If like us you love DIY, retro gaming and want to tinker with a Pi then there is one project that combines them all, and is well worth considering, the PiCade X HAT. The 2018 update of this excellent do it yourself project provides a relatively simple build that produces an incredibly cool result, an awesome desktop retro arcade gaming machine complete with arcade joystick and display that fits into a little cabinet worthy of even the grandest man cave.
As the PiCade video hilariously states there may be a number of side effects to building the PiCade. These may include but are not limited to; hyper excitement, sleepless nights, super strength, improved hand/eye co-ordination and the general ability to save the universe, universe not included. The Raspberry Pi is not included so be sure to grab yourself the latest Raspberry Pi 3B, a screwdriver and a few hours of time then before you know it you will be in retro gaming heaven.
The PiCade has been around for six years now. After a rough Kickstarter campaign it has been refined over the years to simplify the build and improve the gaming experience. The 2018 model goes by the snappy title X HAT and includes further refinements including; new simpler plug in DuPont connectors instead of the older fiddly wires, new 8 inch IPS display capable of 1024×768, a more compact cabinet and new snazzy stickers to select for your cabinet. The panels of the cabinet are black powder coated for that sleek industrial finish and the new dedicated power button ticks pretty much the last of the item from our wish list of upgrades to the old PiCade.
In Australia the PiCade 2018 will cost you a tad under $300 for the kit and around $100 for the Raspberry Pi. This may not be the cheapest way to get the arcade cabinet but it is probably one of the simplest solutions aside from buying a pre-made cabinet that will cost you much more.
Here at Highpants we think we know what our Christmas project will be this year. Then the challenge will be to retro fit the Amiga emulator and relive much loved gaming memories.
Reference: Pimoroni product page