Here’s (almost) everything you need to build a retro gaming console using a Raspberry Pi computer, all from Amazon Prime!

Don’t worry, we’ve done the work for you. Just choose your options from the list below and you’ll get the best deal/value available. You may be able to find cheaper options if you know what you’re looking for and take the time, but you’ll end up sacrificing quality, or worse yet (like me) get “paralysis by analysis” and end up not buying anything!

 

First, choose your Raspberry Pi Computer

Complete Kit
(best if you want a basic case and need a power supply, MicroSD Card, & HDMI Cable)
$70 http://amzn.to/2y5qPwC
Pi + Case Kit
(best for basic case and a-la-carte extras)
$40 http://amzn.to/2yR7n5Q
Pi Only
(Best for custom cases and a-la-carte extras)
$35 http://amzn.to/2yR4vpQ

Next, get a power supply (if you need one)

Look around your house for some spare Micro USB cellphone chargers. Next, look at the small text printed on them to see how much current they deliver. Most chargers will deliver 1 Amp (AH), aka 1000 Milliamps (mAH), which is the bare minimum you’d want for a Pi. I haven’t had trouble with my 1 Amp charger, but your mileage may vary. Older charges, or ultra-cheap newer chargers, may only deliver 500 milliamps, which won’t even boot the Pi. If in doubt, get the 2.5 Amp power supply listed here. It even has a nifty power button which the Pi itself lacks.

Use your own
(1A/1000mAH min, 2A/2000mAH recommended)
$0
Kit-Included Power Supply $0 Comes with Complete Kit
CanaKit 2.5A with power button (recommended) $10 http://amzn.to/2i3N8YA

Pick a case

This is purely personal preference. Unless you want the look and feel of a retro-style case, just get the basic case included in either of the kits.

None (Not recommended) $0
Basic Case (budget recommended) $0 Comes with both kits
NES $20 http://amzn.to/2y4sVN7
SNES $27 http://amzn.to/2zNJc6B
Numerous others available
(if you really want to take the time to shop)
$? http://amzn.to/2h8GQr1

Micro SD Card

Just about any 32GB+ MicroSD card will work, though faster is probably better.

Use your own (32gb minimum) $0
Complete Kit includes an SD Card $0
SanDisk 32gb (best brand/speed/size/value available) $13 http://amzn.to/2y4BIPh

Choose a controller

I’d recommend just using one from a console you already own, if you have one. Otherwise, grab the Buffalo listed here and you should be perfectly happy according to the reviews. I haven’t tested it because I have an Xbox One.

Use your own (PS4, Xbox One, etc.) $0
Buffalo Classic (Basic) $16 http://amzn.to/2i5nQJT

Grab an HDMI cable

No need for expensive brand-name cable from a big-box store.

Use your own $0
Complete Kit includes an HDMI Cable $0
Twisted Veins (cheap, older tech, 3-pack) $10 http://amzn.to/2zPIupn
AmazonBasics (newer tech, recommended) $7 http://amzn.to/2zQka6T  

Grab a keyboard and mouse

This part is really only necessary if you want to do more with the Pi. Tinker with Raspbian and Linux, add media center capabilities, you name it.

Use your own $0
Buy the cheapest ones you can find at WalMart $15
Rii Wireless Combo
(Best for media center capabilities)
$22 http://amzn.to/2gCqN46

Install RetroPie

Head over to https://retropie.org.uk/ and follow the instructions to download and install software onto your SD card.

 

Download some video game ROMs

Here’s where we hit a legal grey area. Downloading game ROMs is technically piracy, so we’re not going to tell you how to do it or link to any files. You’ll have to do your own Googling for this part.