Raspberry Pi Pico Drives $10 Nintendo 64 Flash Cart

We love retro gaming on the Raspberry pie but there’s nothing quite like retro gaming with a Raspberry Pi. Instead of running an emulator on a Pi, this Raspberry Pi Nintendo 64 Pico Cart The project, created by maker and developer Konrad Beckmann, uses the Raspberry Pi Pico to house a ROM that works on the original Nintendo 64 console.

See more

A demo of the project is already live and features a sample cart booting up a Super Mario 64 ROM on the Nintendo 64. It’s capable of running more than just stock ROMs for anyone who wants to sideload modern homebrew on the classic console. According to Beckmann, plans are already underway to add more features and further optimize the system.

Beckmann has an affinity for retro gaming, as evidenced by his GitHub project repositories which include a collection of emulators for the Nintendo game and watch portable. This collection is a port of an existing emulator collection known as Retro-Go. The original Retro-Go project was designed for ESP32 boards, but Beckmann likes to use stock hardware, which is also evident in today’s project.

See more

The demo board is built using a complete Raspberry Pi Pico module that attaches to a custom PCB. That said, Beckmann is planning a new Nintendo 64 flash cartridge project that only uses the RP2040 microprocessor (Arturo182’s RP2040 stamp is visible in the render) rather than a full-size Pico. The schematics have already been drawn up and the new boards will soon be available to him for testing but, in the meantime, this Pico board serves as a wonderful proof of concept.

Beckmann explains how the emulation cart is programmed, stating that the Pico emulates the Nintendo 64 cartridge by obtaining data from an external flash in response to bus requests. It uses the PIO (Programmable Input/Output) on the Pico to implement I/O management. All the code used in this project is available at GitHub for interested parties to explore.

If you want to recreate this Raspberry Pi project for yourself or just develop something similar, check out the original project thread shared with Twitter by Beckman. It not only provides a working demonstration of the cart in action, but also an in-depth look at its creation process. Be sure to follow Beckmann for more cool retrogaming projects as well as future updates on this one.