When many older gamers recall their gaming glory days, they think of the arcade, not the couch. While some cities may be lucky enough to have a modernized arcade bar, they are few and far between.
For some, the best way to scratch that arcade itch is to bring home a classic arcade game cabinet. Then again, restoring and/or maintaining a classic cabinet can be a difficult and expensive task for the average player. For players looking to find a happy medium between the retro arcade experience and modern convenience, there’s London-based company Stoa, which is developing sleek, custom-built arcade cabinets.
Each Stoa cabinet is handcrafted from start to finish for either one or two players. Customers can choose from numerous styles of action buttons and joysticks to create a layout that fits the games they’re interested in playing. Fighting game enthusiasts might want a set of six buttons stacked in two rows of three, while Neo-Geo fans might go for the classic four-button formation found on its multi-game cabinets.
Using cathode ray tube monitors is no longer an option these days, so Stoa uses LCD monitors with a scanline generator. The monitor produces a black line every other line to replicate a technique used by arcade machines for the past 40 years. It softens the graphics just enough while retaining the 4:3 aspect ratio the games were designed with.
Sound comes from two speaker slots placed above the screen. A knob hidden in the back of the cabinet controls the volume.
Stoa offers four different cabinet types. Since the cabinets are custom-made, the color and design of each cabinet is completely up to you. Finally, customers can choose a “curated selection” of games to add to machine, including Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Street Fighter II, and Mortal Kombat. According to the Stoa website, its game offerings will change based on availability, and owners will have the ability to change the games on the machine at a later date.
A completed arcade cabinet takes roughly six weeks from design to delivery. Prices for a standard setup start at $5583 (£4495) with optional customizations adding to that cost. A two player setup adds an extra $124 (£100) while the computer hardware varies depending on preference. For $87 (£70), clients get a system capable of playing up to 60 classic vertical screen games like Donkey Kong or Space Invaders. More complex setups are available to allow more modern games as well. The vertical screen system uses a Linux based
More complex setups are available to allow more modern games as well. The vertical screen system ($304, £245) uses a Linux based PC system and can be loaded with roughly 900 games before running out of space. The horizontal screen system ($496, £399)is the most powerful option and allows space for up to 10,000 games. Other emulators for NES, Master System, Super Nintendo, and Genesis can be added later if desired. Any games provided from Stoa are included for free. Additional games can be added via USB or network cable.
If this seems like something you may be interested in, you should contact Stoa directly.
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