Intro – What’s an Arcade Cabinet?
The housing inside which the electronic equipment of an arcade game resides is a cabinet, also known as an arcade/coin-op console. You have several kinds of arcades. Some of which are adapted to suit specific games, but the most common ones are upright, the cocktail or table and the sit-down.
There’s nothing quite like having an arcade machine of your own. Whether it’s a dedicated machine for a game such as Dance Dance Revolution or a multi-game cabinet with authentic arcade controls and decals, there are lots of fantastic choices available for gaming enthusiasts that want a beautiful piece of technology in their homes.
However, there are a couple of things to think about when investing in an arcade cabinet. So before you rush out to buy something, here are some things to keep in mind.
Make a shortlist of the arcade games that you want to buy!
Make a list of your favourite games that you want to play and see if there’s an arcade cabinet for it. If the game is relatively old, then there’s a good chance it could be in a MAME cabinet. MAME cabinets often have access to thousands of retro arcade games. There are also lots of accessories that you can buy, such as trackballs and lightguns to play specific titles that use them.
Decide if you want a dedicated arcade cabinet or a multi-game one.
You might find that some newer or more obscure titles might have dedicated arcade cabinets. For example, some racing games will only ever come in their own cabinet form, and dance pad games typically need their own machine to be played. While a multi-game cabinet sounds like a much better deal, you should decide if you want to have access to many games or just the games that you really want to play at home.
Ask collectors and businesses around the world to find suppliers and sellers.
Make sure you look at arcade games for sale on local websites, auction services and specialized communities to see what’s available. Some hard-to-find arcade machines (dedicated cabinets with single games) can be quite rare and expensive, so it’s best to seek out experts and actively participate in those communities to get the best deals and create connections.
Listen carefully to those people you ask regarding maintenance.
It’s also important to listen to those people that you ask, especially when it comes to maintaining the cabinet, cleaning it, or even upgrading it in the future. It is critical because arcade machines are fragile; They can be rare collector pieces, some of them won’t run the right way unless you have the specific hardware to run them. For example, some machines might require online services to operate, which can cost additional money, and some might need more power transformers due to the country of origin.
Decide where you’re going to put it.
Lastly, think about where you’re going to put it. Some arcade machines are massive and might need a dedicated man cave to store them in, while others might be more suitable for a tabletop or a countertop. You have to make sure you check the dimension of that arcade cabinet you plan to buy and measure out the space it needs. You might also need to consider the size of your door or any stairs that the machine needs to go up before it enters your home.
Some final thoughts.
If all else fails and the cost is too much to go ahead, there are several alternatives. You could and can build yourself your very own retro arcade station. Check up on DIY options that will let you be as creative as you need to bring fruit to your very own arcade cabinet.