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5 Nostalgic Products You Can Make With a Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi

The tiny Raspberry Pi has captured imaginations with its sheer versatility since the release of the first version as recently as 2012, as it's no surprise that many enthusiastic coders of a certain age have been using it to - in various cool ways - transport themselves back to their childhoods.

Here are just five of the magic throwbacks that you simply require a Raspberry Pi and a bit of additional tech and programming wizardry to turn into a reality.

  1. Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Just the memories of touching that luscious rubber keyboard should be enough to get you emulating the Sinclair ZX Spectrum experience with your Raspberry Pi. As CNET writer David Hayward advised readers in a 2012 article for users of the original Pi, the eight-bit wonder can be brought back to life in a few simple steps involving the download and installation of the Fuse ZX Spectrum emulator.  

  1. Game Boy... sort of

The Game Boy is still the portable handheld gaming machine for those of us of a certain vintage, and you can bring back those glorious years with the Adafruit PiGRRL Pack 2.0 Build your own Pi Game Emulator that you can order right here at Makersify. The result of your handiwork is a DIY GameGRRL, a portable imitation Game Boy running MAME and NES emulators. Don't forget to buy a case for it to ensure it looks the part.

  1. Arcade cabinet

If your idea of gaming excellence back in the '80s or '90s involved pushing all of your remaining coins into an almighty arcade cabinet, well, you can even have one of those of your very own, again thanks to the genius of Raspberry Pi. We offer several brilliant cabinet kits that allow you to quickly realise this particular dream, including the Adafruit Cupcade and Pimoroni Picade.

  1. Come to think of it, pretty much any retro games console

It doesn't matter whether your old-school gaming tastes lean a little bit more towards the SNES or Mega Drive than any of the options above, because guess what... they're possible, too. Scratch that - add the likes of the Apple II, Atari 800, Nintendo 64, original PlayStation and C64 to what quickly becomes an impressively long list. You've got something called the RetroPie project to thank for this one - just head to the dedicated RetroPie website now to find out more about the setup process.

  1. Erm... R2-D2?

We've covered this one on the blog before, but it's surely worth a rerun. In a brilliant demonstration of the unassuming Raspberry Pi's wide-ranging potential, computer science PhD candidate Lingxiang Xiang used the microcomputer as the basis for a working R2-D2, complete with the ability to recognise faces and detect motion and distance, among other capabilities. Hammer 'Raspberry Pi R2-D2' into Google, and you'll find various tutorials for creating your own.

Of course, these are far from the only nostalgic possibilities that Raspberry Pi offers, not least with the third-generation version having been recently released. Keep checking back on the Makersify blog for more brilliant ideas for what you can do with your own little Pi. 

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