I've been wanting an arcade system every since Rec Room Masters posted an ad on my Facebook feed last year. It's very much a want vs. need so I waited over a year to purchase one. Below is the setup
Purchase Tankstick and Raspberry Pi 2 (see below)
The RetroPie for the RaspberryPi does all the heave lifting for you on getting the emulators set up. It even automates making the tankstick work. It was pretty much plug and play.
Downloaded and installed Raspbian Wheezy. Instructions here:
Upgrade the distro once its booted up:
To get Retro-Pie up and running I followed the Retro-Pie instructions here:
I picked to install the binaries vs install from source it still took about 4 hours to get all the packages downloaded and installed.
RetroPie also has a image you can use but I didn't go that route, it would probably be faster though
TankStick 149.99 + 19.99 (S/H) => $169.98 USD
Raspberry Pi 2 34.99 + 3.89 (S/H) => $38.88 USD
There is a separate wifi adapter and case for the Pi on their way; both technically optional
Raspberry Pi Case (it's going to eventually go in Arcade Cabinet) $8.79 + S/H
Small WiFi Adapter (inconvenient to ethernet to the Pi) $9.99 + S/H
Total for the above => $26.84
You'll also need a USB keyboard and mouse to log in to the pi and do some configuring. I had several laying around the house.
Connect everything up. Initially you'll probably need keyboard and mouse. Once things are set up the tankstick will take up 2 USB ports, keyboard 1 USB port and your USB wifi adapter the last one.
Log into your Pi pi/raspberry
Type emulationstation to get to the Emulation Station Menu
You can torrent most of the SNES, NES, Sega *, Atari games. A decent starting point is here:
Those torrent links are still active and downloaded pretty quick.
Follow the wiki on where to put the respective ROMs for various systems. Put them in the right folder and the emulator will be active in the Emulation Station menu:
Atari, NES, SNES, Sega systems just work if you drop them in their folders. MAME games are a whole another pain in the ass I'm going to do a separate post for those. But at this point you should be able to play your favorite game console games.