot despite being a little thicker. It ends up with a larger footprint because Tim was forced to use typical parts that are available to consumers. On top of the fact that he wanted a much larger battery than the Switch. He used a Broadcom BCM287 processor to run Linux, a cooling system and the required emulators. By comparison, its 10000mAh battery dwarfs the Switch’s official on-board 4310mAh solution. As for connectivity, it will run on your big screen over HDMI with a pair of USB ports for charging and the like.
One thing to point out here, is that while the overall footprint looks pretty good for a home-brew, the controller portion of the device does not break-away from the screen the way Nintendo’s Joy-Con do.
Along with the RetroPie emulator, which supports thousands of ROMs, EmulationStation is being tapped for the homemade console’s home screen. As you can see in the images, this gives the entire project a much more professional feel, at least on the software side of things. A Teensy microcontroller is used to handle some of the administrative user tasks like volume control, physical button map translations and some of the LCD screen’s functionality.
Here’s a sweet little time lapse video of creator Tim Lindquist’s journey with the Nintimdo RP over the summer:
I call it the Nintimdo RP and it runs the retropie software for the raspberry pi.
You can get even more details on the project directly from Tim’s site and here is the Gihub for the code and 3D model, in case you want to build one for yourself. The rest of us will just have to buy the real thing and wait for Nintendo’s fabled Switch retro store to magically appear on the eShop.