Picade Arcade Cabinet Kit Runs on Raspberry Pi Microcomputer

By Wesley Fenlon

A Kickstarter pairs the open source computer with a miniature arcade cabinet kit. Some assembly required.

Remember the iCade, the small, $100 arcade cabinet shell designed to house an iPad? A pair of designers in the UK have taken the desktop arcade concept and Kickstarted it with an open source, hacker mindset. Their project is called the Picade; if you can't tell by the name, it's an arcade cabinet kit designed to run on the popular Raspberry Pi computer.

While the Picade designs are still in the prototype stage, creators Pimoroni Ltd. plan to ship two different models: the Mini, with four buttons and an 8-inch screen, and the full Picade, with six buttons and a 12-inch screen. The screen sizes are subject to change, and hopefully they'll grow a bit--the prototype Mini looks awfully small.

Both kits will come with everything necessary to assemble the arcade cabinet except for the Raspberry Pi itself, which you'll have to buy for an extra $35. MAME's already running on the Raspberry Pi, so there should be plenty of games available for a mini arcade.

Now for the bad news: the Picade won't be cheap. Judging by the Kickstarter tiers, the Picade Mini will run £128 ($206) while the full-size cabinet will cost £192 ($309). That's not too bad, but if you already have an arcade stick lying around, you can probably get it working with a PC without spending a few hundred bucks on a miniature cabinet.

The Picade has a month left to go on Kickstarter and has already raised nearly half of its £32,768 goal.