Scaled down arcade cabinets

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VideoGameCritic
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Scaled down arcade cabinets

Postby VideoGameCritic » November 7th, 2019, 6:33 pm

This is an interesting article. Good to see there's still interest in stand-up arcade games.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/11/ ... -cabinets/

JWK
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Re: Scaled down arcade cabinets

Postby JWK » November 8th, 2019, 12:06 pm

I kind of scoffed at the idea of getting a stand-alone 3/4 arcade machine at first, but I have to say I’m pretty impressed with most of Arcade1up’s efforts. I’d really like to get the TMNT and Marvel machines... but they’re both pretty crazy expensive.

ActRaiser
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Re: Scaled down arcade cabinets

Postby ActRaiser » November 8th, 2019, 4:06 pm

I'm with ya.

The Star Wars cabinet looks super sweet. I'm hoping they'll offer a racing cabinet.

I'm super stoked our basement is getting finished over the next several months. They start in December and should be done in February/March. Once it's done or close to it I'm going to order a cabinet. The ones from Extreme Home Arcades are super sweet but super expensive. These units are way more economical. My wife is cool with me getting an arcade system, I'm not so sure she's cool with me turning the basement into an Arcade itself. :)

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Retro STrife
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Re: Scaled down arcade cabinets

Postby Retro STrife » November 8th, 2019, 4:17 pm

A few different companies have tried mini arcade cabinets like these over the past 10 years or so, and Arcade1up is the closest any company has come to doing it right. But personally I'm still not sold. I haven't seen these in person, but I can't imagine that 3/4 replica of an arcade machine, made with much crappier materials, is all the impressive to look at and play. It's essentially just a glorified emulator.

#2, you really need to be careful what game you choose, or else you'll have a giant waste of space sitting inside your house. Take TMNT for example. It is one of the more impressive looking machines they've done, and it's a great game, and a great license. Should you buy it? Absolutely not. Why not? Because it has no replayability. TMNT is a great game to run into at an arcade -- you say, "man I haven't played this in years!" and you pop $10 in quarters playing it til your fingers are numb. But what about when you have it at home? Then you'll play through it once or twice (remember, you get unlimited continues, so you'll easily beat it), and then you'll be done with it. And it will just sit there and sit there.

Instead, consider a game with much more replayability, like Pac-Man or Street Fighter II. Even then, it will likely sit there unplayed for eons and eons, but at least there's a chance you fire it up once in awhile when people are over.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Scaled down arcade cabinets

Postby Retro STrife » November 8th, 2019, 4:32 pm

ActRaiser wrote:I'm with ya.

The Star Wars cabinet looks super sweet. I'm hoping they'll offer a racing cabinet.

I'm super stoked our basement is getting finished over the next several months. They start in December and should be done in February/March. Once it's done or close to it I'm going to order a cabinet. The ones from Extreme Home Arcades are super sweet but super expensive. These units are way more economical. My wife is cool with me getting an arcade system, I'm not so sure she's cool with me turning the basement into an Arcade itself. :)


If you're trying to have a nice little arcade set-up on a budget, there's a few ways I'd recommend. It's pretty easy to find "multicades" these days - which is usually a 60-in-1 machine. It's a full size machine, and they use the guts of an old machine (like Pac-Man) and replace it with a board that has 60 old school arcade games on it. I'd estimate you can get one for $800-$1200. With 60 classics to play, you'll have everything you need in one machine.

Another option is a Neo Geo MVS machine. Great cabinet, great games, lots of flexibility, and they have multicarts with over 100 games. A Neo Geo might run you about $500-$700. The multicart might be like $100.

Another option is to buy actual old school arcade machines. Take Pac-Man for example, with a machine straight out of 1981, which might run you $500-$800. Even when you're not playing it, it's like a piece of artwork and gives you a cool retro vibe for your man cave.

Now... when you consider saving a few hundred dollars to buy these Arcade1up machines, I just don't see the upside. You lose all of the coolness and mystique of an arcade machine, and replace it with something that straddles the line between being an arcade machine and being a stand-up video game system that only plays one game. I'd be hesitant to invest much money in buying these, unless it was heavily discounted.

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Matchstick
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Re: Scaled down arcade cabinets

Postby Matchstick » November 8th, 2019, 5:30 pm

What a timely post. I actually just bought the Arcade 1up Mortal Kombat II cabinet not even two weeks ago from my local WalMart.

These do go on clearance in stores from time to time. Sites like Brickseek are your best friend for checking prices. My local store (Newport, OR, about 45 minutes away) had a pallet of various Arcade 1up machines on sale for $199. This included most of the original run of titles (Pac-Man, Rampage, Street Fighter II) as well as newer ones (Marvel Superheroes, Mortal Kombat II, and the Capcom classic cabinet with Strider, Final Fight, etc). Pretty much every title aside from the TMNT machine, which was still $399.

Anyway, I saw the stack of titles and resisted the temptation to make the knee-jerk impulse buy. $199 was a great deal, but my sense of practicality took over. You know the questions: Where am I going to put this thing? How often would I really play it? I left the store but kept it all in mind. Went back a week later and the same pallet was marked down to $150. SOLD!! Had to choose one and it came down to between MK II and Marvel SH, but in the end, that MK II cabinet artwork is so iconic, so memorable from my youth, that I just couldn't say no. The MSH cabinet looked good, too, but I just wan't sold on the sideart, marque graphic, or blue beveled trim. As Retro STrife said about actual arcade cabinets, in many ways they are works of art.

(On a side note, I went back to the same store a few days ago and found two remaining cabinets on final clearance for $75 - Centipede and Space Invaders. Man, that Space Invaders cabinet looks great, but after getting my one cabinet, I really, reaaaally don't have room for another. Hopefully those two machines find a good home!)

For $150, I think the cabinet was worth every penny. Absolutely nothing about it feels cheap. It was very well-packed, though there were a few scratches on the sideart that I covered up with a black marker. Assembled in about an hour. The speaker gets loud as all Hell, and the controls feel solid, with a "gently broken-in" feeling to the buttons and joysticks. The play surface even came with a plexiglass shield to protect the artwork. The screen is sharp, bright, and vibrant. The graphics on the marquee and sideart are sharp and vibrant, as well, and though the marquee does not light up, it is nice and glossy and still looks great. Raiden's image on the sides is very clean, though the colors on his skin look a bit muted compared to the artwork on the box, making his skin tone look almost grayscale. The rest of the colors on the machine, from the MK text and various logos, really "pop," as does the awesome red beveled trim on the edges of the cabinet.

The machine is sturdy and well-built, though it is a bit short, standing about 20 inches x 20 inches at the base and 4 feet tall. It weighs in at about 50 lbs, so it is much easier to transport up or down stairs or from room to room than an actual arcade cabinet. They do sell Arcade 1up branded riser platforms for the machines, and I did end up buying one. It's essentially a $30 block of wood, but it has the same solid construction as the actual cabinet and is very sturdy, as well. My wife and our friends have played the machine quite a bit since we got it all set up, and never once did it feel like it would tip over or fall apart on us. I can't say enough about the build quality, honestly.

I would be happy to answer any questions you guys may have about these Arcade 1up machines, but my experience so far has been extremely positive. I highly, highly recommend them if you can find the machine + riser combo for under $200 like I did, though honestly, after building and playing one for myself, I feel the $300 MSRP is a very fair price. I would love to post photos, as well, but I've never quite figured out how to post photos of my own, from my hard drive, on the forums before. I always end up with error messages. Pointers would be greatly appreciated.

djc
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Re: Scaled down arcade cabinets

Postby djc » November 8th, 2019, 9:55 pm

Retro STrife wrote:A few different companies have tried mini arcade cabinets like these over the past 10 years or so, and Arcade1up is the closest any company has come to doing it right. But personally I'm still not sold. I haven't seen these in person, but I can't imagine that 3/4 replica of an arcade machine, made with much crappier materials, is all the impressive to look at and play. It's essentially just a glorified emulator.

#2, you really need to be careful what game you choose, or else you'll have a giant waste of space sitting inside your house. Take TMNT for example. It is one of the more impressive looking machines they've done, and it's a great game, and a great license. Should you buy it? Absolutely not. Why not? Because it has no replayability. TMNT is a great game to run into at an arcade -- you say, "man I haven't played this in years!" and you pop $10 in quarters playing it til your fingers are numb. But what about when you have it at home? Then you'll play through it once or twice (remember, you get unlimited continues, so you'll easily beat it), and then you'll be done with it. And it will just sit there and sit there.

Instead, consider a game with much more replayability, like Pac-Man or Street Fighter II. Even then, it will likely sit there unplayed for eons and eons, but at least there's a chance you fire it up once in awhile when people are over.


In person with the risers they look the part and are comfortable to play at. They were recently discounting the display/demo unit at my local Walmart but it was pretty beat up and the graphics on the controller board were worn away to nothing (which I hear is a common problem for these machines). The new ones supposedly come with a plexiglass cover to protect that artwork.

Regarding replay value, I currently have one of those Pandora Box things which is basically a MAME setup in a nice two-player arcade controller stick. I play TMNT (and The Simpsons Arcade) all the time despite having beat it several times already. Beat-em-ups are just sometimes fun to play for no reason at all.

I wouldn't mind collecting some of these Arcade1Up cabinets but I personally hate building Ikea furniture and I'd probably hate putting these together. That and the fact that at $200-300 a pop, it's probably cheaper in the long run to buy a complete full-size MAME cabinet.

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Retro STrife
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Re: Scaled down arcade cabinets

Postby Retro STrife » November 9th, 2019, 11:21 pm

Nice score Matchstick, and thanks for the great write-up on the machine. At $150 for a solid game like MKII (which is always fun when friends or kids are over), you really can’t beat it. My concern with these machines is more at the MSRP of $300-$400, at which point I think you are too close to the price of real arcade machine options. But on sale for under $200, they get much more appealing.

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noah98
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Re: Scaled down arcade cabinets

Postby noah98 » November 10th, 2019, 7:29 am

If you have a small house like me, these cabinets are an amazing option. I already have one full size multicade style cabinet (Quasicade pro made for consoles). I now have five arcade1up's:

Centipede: $75, decent trackball, good quality overall, free deck protector from the company. Didn't really need to do anything to this one. Well worth what I paid!

Galaga: $125. Solid cabinet overall. Got a free deck protector from the company. Had to spend $25 from someone online to get the newer pcb with bug fixes. Since I didn't pay full price, I was ok with this. The company really should have offered this for free.

Asteroids: $75. This one had the worst build quality since the monitor has a dead pixel and poor contrast, ultra crappy spinner, missing Asteroids deluxe and Gravitar. I got a free deck protector, paid $30 from the company for a nice spinner, and soldered a usb port to the pcb so that I could access Asteroids Deluxe and Gravitar, and so that I could change some of the game settings in mame. For what I paid overall, it's worth it now. Tempest looks and plays great. Major Havoc is fun, and Lunar Lander has a certain charm. The Asteroids games never get old, even though I wish they used Advance Mame for higher resolution.

Space Invaders: $150. Beautiful cabinet! Comes with the deck protector and the monitor is calibrated well out of the box. I decided to mod this with a cheap raspberry pi, encoder and buttons from Amazon, and a couple other parts. I put about $100 in tops, but now it plays tons of vertical arcade classics and looks amazing. Pac Man, Burgertime, Frogger, Galaga '88, etc. This might be my favorite one, since it looks great, was super easy to mod, and plays really well.

Asteroids (2nd cabinet): $75. Bought this to mod. This one was harder to mod, and more expensive. The monitor developed a cluster of dead pixels and since I already modded it and couldn't make a warranty claim, I had to snag an old Dell monitor from a thrift store. I probably put about $225 into it, so it brought it back to the original $300 cost. But, now it plays everything, and really well! Knowing what I know now, I could have done this one much cheaper, but it looks and plays great, so worth it.

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Re: Scaled down arcade cabinets

Postby FusekiGames » November 10th, 2019, 7:31 am

There's a pile of them at the local Walmart, not moving. I'm patiently waiting for them to go on clearance, and I'll probably buy a trio; Asteroids, Centipede, and Space Invaders. One of them will most likely end up as a Retropie machine once we get bored with it.


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