Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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Duane Dibbley
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The Ideal Cottage System

by Duane Dibbley Sun May 11, 2014 11:36 pm

My family spends a good chunk of the summer at my mother-in-law's cottage, and I've been thinking about getting a game system that could live there. In the past I've taken one my systems there for the weekend, but it's not very convenient to do on a regular basis. I don't want to leave any of my current collection there, and I don't have any duplicate systems. So I'm wondering what you all would recommend.

The main things I'm interested in this cottage system having are:
  • A variety of games. Not necessarily multiple generations, though that would be a plus.
  • Support for two or more players, with actual controllers (i.e. not multiple people using a keyboard to play an emulator).
  • HDMI, component, or composite video. (I believe that's all the inputs the TV I'd be using has.)
  • Relatively cheap. I don't have much of a budget for this. Maybe $50 or so.

My thoughts so far on what might work are:
  • A modded oXbox with emulators.
  • An old computer running emulators. (I have a computer that might work, but I'd need controllers and I think it only has VGA output.)
  • One of those clone systems preloaded with games.
  • A cheap eBay system/game lot with duplicates of games already in my collection.

Thoughts?
My games for sale: Racketboy, Amazon, eBay
My systems: NES, Nintendo 64, GameCube (Game Boy Player), Wii / Game & Watch: Ball, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP (x2), Nintendo DSi / Genesis (Sega CD, 32X), Saturn / Game Gear / PlayStation, PlayStation 2 / Xbox / Mac (Windows PC) / iPhone, iPad
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isiolia
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Re: The Ideal Cottage System

by isiolia Mon May 12, 2014 12:06 am

A Raspberry Pi perhaps? Lifehacker did an article along those lines last year. A friend of mine has one set up similarly, and it's decent. 'course, he also has an Ouya set up similarly, which may also be something to look at (or any cheap Android device).
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EllertMichael
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Re: The Ideal Cottage System

by EllertMichael Mon May 12, 2014 12:22 am

I've actually read good things about emulation on the Ouya and it might suit your needs well.

Small and travel friendly, HDMI, and can be had relatively cheaply.
X360/PS3/Wii Controller options, a nice variety of emulators that run well and have nice looking menus to scroll through.

Even I'm now thinking about picking one up just to mess around with even though I've been pretty indifferent towards the thing in the past..
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fastbilly1
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Re: The Ideal Cottage System

by fastbilly1 Mon May 12, 2014 9:01 am

A used Wii that has been soft modded, or an android stick system will be your best bet in the $50 price range. Even then, extra controllers are going to take you over the top. Several years ago I soft softmodded my Wii and took a week to pair down romlists to every NES, SNES, and Genesis game my extended family use to play on vacation and it is always a draw. If I had to do it now, I would probably go with an Ouya, but unless you get one on sale it will not meet you price point.
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Duane Dibbley
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Re: The Ideal Cottage System

by Duane Dibbley Mon May 12, 2014 11:55 pm

Thanks for the great suggestions so far! Keep 'em coming. It looks like the Raspberry Pi might be my best bet, but an Android stick or Ouya could work too. I thought about a modded Wii as well, but it seemed like an oXbox would be cheaper. I haven't done any recent research on either system though.
My games for sale: Racketboy, Amazon, eBay
My systems: NES, Nintendo 64, GameCube (Game Boy Player), Wii / Game & Watch: Ball, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP (x2), Nintendo DSi / Genesis (Sega CD, 32X), Saturn / Game Gear / PlayStation, PlayStation 2 / Xbox / Mac (Windows PC) / iPhone, iPad
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RyaNtheSlayA
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Re: The Ideal Cottage System

by RyaNtheSlayA Tue May 13, 2014 12:01 am

The Ouya is ridiculously easy to set up emulators on with the help of a USB stick. I'd wholly recommend picking up a Wii U Pro Controller or Xbox 360 controller or something OTHER than that awful monstrosity it comes with. I'm sure you can find them super cheap used. It's not exactly a well loved system (with good reason). But hey, if you don't care about anything but emulators it's pretty damn good at that. It works with basically any USB device you can stick into it so a couple cheap wired 360 controllers and you're good to go!
I'm still not sure whether I'm a kid or a squid now.
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Duane Dibbley
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Re: The Ideal Cottage System

by Duane Dibbley Tue May 13, 2014 12:12 am

Yeah, normally I'm not that into emulation, but for this purpose it seems like it's probably the way to go. I need to do some more research, and try to convince my wife this is worth spending our limited funds on. Maybe I can spin it as an investment in our one-year-old son's future education...
My games for sale: Racketboy, Amazon, eBay
My systems: NES, Nintendo 64, GameCube (Game Boy Player), Wii / Game & Watch: Ball, Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Advance SP (x2), Nintendo DSi / Genesis (Sega CD, 32X), Saturn / Game Gear / PlayStation, PlayStation 2 / Xbox / Mac (Windows PC) / iPhone, iPad
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8bit
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Re: The Ideal Cottage System

by 8bit Tue May 13, 2014 1:11 am

Like you and the others have said... an emulated console is probably the way to go. I strongly recommend an Ouya or Wii for the job. I have both and both do NES, SNES, Genesis, Wii, Gameboy, GBA, Master System, Game Gear, Neo Geo Pocket, Mame, and other very well with little fuss. Just make sure you have a PS3 controller for the Ouya or Classic controller for the Wii if you go that direction.
"The librarian does not rue the library, nor the curator fear the exhibits. Rather they revel in their potential. And that is the beauty of a big backlog; pure potential." - Exhuminator

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aaron
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Re: The Ideal Cottage System

by aaron Tue May 13, 2014 11:18 am

softmodded Wii or Xbox for sure.
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ninjainspandex
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Re: The Ideal Cottage System

by ninjainspandex Tue May 13, 2014 11:21 am

why not just have a softmodded PSP put 64GB of storage on it and load it with tons of emulators and games. Then you have the added benefit of being able to take it outside and enjoying the fresh air.
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