Initially I was very excited about the prospect of a portable battery powered Raspberry Pi (hence PortaPi). After the excitement had died down it was time to think about what it could be used for. After looking at the projects on Adafruit website I decided on a retro gaming device.
After a bit of digging around I came across the Adafruit mini Raspberry Pi powered arcade cabinet (cupcade). Whilst I didn’t to go as far as building this project the ultra detailed instructions were really helpful in setting up the software. I decided at the start that I was going to use a USB game controller (e.g.. http://amzn.to/1qAS3gk) which was relatively inexpensive.
The SD card image installed easily and within a short period of time I was up and running. After a couple of google searches I found some MAME Roms to download and try.
The game emulation is carried out with AdvanceMAME which I initially had trouble setting up my gamepad until I spotted pressing the TAB key opened up a whole set of menus including custom configuration of keys.
Game selection is done through GAMERA (Game ROM aggregator) which isn’t very fancy but does do the job. At the point of writing this I am still using the USB wireless keyboard to operate GAMERA and the game controller for the game play. I have not yet found a way of controlling GAMERA with the game controller.
This is a fun little device to play with and being a child of the 1980s has brought back lots of great memories for me.
I am still trying to decide which case to build this around. I am currently thinking toward a retro Macintosh.