Make Your Own SNES Console with a BeagleBoard and BeagleSNES 0.5

Playing Super Nintendo Entertainment System games is quite easy

BeagleSNES 0.5, an application that runs on BeagleBoard-xM or BeagleBone Black in order to perfectly emulate the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, has been released.

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is one of the most popular video game consoles ever built, and it still has a lot of users and almost a cult following a quarter of a century later. It's so widely used that a lot of developers have made software emulators that would allow users to run some famous games (abandonware) on other platforms, like the PC for example.

Abandonware is not actually a license. It describes a product, in this case a game, which has either been abandoned by its developer or is no longer owned by anyone after the original companies went bust. Most of the games for the SNES platform fall into this category and there are a lot of them.

BeagleSNES is not only the software that runs BeagleBoard-xM or BeagleBone Black, it's a term used to describe the complete solution. According to the developers, BeagleSNES uses the SNES9X emulator and a patched bootloader with Linux kernel, which complete the experience, providing the users with a fully working console.

The installation procedure is very simple and works just like you’d imagine. All you need is an SD card and the downloaded image. Use dd to write the image on the card and you are good to go. Keep in mind that BeagleBoard-xM can run with just the power from a USB cable, but for BeagleBone Black you will need to have an external power supply.

“The only supported game controller is the Tomee USB SNES gamepad, though most USB gamepads with enough buttons will work if you change the gamepad button mappings in the configuration file to support their particular button mapping scheme. One or two gamepads are supported for both platforms. To use two gamepads on the BeagleBone Black, you must use an external USB hub to provide the additional USB host ports for the gamepads to plug into,” reads the official website.

The latest version of BeagleSNES released is 0.5 and, as you can expect, the developers have made quite a few modifications and improvements.

For example, controller driver support for ACRUX, DragonRise, GreenAsia/Pantherlord, I-Force, Sony PS3, X-Box, and ZeroPlus has been implemented, the /boot partition size has been increased from 64MB to 950MB (approximately), the /rootfs partition size now completely fills the allocated 4GB, the game selection GUI now takes its button mappings from the configuration file, and more.

Check the official changelog for more details about this release. Download BeagleSNES 0.5 right now from Softpedia.

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