Last year, for our grandson’s birthday, he requested we hold his birthday party at a retro 1980s arcade parlor. I found it odd, since I thought that with all of the gaming consoles and computer games, old arcade games and pinball machines would be a thing of the past. I was pleasantly surprised as these young people, ages 11 to 15 years old, entertained themselves by playing the old arcade games from the ’80s and pinball machines from an even earlier time. By 8 p.m., the arcade was packed with others in their 20s and older, who seemed to relish playing the pinball machines in particular.
Over at Kickstarter there is a project that has been fully funded to provide consumers with a kit to build their own arcade games cabinet. The company is called Pimoroni LTD, from Sheffield in the United Kingdom, and the product the company is producing will be called the Picade. The Picade will house the Raspberry Pi, Mini-ITX, Pandaboard, or other mini PC.
Picade provides the following hardware and parts in the Picade kit:
- Cabinet panels and fasteners
- LCD panel mount with protective overlay
- LCD panel and driver board with inputs (at least 8″ for the Picade Mini and 12″ for the Picade)
- Amplifier and speakers
- 3.5 mm stereo panel mounted headphone socket
- Panel mounted video input socket (allows you to use your Picade as a second display for your computer or laptop)
- A proper arcade stick
- Illuminated microswitch arcade buttons (at least four on the Picade Mini and six on the Picade)
- All other required components and cables
- Any software that can legally be supplied in terms of emulators and drivers for the Raspberry Pi
- An awesomely hackable product
In addition, the Picade will come with illuminated arcade buttons, just like the real arcades use. You will also be able to hack the system so that you can co-op and compete against other players. If the Raspberry Pi does not provide you with enough power, you can opt to use a Mini-ITX based computer. Need more screen real estate? The Picade will include a panel-mounted VGA port, which will allow you to use the Picade as a second screen from a computer or laptop system.. The system is only limited by the user’s ability to modify the system.
So there you have it. The Picade in kit form will provide you with everything you will need to add your own hardware and to build a real arcade gaming machine.
Comments are welcome.