The Evaluations of the Popular Makecode Arcade Devices in the Markets
The make code arcade controller is a popular collective input set device and the typical type consists of a joystick and numerous push buttons. Make code arcade is a recent proposal raised by Microsoft, it has positioned itself as one of the best educational environments for creative programming, mainly to create video games.
It is able to run games created with MakeCode Arcade that are not a computer. There are some Arcade devices available in the educational market available for students and teachers to operate, in this sharing, I am going to introduce several Arcade devices here.
1. Retro Make Code Arcade From ELECFREAKS
The RETRO Make Code Arcade is a make code arcade device with a big screen with a high resolution, by far it is the first arcade device with this resolution and the screen size is the biggest in the market I believe this is the most notable thing when we compare to its competitors which only support 160*128p only.
Let’s recall the basic information with the details below:
Screen: 320×240 2.4″”
Power: 560mAh built-in rechargeable battery and 5V charging USB.
Sensors/actuators: 6 programmable buttons, buzzer, light sensor, accelerometer, vibrator, and Jacdac compatibility.
Extras: Compatible with LEGO pieces
Indicators: Light indicators for low battery, sufficient battery, and charging.
Price: 59.9$ USD
It surprises me the first time when I take it out of the box since it is in a fully ABS-shelled outlook and it has smooth handling feels with a compact design.
On the back side, it has four Lego blocks compatible connections, you may do some simple assembly to complete a decoration if you have something in hand. Also, I have to mention the dented design on the back gives a good holding feeling while playing it.
It has a directional cross key on the left side, obviously, we can use it to control the up, forward, reversing, and down motions with it. On the right side, there are two programmable A, and B buttons, through which you can program the functions in the platform. Also in the middle, there are buttons for the menu and reset. And the power button is placed on the top.
While playing it, the light intensity is beautiful to display and the resolution gives a good experience on gaming. But the buttons and keys seem a little bit lose.
2. Meowbit Make Code Arcade From Kittenbot
The Meowbit Make code Arcade is a card-sized graphical retro game computer that allows you to code in Make Code Arcade and Python. It consists of a 1.8' full-color screen, 6 programmable buttons, a buzzer, a built-in light sensor, a temperature sensor, an SD card slot, and an edge connector.
Well let’s may have a look at the specific information to it with the information below:
Dimensions: 52x76x12mm Weight: 42g
Power Input: 5V USB, 3.7~4.2V Battery Box
Screen Size: 1.8 inches
Price: 45.9$ USD
Actually, it is in a bare PCB design and is enclosed with a silicone protection case, they provide several cases in different colors. From the top side, there are connections for the SD card, the USB power interface, and the earphone port in 3.5mm. At the bottom side, it has a very microbit type edge connector, which means you can have it connected with some breakout boards and devices that are compatible with the microbit too.
The package is sent with a standalone lithium battery pack which allows you to power it.
It has six separate buttons with directional functions and also the A, and B buttons.
When powering it on, the light intensity looks a little dark but the overall is good and the speaker sound is a little hard to hear.
The tiny design looks durable for classroom students to operate in 1-2 years.
3. Gamego Make Code Arcade from Tinkergen
GameGo Make Code Arcade is a programmable game console that supports game programming on MakeCode Arcade and your retro arcade game ideas.
Let’s have a look at the basic information about it:
Display: 8″ TFT Color display, 160*128
Power supply: Built-in Li-ion Battery or 5V Micro USB
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium battery 400mAh
Dimensions: 82 x 58 x 21 mm
Price: 51.5$ USD
It has the same layout as the Meowbit and it gets an integrated lithium battery inside, and it is the same with the power button and the earphone connections on the top.
It has eight separate buttons with directional functions and also the A, and B buttons.
While playing it, the speaker's sound is fabulous and loud.
But the noises of the buttons are quite loud.
4. Make Code Arcade from Kitronik
The Kitronik make code arcade is a handled gamepad for use with the Microsoft MakeCode editor.
Still, let’s have a look at the basic information about it:
Display: Full-color LCD
Power: 3* AA battery or USB cable
This one looks quite different than the others but still has similar small sizes as Meowbit make code arcade and GameGo make code arcade, it is still in the bare PCB type but is covered with an acrylic case. On the back side, it is powered by three AA dry batteries. Also still has the same layout of 4 directional keys on the left and A, and B on the right. The interesting things are that there are rows of connections on the right side and also with the vibration sensor and the buzzer. The buttons are quite clicky and in standard button sizes and this gonna not be comfortable in long terms operation.
The above 4 make code arcade devices are the regular devices we can see in the markets. Each has its advantages and shortcomings. The recommended one would be the Retro make code arcade as it really has a beautiful experience on gaming with a wide view and high resolution, the characteristics there are beautiful and smooth to work on, besides, they have references projects in Wikis that are also in opensource for students and teachers to take as references.