Raspberry Pi in a Super Nintendo Case – Part I

by tofucoder

I always wanted a Super Nintendo when I was a kid, but I never got one. So this my new Raspberry Pi project: Put a Pi into a SNES case and make it emulate SNES/NES games. Further I will use originial controllers and set them up to work with the Pi. Thank god, a lot of work has already been done over at the RetroPie Project.

For the first stage of my project I will connect the the SNES controllers to the GPIO interface of the Raspberry Pi.


  • a SNES. I ordered a broken one on eBay
  • Tools to open the SNES. Yes, Nintendo uses proprietary screws. You can either google for some hacks to open the case with a ball pen or self made screw drivers. I simply ordered a Gamebit (4.5) on eBay which is certainly the easiest method
  • At least one original SNES controller
  • Raspberry Pi, a SD card with at least 8GB, a micro USB power supply, a HDMI cable for connecting it to your TV and a keyboard (for setup only)

After opening the SNES you will see that a flat flex cable connects the controller board with the main board. I removed this cable and wired the controller board to the GPIO pins.

Wired SNES controller board

The controller boards has 11 pins which I wired in the following manner to the GPIO pins to make it work with RetroPie. The numbering is left to right if you look at the back of the board (which is probably not as Nintendo intended as this way pin 1 connects to GND…)


Wired GPIO

That’s its. Now fire up emulationstation and play a ROM of your choice.

Playing Donkey Kong on my Raspberry PI