Every nerd has had the dream: somehow cramming the arcade of their childhood into their basement. This is already easily possible, but Arcade 1Up has made it simpler and more accessible than ever with its $299 (about £225, AU$400) cocktail-sized arcade cabinets.
Available for pre-order now in the US through Walmart, GameStop and FYE (yes, they’re still around) at this limited-time price – they’re normally listed at $399 – Arcade 1Up has four versions of its impossibly priced arcade cabinets, each specifically designed to play the four games loaded pre-installed.
This product is particularly exciting because, before now, getting such a device into your house would incur a considerable cost – potentially in the thousands, all told. Now, you can get a cabinet with three versions of Street Fighter 2 for what a current game console would cost.
The other cabinets include one with Asteroids, Tempest, Major Havoc and Lunar Lander; another with Rampage, Gauntlet, Joust and Defender; a fourth unit with Centipede, Crystal Castles, Missile Command and Millipede; and finally, one with Final Fight, Ghosts ‘N’ Goblins, 1944: The Loop Master and Stryder that’s due before the second half of 2019.
Each of these cabinets come at three-fourths scale, meaning they’re meant to be used while sitting. However, Arcade 1Up also offers a riser add-on for the cabinets to make them more like the originals that required standing to play, as well as an official bar stool for playing right out of the box.
Every cabinet also features a 17-inch LCD display and authentic controls specific to each game included, as well as licensed logos and imagery all over them.
All four cabinets are set to launch on September 25 in the US, and are set to arrive at your door by September 27 if you have the foresight to pre-order.
What’s old is new again
These Arcade 1Up cabinets are clearly capitalizing on the retro gaming fever currently underway, thanks to Nintendo’s re-released NES and SNES consoles. However, they’re doing so in a way that’s accessible to the masses – if you’re able to swing 300 bucks or quid for a PS4, then it stands to reason you could do the same for a classic arcade cabinet.
Of course, the reason why each cabinet only includes a few games, whereas the classic Nintendo console rehashes include several, is because the controls need to be tailored to the games included. Back in the arcade heyday, each cabinet was specifically designed to best present the game inside.
This is Arcade 1Up’s best solution: include just a few games and controls on the deck that work best with as many games as possible. (And, once the homebrew community gets a hold of these, all bets are off on how many games these cabinets could house.)
Expect this space to properly blow up come 2019, but you can get in on the ground floor now for an amazing price.