Gaming has come a long way, but sometimes you just get a sudden itch to jump back into those old arcade classics – Street Fighter II, Rampage, Galaga, Gauntlet, the list goes on. Unfortunately, arcades seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur in America, and arcade machines (particularly older ones) are becoming a rare sight these days.
Of course, you could always just fire up an emulator like MAME, and even basic Android devices are powerful enough to emulate the 8- and 16-bit titles of days gone by. But let’s face it: There’s only one proper way to play arcade games, and that’s at a wooden cabinet with a joystick in your grip and your fingers hovering over the buttons. If you’re looking for a way to enjoy those classic games the right way, then the new machines from Arcade1Up should be right up your alley – and they’re surprisingly affordable, too.
The Arcade1Up machines aren’t full-sized cabinets, standing just under four feet tall or about three-quarters of the size of the originals. But unless you’re ready to shell out thousands of dollars for the genuine article (or spend a bunch of money, time, and effort to build your own MAME cabinet), they’re by far the best way to bring the arcade right into your home.
There are five different models of Arcade1Up cabinets currently offered for pre-order (the Final Fight machine is curiously unavailable as of now), and they all feature official old-school artwork you’ll likely remember from the original machines. These cabinet designs highlight specific titles, but each one actually comes loaded with a handful of games:
- Street Fighter II machine: This model is designed to look like the original 1992 Street Fighter II cabinet and includes Street Fighter II Champion Edition, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers.
- Galaga machine: The Galaga Arcade1Up machine features artwork from the original 1981 cabinet, plus the original 1979 shoot-’em-up title Galaxian and Galaga, its famous sequel.
- Centipede machine: This cabinet has the licensed artwork from Centipede as well as the game, plus Millipede, Missile Command, and Crystal Castles.
- Rampage machine: The Rampage cabinet comes loaded with its titular smash-’em-up game along with the classics Gauntlet, Joust, and Defender.
- Asteroids machine: Last but not least is the Asteroids machine, which boasts the awesome artwork from its 1979 Atari namesake plus Tempest, Major Havoc, and Lunar Lander.
Along with the great licensed artwork and traditional cabinet design, the Arcade1Up machines feature authentic joysticks, buttons, and trackballs (controls vary by cabinet depending on which games are loaded onto it) and a 17-inch LCD monitor. Since they stand shorter than the original cabinets, you will likely want a stool or riser – Arcade1Up has some made specifically for these cabinets – to play more comfortably.
The retail price of each Arcade1Up cabinet is $400, which is already surprisingly affordable for an arcade machine (even ones that are smaller than the real thing). If you pre-order now, however, you can score each for just $300, saving $100 off the MSRP. Several retailers are taking pre-orders but your best bet is probably Walmart thanks to that sweet free two-day shipping. The Arcade1Up cabinets ship on September 25, so be sure to secure yours now to save some cash — and get ready to enjoy these games the way they were meant to be played.
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