Mobile gaming's come a long way, but some of our veteran readers might still be nostalgic for the classic arcade, swept away by the modern on-the-go gaming lifestyle. Well...you could have the best of both worlds.
Seriously, it's a complete arcade machine that sits comfortably in the palm of your hand, with superb retro aesthetics and fully operational joystick. No silly screen-swiping on this bad boy.
Sure, plenty of people are eagerly anticipating the Fidget Cube for that satisfying finger-twitching in their pocket, but can it run a real game at the same time? The mini arcade machine uses MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator), an emulator for almost every arcade game ever made before the year 2000. Check out the database of available games here. Gauntlet? Frogger? R-Type? You got it!
The creators of the teeny arcade machine are Adafruit, an open source hardware company based in New York. In a blog post they explain how it came about as they were looking to build "a gaming "bonnet" — a small accessory board precisely fitted to the Raspberry Pi Zero form-factor — which would include a few basic controls and a tiny monochrome OLED display," The resulting mini arcade machine was bashed together during a morning of 'hacking', assembled from a Raspberry Pi Zero, a small amplifier, an OLED screen and a "few assorted odds and ends" used for the controls. In a demo video released by Adafruit, you can see the machine running arcade classics, Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.
Watch Adafruit give the mini arcade a spin here:
Where can I get one?
Adafruit themselves stress that, although they're pleased about getting the games to work on such a tiny device, the end result was "lot of trouble to build and only marginally fun to play", and they have no plans to make it available commercially. However, if you really want one and you fancy building it yourself, Adafruit have been kind enough to release the technical details in a rough form, you're free to have a go at building your own! Adafruit recommend their handheld console design, the PiGRRL Zero.
What's your classic arcade game of choice?