Recalbox 9 Brings the Retro Arcade to Raspberry Pi

Recalbox 9
(Image credit: Recalbox)

In the late 20th century, video gaming grew from a curiosity into a booming business. In those early years, the arcade was the only place to get the best graphics. Those days are long gone, but we can relive them with retro home consoles thanks to the Raspberry Pi and the latest Recalbox 9 release.

What's new in Recalbox 9?

  • Now compatible with RetroFlag GPi Case 2W for the Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W.
  • Bluetooth has been rewritten with improved handling of audio and controller connections.
  • Retro shaders, to give the appearance of an old school CRT on modern day televisions.
  • Windows 95 and 98 emulation via DosBox Pure.
  • PC users with an iGPU and dedicated GPU will see Recalbox 9 default to the GPU for best performance.
  • Full changelog available here.

Recalbox is an all-in-one retro gaming console tool that offers the ability to play over 100 different home consoles and arcade cabinets. Recalbox can be used with Raspberry Pi 4 and Zero 2 W. Or, for those of us reusing old PC hardware; you can download an image to reuse that 10-year-old PC. 

Recalbox 9 sees improvements to how it handles Bluetooth controllers and audio. The pairing of controllers has been drastically optimized and is now fully automatic at start-up. This is excellent news for those of us with retro-influenced controllers who don't want to break the immersion. Speaking of which, retro shaders replicate the look of retro gaming on retro televisions. Scanlines and CRT distortion are all on hand to enhance your nostalgia.

PC Gamers rejoice as Recalbox 9 offers a new feature, Windows 95 and 98 emulation via DosBox Pure. Now you can enjoy an era of gaming where CD-ROMs delivered full motion video and much larger worlds without needing a Voodoo2. I, for one, can't wait to play System Shock and Descent.

If you have a Recalbox RGB DUAL HAT, an add-on board for the Raspberry Pi that offers a SCART and VGA output, Recalbox 9 provides a multi-resolution calibration screen to ensure that your output closely matches the native resolution of the emulated system. There is also HDMI priority to switch between SCART and HDMI. Gamers can switch between PAL (50Hz) and NTSC (60Hz) or run 240P at 120Hz for 31 KHz screens. Recalbox seems to have it all covered.

Recalbox is a free download and a great way to relive the days when you could be the hero for just a few quarters.

Les Pounder

Les Pounder is an associate editor at Tom's Hardware. He is a creative technologist and for seven years has created projects to educate and inspire minds both young and old. He has worked with the Raspberry Pi Foundation to write and deliver their teacher training program "Picademy".