Last Updated on October 8, 2023
For emulation of retro systems, this is a game-changer: the new Raspberry Pi 5 can run GameCube and Wii games.
Already in the hands of a few enthusiasts and experts, the Pi 5 is currently available for pre-order. The general release is scheduled for later in 2023 (I ordered mine from ThePiHut).
Since its initial 2012 release, the Raspberry Pi has been a driving force in Linux-based emulation of classic systems. Everything from the Atari 2600 to arcade machines and beyond has been emulated on the various models. (That’s up to and including the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W in 2021. The impending arrival of the Raspberry Pi 5 means that platforms previously untouched by affordable hardware emulation are within reach.
As seen below, Nintendo Wii emulation via the Dolphin software is remarkably good considering the device isn’t even released yet.
While the Wii Sports Report emulation is slow, as YouTuber leepspvideo observes, “Wiii Sports Resort is working but it is definitely slow but maybe with an overclock and when the graphics drivers are properly implement mented we might be all right.”
The Pi 5 has already apparently been overclocked, so there is plenty of room for improvement here.
Raspberry Pi 5 retro gaming
One of the biggest possibilities for the Raspberry Pi 5 was always going to be emulation of previously “untouchable” hardware.
For context, consider this: you can expect all current emulators to run on a standard Windows or Linux PC or laptop. But you’ll be paying around £500 for the pleasure. Conversely, a Raspberry Pi 5 will set you back £60 or £80, depending on whether you opt for the 4GB or 8GB model.
In short, if you want to build a Raspberry Pi retro gaming centre, any model will do, depending on how recent you like you classic games.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine, TechRadar.com, and other publications.