Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Childhood in a Box

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 3, 2022

It’s one thing to emulate classic videogames on PC. I’m still mainly a PC gamer (have been since I got my Commodore 64 as a kid…), and so my gaming PC is a bit of a beast, fully VR capable. It’s unsurprising that it’ll run my old console games from the 8, 16, and 32-bit eras without raising a sweat.

When I’m getting nostalgic or gaming with friends and family, there’s nothing quite like holding a game controller in your hand in front of a TV. I still have a few (too many, according to my wife) game consoles I’ve kept around for occasional use, and so I still have something that can still run games I helped create back in the “old days.” And… well… I still have an extensive library of sometimes painstakingly acquired discs and cartridges that I don’t want to part with. Even though running the older consoles on new TVs is quite a challenge.

Aaaanyway… to that end, I’ve also picked up a few emulators. We’ve owned a few with built-in licensed games, and some that have been more do-it-yourself. My latest acquisition is built around the Raspberry Pi 4. It has a form-factor of a tiny Playstation 1, which will probably always be my favorite console due to it being where I started my career. With an SD card capable of handling hundreds of CD-ROMs’ worth of games, it has a ton of potential. Rather than blow off the dust on my old Dreamcast and its library currently banished to the basement, I put some Dreamcast games on my tiny new acquisition. And… yes, they run just fine. That didn’t come as a surprise.

But that’s when the “old fart” part of my brain kicked in. I guess there’s some ingrained element there that still imagines these games as… well, definitely not cutting-edge, but not something that can be run on an all-in-one card that costs about as much as an off-brand XBox controller. I know that’s a weird me-thing, and after a couple more rounds of Soul Caliber it’ll be gone forever. I’ve long gotten used to automatic coffee makers getting hacked to run Doom. Tech marches on, thank goodness. Now not only can my childhood fit on a pocket-sized box, but a chunk of my adult life too!

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