Patrick McCarron is an iOS and Mac developer with an avid passion for video games. Patrick set out to make his own MAME arcade cabinet and planned to use an older Mac Mini to power it but came up with the idea to use an iDevice to save time and resources. You can see the entire parts list on his blog, but the main components are the Arcade cabinet, iCade, iDevice (A4 Chip or greater) and the Apple iPad VGA connector. The arcade cabinet and monitor are obviously the most costly parts, the rest can be had for around $100.
Patrick dissected an iCade machine and repurposed it’s control mechanism and battery system. The control was transplanted to the existing control panel on the arcade machine. The iCade battery is used to recharge the iPhone when not in use. The VGA connector and battery charger cannot be plugged in simultaneously so Patrick runs the iPhone off it’s battery and generally gets 2.5 hours of play time. The audio is piped from the iPhone using modified RCA cables with alligator clips.
This setup does not require Patrick’s iPhone to be jailbroken because as a developer he is able to use the open source MAME Project to build his software. Although, Patrick reccomends devs to start with “lesbird’s iMAME for Xcode” to get started. Users can also use the now banned App Store app, iMAME, or iMAME4ALL and iMAME4iOS if jailbroken. Check the video below to see the final product, a full arcade cabinet powered by an iPhone