“I suspect a lot of the ‘playing’ is just muscle memory from past experience,” Burgess says. “Honestly the whole thing’s a bit gimmicky for the sake of smallness. Sharing it for a laugh.”
Once the pinnacle of technological achievement (at least as it pertains to video games), Pac-Man and Donkey Kong have since become beloved relics of our forgotten arcade past. Six-foot tall cabinets that once made visits to the arcade, bowling alley or local pizza parlor so amazing are fond memories of most of our childhoods.
Now, you can play the same games, in all their arcade glory, on a machine the fits comfortably inside a teacup.
Adafruit maker Phillip Burgess created a multiple arcade machine emulator (MAME) powered by a Raspberry Pi Zero, a 0.96 RGB OLED display and an audio amplifier. The machines are completely functional and feature some of your arcade favorites — Pac-Man and Donkey Kong.
The cabinet was a spontaneous weekend project, and unfortunately it’s not for sale. Burgess, however, published a rather detailed guide that includes all the hardware and software hacks he used to get the machine working. Burgess also thinks he could have gone even smaller:
“Could it go smaller? Undoubtedly!” Burgess told Engadget. “Other than clipping the corner off the audio amp board, these are all stock parts and no extreme measures were taken to further reduce their volume, Ben Heck-style.”
While functional, the machine’s creator said it’s wildly impractical. The screen’s resolution isn’t exactly ideal for fast-moving video game characters or twitchy movement.