How to Choose the Best Arcade Machine

How to Choose the Best Arcade Machine

The ’80s are ingrained in modern pop culture today as we know it. From heavy influences in the music industry to a resurgence of 80’s classic fashion, the trend of the ’80s is slowly encroaching upon us. Perhaps now while the arcade price has lowered, is the best time to invest in an all-time favourite video game classic, the arcade machine.

The arcade machine will forever remain iconic in the video game industry. Sadly, the entire concept of arcades and its arcade value faded away but the arcade machine still remained true to people’s hearts and found itself now in bars and restaurants. They also remain as a valuable collector item for many people. As the new generation played more arcade games they found themselves wanting one in their own home, who can really resist shooting aliens in Space Invader and running away from the ghosts in Pac-Man?

They became a must-have option for people with their dedicated game rooms and manufactures capitalized on that arcade price. They started putting more games in arcade machines, from a dozen to hundreds. These old classic games didn’t need the heavy requirements most modern games need to run and occupied much less space allowing for many to be installed in the same system.

They started shipping them out to food establishments and then they ended up in people’s homes as well. This was a very suitable option for those people who are obsessed with first-person games and enjoy making new and higher scores. The best part is, now you can own one too.

The real question is which arcade machine is most suitable for you? Would you want it to have thousands of games or just a few classics? And how easily accessible would you want them to be for your friends who are playing them for the first time? And does the arcade machine price suit you? We will answer these questions and help you make the decision on choosing the best arcade machine for your needs.

Today’s Market of Arcade Machine Games

Today it’s become much easier to achieve the childhood dream of owning one’s own arcade. The first thing to consider would be the arcade machine price. Arcade machine prices can vary from small $1500 table-top models to over $29,000 for larger games to fully immerse the player. It mostly depends on what type of arcade machine you are looking for, and today we have a vast number of options to decide your desired arcade value.

There are many different types of arcade games, such as the fan favourite basketball games. These games allow players to test their skills and throw real basketballs in a net. These can be linked together where multiple games can be going at the same time, so you can test your skills head to head. It’s always fun to compete with a friend and see who can make more hoops within the given time limit.

Another popular version of arcade games is the dance games which were popularized in the ’90s with classics such as Dance Dance Revolution. These games are a hit with people of all ages; offering a fun way to compete, exercise, and test your skills. You also have an option of driving games, which come with an inbuilt steering wheel and pedals to simulate as if you are in full control of your vehicle, that can be a racing car or a heavy bike depending on the game you are playing. Another similar type is the gun game which has realistic looking guns attached. These can involve anything from hunting ducks to shooting zombies.

Some arcade games are more suitable for commercial areas and provide a better arcade value, such as merchandise and redemption games. The merchandise games consist of the crane games where you operate your mechanic claw to win an item such as a stuffed toy whereas the redemption games would give you tickets depending on your score.

These tickets could then have been redeemed at a gift shop which had different prizes. They were designed as to lure people into playing more and spending more money, which ended up being beneficial for the owners and helping the arcade price.  These games consisted of skill-based games such as skee ball machine games and even some basketball games.

But perhaps the most popular and classic of all are the video game arcade machines. Sure, the driving games and gun games, among others, could be considered video games, but as the classic gamers will tell you, video games are best defined as having a joystick and a few buttons. These games are usually 100% digital, where the players use the provided instruments (joystick and buttons) to take control of a virtual character.

In this category, you can find all types of machines, from the most popular fighting games like Street Fighter IV and Mortal Kombat IX, popular beat em’ ups like Final Fight and Turtles in Time, and even the classics, like Frogger, Pac-Man, and Galaga. This is by far the most popular type of machine currently, often attracting crowds of gamers that either want to beat the champ’s high score or simply want to have fun beating each of the stage’s bosses. This category is ideal for those that want to challenge themselves with the games’ obstacles, without much regard for leaving a high-score for everyone to see.

Factors to consider to Choose the Best Arcade Machine

Now determining what type of arcade machine to get can be the hardest choice for most individuals. It’s important to consider the following questions and decide.

1. Audience

First of all, who will be playing the games? Will it be just adults or will teens and kids also be playing? This will help you narrow down your options as if you are catering to a wider audience you would want your arcade machine to be easy and accessible to all. 

2. Type of Arcade Machine

What type of games would you want? There are many choices to choose from, such as sports or hunting which will require a different type of machine. Would you want a standing up machine or one where you can sit down? These are important as you will realize what games truly call to you.

3. Location

Also, another important question is where will the machine go? Will it be in a game room, or a man cave, or perhaps the garage. Once the place for the machine is decided you will figure out the viability for different games in these places as well. 

4. Price

And finally, how much are you willing to spend on a game? Modern arcade prices are pretty expensive but they come with the benefit of being pre-loaded with numerous games already. So by investing in one good arcade machine, you can play hundreds of classic arcade games!

Types of Arcade Cabinet

There is an important distinction to note between different arcade cabinets. The classic games like Ms Pac-Man and Galaga are played using a vertically mounted monitor. Some classic games such as Joust and Donkey Kong make use of a vertically mounted monitor, while almost all of the modern fighting games such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter use horizontally mounted monitors.

This means that if you have a certain type of cabinet, it is not possible for it to entertain all games as certain games require horizontally mounted screens and certain require vertically mounts. You can modify a horizontal cabinet to support a vertically mounted monitor but the opposite isn’t possible. This is due to differences in the construction of the two styles of cabinets. All in all, it is important for the style of the cabinet to suit your gaming preferences.

Arcades are considered the birthplace of modern video gaming. The dimly neon-lit dens of arcade cabinets were amazing places for curious games to spend their time. They offered gaming experiences back then which couldn’t be found anywhere else. From the days when they pre-dated the home video game consoles or the long stretches of time when purpose-built arcade machines were superior to all consoles.

But now the consoled dominance is cemented firmly and the arcades glory days are behind it. But the best part is now you can create that same nostalgic environment in your own home. With the help of this guide, you should be able to decide what type of arcade machine you would want to get and relive those glory days, or perhaps experience them for the first time.

Waqar Ashraf

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