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December 16, 2009
News - Raspberry PI Arcade Cabin…
about 5 years ago
Great design and layout, I really appreciate that you kept the control panel simple. So many first-time mame cabinet builders fall into the trap of "I WANT TO PLAY ALL OF THE GAMES!" and put every control mechanism under the sun on the control panel, making it an unusable, unintuitive mess. While the skull-handles are cool and work well with the theme, have a way to swap them out; they will get uncomfortable quickly during longer play sessions.
My big concern, though, would be the RPi being at the heart of the machine. If you really want to use it, it will be okay for much older games, but as you start to get into games from even the early 90s the RPi will start struggling. Mame was built with x86 in mind, with several x86-specific JIT and DRC cores, leading other platforms like ARM, MIPS and SPARC to use slower emulation methods, and with the RPi's slower core this can compound the problem.
Besides the core, there's also graphics problems I'd worry about. Even though it doesn't seem it, mame does depend on 3D acceleration. I think (I could be wrong here) but the 2d surface-based outputs are not really well supported, and I'm not well versed in the RPi's 3D abilities (if any, but if you're doing the compositing in software at high resolutions, you're gonna have a bad day).
If you're using a RPi for the low cost, I'd probably suggest splurging a bit more on a low-end NUC or some other low-end x86 machine; it'll likely cost a bit more, but will perform much better.
Edit: Second look after coffee, extend the width of the control panel by a few inches, the player 1 joystick looks like there's not enough hand-rest for the left hand. If you're worried about fitting through standard doors, make the control panel removable using snap latches, http://na.suzohapp.com/all_catalogs/arcade_game_parts/49-0059-00
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