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December 2015 Retro Gaming Article


December 3, 2015 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Is that an arcade mounted on your wall? Check out the Bushnell's Polycade Kickstarter

When Nolan Bushnell's name comes up you tend to hear two things: 1- founder of Atari and 2: Some random comment about Chuck E. Cheese's.

Polycade logo Today I discovered the Polycade Kickstarter campaign created by two of Mr. Bushnell's kids - Tyler and Dylan. Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to grow up in the Bushnell household? One can imagine arcade cabinets, game consoles, and lots of prototype madness. They discuss this a bit on the site and it's left me with a smile. It sounded like a fun house to grow up in. :)

Polycade flush design So, anyway...
They have an interesting arcade machine that has already met it's $20,000 funding goal. Their Polycade is similar in many ways to the MAME-based cabinets running on PCs or Raspberry Pi computers. The Polycade runs on a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B and offers a very unique enclosure.

I had several arcade games in my living room many years ago and they are heavy and take up more space than you'd think. However, I've never really liked the bar-top MAME cabs I've seen and the full size cabs don't always fit in with modern design and layout in the average house.

The Polycade uses a wall-mounting system similar to many HD TVs with a cross-hatch metal bracket secured to the wall and the Polycade. This lets it have a minimal depth of only 17 inches and you can customize the height of the unit. Additionally, it has two 8-way joysticks and one 4-way stick for the older games.

It uses a standard TV and other common parts that can be swapped and upgraded. The list of included games is light, but all the games need to be licensed in order to sell them with the Polycade. I'm sure most of you have gigs of ROMs just waiting for such a machine. Capable of running a variety of emulators, it's been tested with a variety of retro consoles and computers.

Design-wise my only concern is also one of the facets I like a lot. It's slim profile wall mount is a slick looking way to minimize the enclosure size while still keeping an arcade aesthetic. However, I know how much stress an arcade cabinet can be subjected to. From leaning to angry pounding, I'm wondering how well the wal-mount holds up to extreme play. Even the best of us can get carried away in the heat of battle. I'm wondering how securely the mount holds to both the wall and the Polycade.

polycade A side benefit to a Bushnell kickstarter is their Dad is signing Atari 2600 game carts as one of the reward tiers. As you can see... it's not what you know, it's WHO you know! :)

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