The Polycade is a self-contained unit that that features a “minimalistic” design that would be be a perfect fit for a business or in your home according to the younger Bushnells. Front and center is a large 27.5-inch display -- Tyler Bushnell say that an even larger 32-inch display also tested, but was considered a bit excessive.
Below the display you’ll find a single 4-way directional joystick for single-player classic games. Flanking the center joystick are two, 8-way directional joystick for multiplayer gaming. As for the underlying hardware, the Polycade is powered by a Raspberry Pi that runs open source game emulation software. According to the Bushnells, “We have customized the interface along with hand testing and configuring each game to ensure that everything works right out of the box.”
If you’re anything like me, you’ll be banging the joystick and mashing the buttons like a madman — especially in two-player battles. With this in mind, the Polycade has been designed so that the controls can be easily swapped out once they being to wear out (and believe me, they will eventually).
Now for the most important part of the Polycade: the games. The Polycade will ship with over 90 games including such favorites at Pac-Man, Pole Position, 1942, Commando, Street Fighter II, Pong, Missile Command, Asteroids and Centipede.
The Kickstarter campaign just started today, and you can pledge as little as $1, but the real action starts at the $50 level, where you’ll receive an Atari 2600 cartridge signed by Nolan Bushnell. At $600, you’ll receive a kit which includes all the primary components necessary to build your own Polycade. Fully assembled systems start at the $1,250 level and go up from there based on the finish of your Polycade (paint, vinyl wrap, etc.).
So far, after less than 24 hours, the Polycade has reached nearly half of its $20,000 funding goal.