Video Game Industry: Raspberry PI as a New Player

The video game industry had a pop culture boom in recent years. Many different companies have taken advantage of this trend by creating several different gaming systems. The gaming consoles have evolved from large stationary devices to portable, powerful, and captivating entertainment devices.

Gamers nowadays belong to different communities. Sometimes they communicate via the web through blogs, game servers, and competition sites. Players are encouraged to share and collaborate with their experience together. However, not all gamers meet online. They also meet in person, through businesses that offer arcades. Arcades are not a new concept; in fact, they are positively retro. In the 1970s the golden age of arcade video games began; many of you might remember games like Ms. Pac Man, Pong, and Street Fighter.

Video Game Industry Golden Age: Ms. Pac Man, Pong, and Street Fighter.

Video Game Industry Golden Age: Ms. Pac Man, Pong, and Street Fighter.

After some years in the golden age of arcade video games, the business started declining as personal gaming devices such as Gameboy advanced and became more popular. Yet, affordable and versatile arcade systems can potentially bring back that golden age.

The Raspberry Pi

Raspberry Pi is a very small and affordable computer that can be used to build an arcade gaming system and its capabilities are enough to run video games. Emulators adapt the virtual environment. By interfacing the emulator with the Raspberry Pi and building the arcade core, you can create an arcade gaming system. Regular arcade systems are costly and are often very difficult to fix. The Raspberry Pi system is both easier to troubleshoot and more comfortable to build. And perhaps best of all, the emulator can allow players to access multiple games, unlike the traditional one-game type arcade machines. The Raspberry Pi machines will bring versatility to arcade gaming.

This new style of gaming system’s main features are low price, low maintenance, and versatility. The list below outlines a few motivations for this design:

  1. The arcade industry will be able to take advantage of the new design
  2. The gaming industry has a lot of room for growth in the US and internationally
  3. Raspberry Pi has outstanding capabilities, versatile design, and a low price
  4. Multiple game access and easy maintenance. 
  5. Open Source games are available for free to the public.

Further Research

The Arcade Industry had its golden age in the 70s. It continued to do well for several years until the introduction of portable game systems. Unfortunately, the Arcade industry decline has worsened dramatically recently. “In 2005, there were about 25 arcades in New York City, down from hundreds just a decade before. By 2011, there were fewer than ten”[2] The number of arcades is decreasing with the loss of revenue. These are a small business, Mom and Pop type places; such companies are the life source to many in American, business owners, and employees. Arcades are part of the American culture and have had an impact on many lives. The arcade consoles are becoming harder to maintain and service due to the rarity of their pieces and the need for experienced servicemen. A cheaper, more compact, and adaptable console will be a great asset to the arcade industry.

 Previous inventors have design drafts to build an arcade using a Raspberry Pi computer, emulator and the arcade controllers. The price of this product can be well below $100, depending on the amount of customization. This price is 10 to 30 times lower than the average arcade machine cost. This design will also offer a very flexible gaming station; the station will be able to run several games. Maintenance and troubleshooting will be mostly with the Raspberry Pi system and the emulator’s interface.