Nintendo NES Raspberry Pi Case Review – NESPi by Retroflag


The Raspberry Pi has caused something of a craze in recent years and continues to grow in popularity. This in turn has lead to a boom in the number of available accessories for the device and particularly cases. You can now pickup cases specifically designed for the many different Raspberry Pi projects out there. One of the most popular uses for the Raspberry Pi is to build a retro gaming console using the RetroPie software solution. This has lead to many Raspberry Pi cases designed to imitate classic games consoles from yesteryear.  One of the very best of these is NESPi by Retroflag in the shape of the original NES console.  In this Nintendo NES Raspberry Pi Case Review we take a look at Retroflag’s offering and fully asses is design, features and price.

Raspberry Pi Retro Case Price Compare

A selection of classic games console cases for the Raspberry Pi can be seen in the table below.

NES Case
Nintendo NES Raspberry Pi Case
A case in the style of the original NES. Functional POWER/RESET buttons & LED power indicator. Easy access to SD-Card and other ports without opening case.
Nintendo SNES Raspberry Pi Case
A case in the style of the Nintendo SNES. Full access to SD Card, USB, Ethernet, Power, and HDMI without opening the case. Large cooling fan installed with 2 pin GPIO connector.
N64 Case
Nintendo 64 Raspberry Pi Case
A case in the style of the N64. Full access to SD Card, HDMI, Ethernet, USB Ports, Power, and Audio. Includes 5V cooling fan & connector.
Gameboy Case
Nintendo Gameboy Raspberry Pi Case
A case in the style of the classic Nintendo Gameboy. All Raspberry Pi ports are visible and case shows a glimpse of the inner workings. Heatsinks included.

Nintendo NES Raspberry Pi Case Review – NESPi by Retroflag

The NESPi by Retroflag is a case for both the Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 devices. Its design is based on the original NES games console from Nintendo but at a size more suited to the Raspberry Pi board. There are now many Raspberry Pi cases inspired by the NES but none that are in the same league as the NESPi when it comes to likeness of the original console & build quality. The case is designed to accommodate the Pi board and to have all ports accessible from outside of the case. Please note that you can click any of the images in our Nespi case review to get a closer look.

NESPI Raspberry Pi Case Unboxing

When you purchase a NESPi case the nostalgia will kick in from when the box is put in front of you. Like with the case itself the packaging is in the style of the NES games console but showing the Raspberry Pi connection ports. The box is somewhat bigger than the case itself so do not be alarmed at the size. The contents is much more aligned to the size of the Pi. The image below shows the packaging of the Retroflag NESPi case. [Read: Best Raspberry Pi Case for Touch Screen Projects]

Retroflag Nespi Case Raspberry Pi 3
Retroflag NESPi Raspberry Pi Case Boxed

Open up the package and immediately you will see what a great likeness the NESPi case is to the original games console.  It has the same scaled down dimensions and the colours are a perfect fit. Within the NESPi case package you get the case itself, an instruction booklet and a small bag containing a screwdriver and screws to seat your Raspberry Pi board. The image below shows the full Retroflag NESPi case unboxing. [Read: Steam Link Review – Stream Games to Every Room]

Nintendo NES Raspberry Pi Case Review
RetroFlag NESPi Case Unboxing

NESPi Case Review Design

Retroflag have got the design spot on with this case and is the real highlight of this Nespi case review. They have achieved a great likeness to the original console but in a smaller form. With a number of Pi cases not all connectivity ports are accessible without taking the case appart. With NESPi all are visible. This is achieved using an internal dongle which moves the USB ports to the front of the case. Two of the USB ports can be seen on the front and the cartridge slot can be opened up to reveal the next two and the Ethernet socket. [Read: Best PC Game Controllers for HTPC – Emulators & Steam]

Nespi case review
Retroflag NESPi Case

The Retroflag NESPi case also has many of the characteristics of the original NES. There is the a fore mentioned cartridge slot and the game controller ports look the same but are replaced with USB sockets.  If you are putting together a retro gaming system using RetroPie then you can insert your game controllers in the exact same way they were on the NES. Both the power and reset buttons on the front of the case are fully functional. When powered up the red LED comes on just like the original console. Retroflag have really got the design right and you will struggle to find another Raspberry Pi retro case so in touch with the original console. [Read: Top 5 Emulator Frontends for your HTPC Media Center]

Retroflag NESPi Case Ports

As we have already mentioned in our NESPi case review all of the connectivity ports are fully accessible from outside of the case. The rear of the case provides access to the HDMI port, audio jack and power socket. On the right the micro SD card slot can be seen allowing you to quickly and easily change the software running on your Pi. Finally the front of the case houses all USB ports, Ethernet connection and power button. The image below shows all sides of the NESPi case and the connectivity ports they offer. [Read: How to Play Games on Kodi]

Raspberry Pi Case Like NES
Retroflag NESPi Case Ports

Retroflag NESPi Case Inside

In the next part of our Nintendo NES Raspberry Pi Case Review it is time to flip the lid. The image below shows the internal layout of the case and you can see how the port access is achieved. To expand the ports and buttons onto the exterior of the case there are two small PCB boards. To install the Raspberry Pi simply lower the Pi board into the case and you must then attach the internal USB cable to an available USB socket on the Pi and connect the Ethernet & power leads. Then using the 4 accompanying screws secure the Raspberry Pi in place. There is nothing more to it than that. [Read: Best CPU for Emulation – Computers, Consoles & Arcades]

Nintendo Raspberry Pi Case
RetroFlag NESPi Case Inside

The image below shows a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B comfortably seated into the Retroflag NESPI case. You can see that the fit is clean and there is plenty of room for working on the board. There is also plenty of space for ventilation.   [Read: Best TV Box for Netflix and Online Streaming Services]

Nintendo NES Case Raspberry Pi
RetroFlag NESPi Case with Seated Raspberry Pi 3

Fake NESPi Cases

We must end our Nintendo NES Raspberry Pi case review on a bad note. Unfortunately due to the fact that Retroflag have created a truly great product there are many companies out there creating poor quality copies. In terms of likeness to the games console that it is intended to look like you won’t beat the NESPi and people are copying this formula. Do not by cheap imitations and support Retroflag for their hard work. If you are unsure whether a retailer is selling a genuine case then head over to the Retroflag website for more information. [Read: Top Mini ITX Cases for the Smallest HTPC Build]

HMP Verdict – NESPi Case Review

That concludes our Nintendo NES Raspberry Pi case review. The Retroflag NESPi case is a product that has been well designed and built to a very high standard. There are numerous Raspberry Pi cases on the market today and many in the retro games console sector. Unfortunately many of these are disappointing on receipt and their likenesses to the original consoles are rather poor. NESPi looks truly fantastic. Not only this but its great use of space and full port accessibility makes it extremely easy to work with.

The product is at the higher end of the Raspberry Pi case price range but you do get what you pay for. If you were a fan of the NES back in the day and are looking to start a Raspberry Pi retro gaming project then the Retroflag NESPi case is the perfect way to finish your solution. [Read: 3 Best Windows TV Stick Devices- Alternatives to Android]