If you’re a dedicated retrogamer, or you were lucky enough to grow up during the 80’s and 90’s when hanging out at your local arcade was an exciting social activity with your friends, then you know the nostalgic feeling of playing a real arcade game, with the joystick and buttons found in the original cabinets.
The Venture Retrocade was designed to solve a common problem in the hobby of retrogaming – I didn’t want to play vintage arcade games like Space Invaders or Pac-Man with an XBox controller.
The trick is building something that feels like an authentic arcade control panel while being sturdy, reliable, portable, and above all, still affordable.
My solution was the Venture.
Introducing the Venture II
The Venture Retrocade is a custom-designed arcade stick and a full standalone retrogaming platform, integrated into a durable enclosure that can be fully personalized for each individual owner.
The Venture II is the newest version of our portable retrocade. It has been redesigned for the Raspberry Pi 4, the latest model of the popular series of single-board microcomputers, and upgraded in both computing power and capability.
The Venture features professional-grade Sanwa arcade buttons and joysticks. Sanwa controls are widely agreed to be the best, most responsive controls available, and are used in commercial arcade machines in Japan.
The Venture connects to your TV or computer monitor, and can play thousands of classic arcade and home console games, without the need for any additional hardware.
What Can It Do?
The included Raspberry Pi 4 is a very capable and highly expandable single-board microcomputer. With ample processing power and memory, onboard Wifi, Bluetooth connectivity, and 4 USB ports, the Pi 4 is the perfect compact gaming platform for playing your favorite vintage arcade and home console games.
The Venture connects to your TV or computer display using an HDMI cable for full-screen entertainment. It is portable, yet features full scale arcade controls for an authentic experience while playing vintage favorites like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Space Invaders, the Street Fighter series, and many thousands more.
If you prefer home console gaming, you can play games like Super Mario Bros, Metroid, Sonic the Hedgehog, Castlevania, the Legend of Zelda series, and thousands of titles from classic home systems like the original Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Sony Playstation, and more.
If you’re interested in vintage computer games and applications, you can even emulate classic computer systems like Microsoft DOS, Apple II, Commodore 64, Commodore Amiga, and much more.
Or, with free apps like Kodi, the Venture can also be used as a full media entertainment center for TV shows, music, and movies.
But, why not do all of the above? With the Venture’s integrated hardware already in place, you’re well on your way toward a fun and exciting new hobby.
Built for RetroPie
The Venture Retrocade is designed for the very popular RetroPie, which is free and can be installed on the included micro-SD card.
While theoretically any compatible RetroPie card or image found online should work, we highly recommend building your own collection from the official image.
Just follow the official RetroPie setup instructions online, add your games, configure your controller, and you’ll soon be able to play thousands of your favorite vintage arcade and home console games.
What Makes the Venture a Better Choice?
These are not flimsy, mass produced devices with cheap knock-off controls like you unfortunately see flooding the retrogaming hobby these days.
The Venture Retrocade is built completely by hand with high-quality components, each taking several hours to construct. Several more hours are then spent on rigorous testing to ensure reliability.
Everything is integrated into a strong industrial-grade casing for stability and durability. The Raspberry Pi computer mounted inside features 4 USB ports, onboard Wifi, and available Bluetooth connectivity.
Our proprietary panel mount system, or “Griff Plate”, allows you to access all of the computer’s available ports from the outside of the chassis. The SD card can be reached via an access port on the bottom of the unit, which makes swapping cards a very simple task.
The control panel of the Venture features a clear, impact-resistant cover. That transparent cover not only provides an eye-catching finish, it also protects the artwork underneath.
The artwork can be completely customized with any images or logos you desire. Along with your choice of joystick and arcade button colors, the Venture can be personalized to create virtually any theme you can imagine.
The main goal in designing the Venture is not just to recapture and share the nostalgia of vintage arcade and home console games, but also the ability to make your retrocade unique and distinctly your own.
Some features of the Venture Retrocade MkII include:
- An integrated Raspberry Pi 4, the newest and most powerful model of the popular series of single-board microcomputers.
- Genuine Sanwa Denshi arcade controls, arguably the best and most responsive professional arcade controls available. Though we strongly recommend the Sanwa hardware, lighted LED arcade controls are also available by request.
- 1 joystick and 10 buttons, allowing flexibility for configuring your Venture as desired. For example, do you like pinball games? The buttons on either side were placed there to be able to enjoy the many great pinball games released over the years with a much more authentic feel.
- 4 USB slots (3 open) for adding more controllers, a keyboard and mouse, or other accessories.
- Custom artwork which can be selected by the client. Visit our Cover Gallery for ideas, or submit your own image and we’ll build a custom theme for you.
- A durable scratch-resistant cover over the control surface, ensuring the custom artwork underneath remains protected.
- “Griff Plates” proprietary panel mount system (designed by us) which allows the Pi’s various ports to be accessed externally while maintaining a clean, professional look.
- Copper and aluminum heat sinks installed on the Pi4.
- Onboard WiFi and Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
- Built-in power/reset button for use with Retropie’s GPIO safe shutdown script.
- 30mm cooling fan included for overclocking if desired.
- Colored activity LED on the panel mount.
- 3.5mm audio jack can be used for speakers or a headset instead of HDMI audio.
- US 2-prong power adapter. If needed, R-Pi adapters for use in other countries are inexpensive and widely available online.
- A compact unit that is stable and portable, yet has enough space to provide a comfortable control surface for both hands.
- A thick, rugged ABS plastic shell. Unlike the 3D-printed or laser cut builds found everywhere that are screwed or even glued together, the Venture’s strong casing is designed for industrial applications. The Venture is durable and built to withstand those vigorous gaming sessions.
NOTE: The photos provided are intended to show the artwork and design of the Venture. There may be minor variations as the design evolves.
Each Venture includes:
The Venture Retrocade gaming system with an integrated Raspberry Pi 4 microcomputer
64GB micro SD card
Note: The Venture requires an HDMI cable (not included). The Amazon Basics series of HDMI cables are inexpensive and good quality. I recommend getting one that is at least 10 feet long.
Besides a TV or monitor to play it on, no other hardware is needed.
Everything you need to enjoy the fun and nostalgia of your favorite classic arcade and console games is now possible with a single unified device. The Venture Retrocade is carefully constructed with the best available components and controls, in a professional-looking home arcade system.
The Venture is built for enthusiasts, by an enthusiast.
How to Purchase
Please see our Valley Arcade Shop page for more information.