Have you ever wondered what to do with your old smart phone? Are you a fan of old school handheld video games? Are you a bit of a beginner when it comes to programming (like me)? I might have a neat idea you want to try out!
Now this isn’t really a new concept or anything, I’ve seen a lot of people do this sort of project by programing and altering devices or even creating consoles from scratch (which is freaking awesome) but unfortunately I don’t have the carpeting skills to create an arcade cabinet nor the knowledge to configure raspberry pi… yet!
This is a really simple DIY for people who like to play video games when they’re out or are fans of old school games but don’t have access to the actual device (like I had)
The only downfall is that it’s a lot easier to do this with an android device, I have seen people do it on an iPhone but it requires jail breaking it (which is something i am not very fond of). So if you have an old android you don’t want to get rid of or you’re already using one this project can be fun for you.
So all you need is an android phone, laptop and a way to connect the two!
First thing you are going to want to do is download your emulator for your phone, be it NES, SNES or whichever you like. There is an abundance of these apps on Google play. Try a bunch out and see which one you like best.
Next is the games, now I have a few games i would like to play on my phone that i already own. In order to do that you’re going to have to download ROM’s.What is a ROM you might ask? well it’s the file that contains the video game. Many people have extracted it from the cartridges and uploaded them online. You can just google any ROM site and just download them, just like downloading any file on the internet. Sites i like would be Emuparadise and coolrom. So just pick your games, download them and wait.
Hook up your android device to your laptop, in its files just create a folder where it will be easy for your emulator app to find the ROM files. As if you are adding pictures or music to your phone, either via cable or a USB hub for SD cards. Once you are done adding the game files to your device open the emulator app, some apps will automatically search for the it once it’s installed while others might have to be done manually.
Once that’s all done you can just boot up your game and enjoy!
And that’s pretty much it! you can now play your favorite games on your phone or even any android device be it tablet, phablet or even laptop. You can add all your favorites and take them with you anywhere you want.
The downside is that you won’t have buttons to push and will have to rely on the touch screen. There are however alternatives, you can get a micro USB OTG cable to connect a wired controller or if you have a wireless controller you can connect it via Bluetooth.
There are even tutorials online on how to connect controllers to smartphones via Bluetooth! Google and YouTube are your best friends when it comes to that.
And if you’re interested is more advanced projects Instructables is a haven for these amazing DIYs, people making arcade cabinets from scratch to altering their Gameboys to fit their cellphones in them.
There are even people who’ve hacked game-boys to run raspberry pi and play a huge library of games.
Or even converted consoles into handheld devices with their own custom cases!
I hope you find this little research helpful and that you get to try it out yourself .