Pong will forever remain near and dear to our hearts. The table tennis game was among the earliest arcade video games to be produced and was wildly successful when it was released. Atari then developed a home version of Pong with integrated controllers and a TV connection. And that one unit kicked off the gaming console craze and forever changed the face of home entertainment as we know it.
Now, more than 40 years later, Pong has been brought to life again thanks to the creative genius of Daniel Perdomo, who created a coffee-table version of the game that can be played in the comfort of your home.
Using 3D printing, welding and a variety of other DIY skills developed for the project, Perdomo and his friends spent the last two years building their mechanical version of the game. The prototype build required an extensive development period because the team’s members could only work on the project in their spare time and had little experience with DIY building. All the skills they needed for the build were learned online from YouTube videos, Google searches, and forum conversations with more experienced Makers. Despite their inexperience, however, Perdomo and his friends made a stunning replica of the beloved table tennis game.
Inspired by the packaging for the original Pong console, the coffee-table version of the game has a design that will immediately transport you back to the 1970s. The team was very thorough with this mechanical creation, adding finishing touches such as a square ball and paddles with spinning controllers that are reminiscent of the original game. The underlying hardware is predominantly mechanical, with magnets and metal bars responsible for the movement of the game’s pieces. Scoring is done electronically with Arduino controllers and simple LED displays.
With one version under their belt, the team hopes to refine the design and quicken the build time so they can put Pong tables in living rooms around the world. Like most creative projects, the team would like to use Kickstarter or a similar crowdfunding service to secure the funds necessary to build these games. Perdomo and his team are still working out the details and have not announced any pricing and availability information. But they do have an active Facebook page, where you can follow their progress.