"Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart." -Haruki Murakami, "Kafka on the Shore"

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Old Skool NES Raspberry Pi Case

Last year, Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition. It was a game console that looked like a tiny version of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) from the 80s. It had 30 built-in games and cost $59.95. Nintendo woefully underestimated demand for the console. Stores couldn’t keep them in stock, and when they did hit shelves, scalpers scooped them up and resold them online for huge profits. And then, with thousands of potential customers begging Nintendo to ramp up production, the company confusingly cancelled the product instead.

This led lots of techie people to roll their own solutions, the most common of which was to install emulators on a Raspberry Pi (which made my list of NES Classic alternatives and which I wrote installation instructions for). It’s a nifty and inexpensive solution, but physically it’s missing the nostalgia form factor.

Enter the “NES inspired” Raspberry Pi case by Old Skool Entertainment System.

Not shaped exactly like an original NES, the Old Skool Entertainment System is the perfect shape for a Raspberry Pi. The case, which was designed to hold a Pi 3, 2 and B+, splits apart at the middle and includes four screws that goes up from the bottom into the top while holding the Pi in place.

Like any good case, there are openings that line up with all the Pi’s ports, so you won’t need to remove the case to access anything on the Pi. The front flips open to provide access to the Pi’s USB ports. While I appreciate the throwback to the original NES design, this does mean that all your USB cables will be routed out the front of the case. If you have an Ethernet cable running to your Pi, the lid will always be in the up position.

The case currently sells for $20 on Amazon and is available for Prime shipping, but there’s one thing on the packaging that worries me:

The absolute worst thing you can do when making a third-party product is mention Nintendo licenses by name. Claiming that your case was merely inspired by the original NES might be enough to skate past Nintendo’s lawyers, but mentioning characters by name and including instructions on how to download emulators and install ROMs is usually enough to draw the ire of suits. Hopefully when (not if) Nintendo’s lawyers come calling, all Old Skool will have to do is change their packaging, and not pull their case completely off the market.

So yeah, I like it. It’s no custom Commodore 1541 Raspberry Pi case, but it’s close.

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