Milk and cookies. Wine and cheese. NASCAR and Fritos. All combinations that pale in comparison to beer and video games.
Witness Brooklyn’s Barcade, Portland’s Ground Kontrol, and any number of similar booze-and-breakout joints around the country. But those who prefer to enjoy their nostalgia and libations in private with some friends, there’s the Arkeg: an all-in-one arcade machine and kegerator.
The cabinet looks like any other you may have grown up with – right down to the quirky 80’s font on the backlit Arkeg sign – except for the curious tap handle sticking out the side. OK, and maybe the 24-inch LCD monitor with full HD resolution looks like a bit of a stretch from the blurry CRTs of your Pacman heydey. But authenticity isn’t the goal here. Dispensing beer is.
Inside the cabinet, a complete refrigeration and CO2 draft system keeps a keg cold and bubbly. It accepts standard five-gallon Cornelius kegs – the same type usually used by home brewers and a size commercially available from microbreweries like Deschutes and Widmer. That translates to about 55 beers, if you’re counting. A digital thermostat even lets you set the preferred temp for your brew to the degree.
The business end of the Arkeg accomodates a range of different games with one- and two-player select buttons, a joystick and six buttons for each player, and even a center trackball, all set into a brushed-aluminum top. On the front, another set of knobs and buttons controls volume, treble, bass, game exit, pause and of course, power. Since it’s powered, at the core, by a PC, a drop-down panel allows access to a full keyboard.
The guts of the Arkeg run GameEx, which acts as a front-end for a number of emulators that will handle everything from arcade games to Atari, Sega and Game Gear titles. The Arkeg crew claims a total of 16,000 titles are floating around out there – but you’ll have to find your own way of securing them legally, of course. The game comes preloaded with 69 totally legal titles, from Centipede to Street Fighter.
What price can you possibly put on memories and endless nights reminiscing about the arcade days of your youth that you wish you spent talking to girls? Exactly $3,999. Like all things frivolous, retro-themed and awesome, the Arkeg carries a steep price of entry, but we’re inclined to look the other way and love it nonetheless. More information can be found at Arkeg.