Neon Raspberry Pi Picade: A Time Machine to the 1990s

Pimoroni’s Picade is a wonderful thing. Officially the first project for Kickstarter’s UK offering in 2012, the project provided a DIY means to build your own Raspberry Pi powered arcade cabinet. The project expanded to become a product range and Pimoroni has sold many around the world. One of those ended up in the hands of Aardman (yes the Wallace and Gromit animation company) Animation director and designer Gavin Strange

Strange’s Picade is a thing of beauty. Featuring bold color choices, and a distinct late 20th century vibe. Oh, and a clear love for Street Fighter 2 it seems.

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Inside the cabinet is a Raspberry Pi, most likely a Raspberry Pi 4, but a Raspberry Pi 3B+ would do a good job of everything up to the mid 1990s, and some PlayStation 1 games. The Pi uses one of the best Raspberry Pi Accessories, a Picade X HAT, to manage the many joystick and button inputs. It also manages a 3W DAC / amplifier, soft power switch and connections for RGB LED enabled buttons (Picade Plasma). Picade X can be purchased as part of a kit, or just as a HAT. Based on the size of the bezels, it seems that Strange picked up the 10 inch screen kit. The 10 inch screen offers a 1024 x 768 4:3 IPS display, keeping the screen bright, colors sharp and no screen ratio distortion.

What clearly attracted us to Strange’s project is the bold color palette that screams a 90s vibe. The neon yellow, pink and green flows from the marquee to the controls via the bezel. The arcade buttons, which also follow the color scheme, are custom from Arcade World UK, they appear to be dome topped. Whether you prefer convex or concave buttons is your choice, as Picade uses standard sized arcade parts, you are free to swap them out to meet your needs.

Above the gorgeous 10 inch screen is the marquee, there to entice the player to part with their quarters. Strange has used their design skills to create their own homage to the Street Fighter 2 series of games. The marquee must feature every permutation of Street Fighter 2 titles available (Alpha, Zero, Hyper, Super, Championship Edition, Turbo).

Strange’s build is clearly a passion project. And with a kit this easy to build, you have a great start on which to make your own custom Raspberry Pi powered arcade cabinet.