One of my Maker Faire displays once incorporated a Pac-Man theme “for the old-timers.” It was a surprise then to see young kids all recognized the characters too. How? Smartphones! Thanks to emulation — running old code byte-for-byte on modern hardware — these classic games are still played and relevant a generation later.
Much of the mystique of the originals lied in the cabinets and controls. Anyone can load a game on a smartphone or tablet…but the physicality of the arcade machine and controls made them rare objects of desire back in the day. We wanted to capture a small taste of that, using the tiny Raspberry Pi computer. The result is a DIY kit we call Cupcade!
Cupcade isn’t the first, but it’s notable for using the Adafruit PiTFT display. The direct digital interface delivers a pixel-perfect rendition of classic games with none of the blurriness you’d get with a composite screen.