RetroPie 4.6 is the new version of one of the best operating systems for creating retro consoles. And it comes with news, since it is the first version that officially supports the Raspberry Pi 4, the most powerful in the project that leads single-board mini-PCs.
Retro consoles are still in fashion. And they are good business as Nintendo showed when starting a war (criticized by the mainstream media) against the main ROM portals. And is that the emulation community has played (and plays) a crucial role in preserving the history of games. And it’s saved thousands of games over the decades, while big companies haven’t contributed anything until they’ve seen it “color.” I mean, tickets.
It is their strategy, but there is nothing better than “do it yourself”. Of course, it is worth making the appropriate legal considerations: the use of emulators is perfectly legal, but not the software protected by copyright (ROMs included) if you do not have the permission of the person who has the rights. In my humble opinion, it is incomprehensible that a game from 40 years ago (that the owner has not sold for many years) continues to be copyrighted, but it is what it is.
Beginning lesson. Retropie is an open source Linux system created with the base provided by Raspbian, a GNU / Linux distribution (based in turn on Debian) that the Raspberry Pi foundation promotes as the official one for its motherboards, although two dozen other alternative and / or derived systems.
In addition to Raspbian, Retropie includes the CrossArch cross-platform game emulator and adds the EmulationStation front-end to offer a graphical interface that looks more like a game console than a PC. The result is fantastic, emulating dozens of consoles, although here the user also has other alternatives such as Recalbox, Batocera or Lakka.
RetroPie 4.6 is the latest version and officially supports (still in beta) the Raspberry Pi 4 as the biggest news. And it is interesting considering that this version is the most powerful ever made for Raspberry Pi, with WiFi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0 and Gigabit Ethernet, and up to 4 Gbytes of RAM, and this should allow a better performance by emulating some of the most demanding classic gaming consoles like Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation, Sega Dreamcast and others.
Its use can not be easier. Download the pre-built image for Raspberry Pi; burn it on a microSD card (Win32DiskImager is recommended for Windows, Apple Pi Baker if you are on macOS and Unetbootin if you use Linux); you insert it in the plate and run. Games (ROMs) are on your side, albeit images on the Internet with thousands of them pre-loaded despite legal copyright warnings.
Although a Raspberry Pi 4 is perfect for creating retro consoles as you can see in this guide, Retropie can also be used on other boards such as ODROID’s or simply on a PC.