Picade – the UK’s first Kickstarter project!

I am driven to blog from Starbucks today, thanks to lousy public transport and awkwardly timed meetings. I am amazingly caffeinated.

A Picade prototype

So. Kickstarter finally launched its UK offering today, and the very first project to get approved (proof of this rather awesome feat is available here at the Kickstarter blog) has a Raspberry Pi at its heart (we notice that those involved with Raspberry Pi seem to be extremely skilled at hitting F5, hence the excellent positioning of this project at the head of the Kickstarter queue). If you’ve been following the news on this site, you may have noticed that it’s a project that’s being run by some familiar people very close to the Foundation’s hearts.

Prototype under development. You may recognise the beardy fella with the hat.

Paul Beech and Jon Williamson run Pimoroni, a company they set up to make the very popular Pibow case. It’s my favourite of the cases out there: I use one myself. It’s now open source and available on Thingiverse, and was acclaimed “the best-looking Raspberry Pi case ever” by Gizmodo. Paul is also the designer of the Raspberry Pi logo. We published a post here about what they’ve been up to over the last few months, in a period where they’ve become employers and business owners on the back of the Pibow, a few weeks ago. They’re both old-school gamers, and they have a plan for a new product, for which they need Kickstarter funding.

Enter the Picade.

Development Picade

Picade! (Prototype model)

The Picade is intended to be a very high-quality, hackable, desktop arcade machine. It’ll come in kit form, with a top-notch screen; a good-looking, solid cabinet; a proper arcade joystick; and handsome microswitch controls: all you need to provide is the Raspberry Pi. We love the idea, and we know that Paul and Jon’s attention to detail, finish and quality is exceptional. The Picade’s going to be quite a special piece of kit when it’s done.

At the moment Picade is in prototyping. I’ll leave the nitty gritty to Paul and Jon, who have loads more information about what the project’s all about on their Kickstarter page, and just leave you with their Kickstarter video for now (watch until the end: there are outtakes). What you see in these pictures and video are rough mockups of what the eventual product will look like, once funding has come in.

It’s a brilliant idea, and we are beyond pleased that it’s the very first UK Kickstarter project out there. I’ll be throwing a few quid their way, and I hope you’ll consider it too!

If you’re setting up your own Kickstarter using a Raspberry Pi, please mail us to let us know about it. We’d love to hear what you’re doing.