The question is one we’d thought of many times, and we’re sure many of our readers have fantasized about it themselves at one point or another. In the past, the question has been a little moot, owing to the difficulty and cost of purchasing and finding room for an arcade. Today, though, the question doesn’t have to be quite as hypothetical as you might think.
Rather than requiring an entire cabinet for a single game, modern gamers and arcade enthusiasts can rely on a simple cabinet setup for hundreds of games by running MAME – the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, and a variety of other systems. What would this require? Not much, as it turns out. A relatively modern computer, a cabinet (either purchased or home-built), a low response time LCD or even CRT screen, and a couple of arcade sticks would be enough to get most users started.
With a setup like this, a single system could easily run an enormous quantity of games right from a single cabinet, reducing what would otherwise require hundreds of square feet into a simple and space-efficient system. Of course, in order to do this legally, you would require a copy of the base game boards. While significantly cheaper than an entire cabinet, this can still prove problematic but take hope, not all is lost.
One of the best things about arcade games is that they have never gone out of style. Sure, they may not be the main focus of modern AAA developers anymore, but that in no way means we are wanting for options. Modern online storefronts like Steam, for example, offer an enormous range of games which play perfectly within an arcade-style setup. Want to play Pac-Man? Then purchase a copy of Pac-Man Championship Edition on Steam for $10 and have it.
More of a Tetris sort of person? Tetris Effect has you covered if you hook in your PS4, again an easy task considering the interchangeability of components. Adapters here mean that not only could consoles also play a part in your system, but you could also use a wider range of controller input than these more limited systems would usually imply.
You don’t even have to settle for traditional arcade gaming either, as the flexibility of these systems opens the possibilities as wide as creating your own little slots casino from your own home. Being able to load up the hundreds of online offerings like Copy Cats and Warlords to play from a realistic setup is a dream for many players, and the reality is surprisingly simple. Those savvy enough might even be able to create their own lever-based input systems to start spinning, for even more tactile feedback.
The possibilities for these types of systems are something which many of us dreamt of as kids and now, as adults, that dream can finally become a reality. Whether to play alone and shoot for a high score or to invite friends over and rip their spines out in Mortal Kombat, there is enough versatility here to satisfy every type of arcade gamer, from classic to modern.
Also – if you do decide to go this route then attach cup holders to the side. Trust us on this.