2 years ago

PiRetrocade: Sparkfun arcade joystick control kit

SparkFun's new kit makes it easy to build a retro-style video game controller

The SparkFun PiRetrocade kit looks great for building a classic retro gaming controller 

PiRetrocade is a new kit from SparkFun. The kit enables you to build an arcade controller for your Raspberry Pi.

Inside the kit are five concave arcade buttons, a joystick and an SD card preloaded with Porta Pi.

For starters, “the SparkFun PiRetrocade provides you with all the control hardware and arcade software you need to play almost any retro arcade and console video game,” says SparkFun.

How to build a SparkFun PiRetrocade

To explain, Mary West from SparkFun Engineering has put together a video showing how the kit works. To test out the system, you cut out the pre-marked holes on the box and use it as a case for the arcade controller.

For example: “On the top of the box you’ll notice the sticker that has a blueprint for creating your retro gaming console,” says Mary. “Cut the holes out along daughter lines where it tells you to cut, using the utility knife provided.”

As a result, the box becomes the controller. “Once your holder is cut,” continues Mary. “Remove the switches from all the buttons and drop the buttons in the holes.”

All-in-all, here are the contents of the kit:

  • 5x Arcade Buttons
  • 1x Joystick
  • 1x SD Card with Porta Pi
  • 20x Female quick disconnects
  • 20x 6-inch M-F Jumper Wires
  • 1x Utility Knife
  • 4x Screws and four nuts

Along with the kit, you’ll need a Raspberry Pi. A Raspberry Pi 3 is the fastest board around, so it’s the best for gaming.

To build the project, you’ll also need wire strippers and a crimp tool. If you want more information, check out the Setup Guide.

Once you’ve got the project built, Porta Pi Arcade is used to play games. It’s a collection of programs compiled by Ryan Bates from Retro Built Games. The image contains RetroPie, Emulation Station, RetroArch and Retrogame.

We think it’s a fun looking kit. What do you all make of it?