The Pianocade, as spotted by Engadget, is a combination chiptunes synthesizer and MIDI controller that's packaged inside of a bonafide arcade stick controller. It doesn't just look like a piece of retro gaming hardware, though—you can actually play all the classic retro gaming chimes and 8-bit electronic notes with it.
The Pianocade has a built-in synthesizer that's based on the sound hardware of the original NES and GameBoy, which makes it perfect for recreating 8-bit tracks like the Mega Man theme. It also has five MIDI ports that you can use to link up with other instruments.
Instead of pulling off a hadouken with those arcade buttons, you’ll be playing some retro game music. Like any good arcade stick, this thing is fully hackable: You can reprogram its open-source software with your own custom soundboard, or rewrite the whole thing down to its firmware.
If you like the sound of owning a Pianocade, you can preorder the two-octave, keytar-able version for $325, or the one-octave arcade stick version for $200. DIYers can also opt to buy the $100 electronics pack that you can stuff into your own custom arcade stick controller. Portmanteau Devices expects to begin shipping out orders within within 8-12 weeks after its preorder period ends on September 14th.
This story, "Pianocade: An arcade stick chiptunes synthesizer and MIDI controller " was originally published by TechHive.