I have no problem admitting that I’m a sucker for retro gaming, and have been for years. While things like the NES and SNES Classic have appeal, I really prefer something a little more universal. I know that there is no shortage of DIY gaming-centric kits for the Raspberry Pi, but I just haven’t found the right one….until now.
The RetroStone is the brainchild of Pierre-Louis Boyer, who previously released a DIY Raspberry Pi-based retro gaming kit on Kickstarter. His current Kickstarter campaign, which was fully funded in just a few days, takes on the general form factor of the original Nintendo Game Boy. Combining that with the flexibility of the Raspberry Pi is a genius move. Pairing the flexibility that you can find in many RP Kits with portability, making it the most versatile retro gaming device that I’ve seen to-date.
While this is a portable device that looks like it will fit well in the hand, it has a lot of ports and options:
(All photos sourced from the RetroStone Kickstarter page)
4 USB Ports and an Ethernet Jack. This allows up to 5 player gaming.
4 Back Buttons to cover newer console games
Here’s a look at the specialized Raspberry Pi board that Mr Boyer is using. It even offers a lot of flexibility for makers and DIYers who want to take the device even further.
It has 26 GPIO available that can be used in all sorts of ways to augment the RetroStone.
You also have the fact that, at the end of the day, this device isn’t just a gaming machine. This is a full Raspberry Pi, capable of connecting to a TV or monitor, and handling any of the computing or media management tasks that any Pi can.
Now, there is always room for skepticism when it comes to Kickstarter projects. However, I think we are in good hands with My Boyer, as this isn’t his first go-around. He formerly released the Raspiboy, which was a Raspberry Pi-based DIY project.
While he evidently had some delays, he did deliver to all of his backers, which tells me that he can be trusted to do right by his customers. He evidently has working prototypes of the final RetroStone ready for production, and already has contacts in this industry from his first experience, so I think we can expect a working product to be delivered in this case.
I’ve been waiting for the Virtual Console to finally show up on my Nintendo Switch but I think I’m done. I am backing the RetroStone and not looking back.
What do you think of the RetroStone? Cool project that you can’t pass up, just meh, or Kickstarter vaporware? Let me know in the Comments section below, on Flipboard, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter @iPadInsightBlog.