Having your own home arcade system has become an extremely feasible venture over the past twenty years. As technology has progressed, different avenues have become available for those who want an arcade experience without spending thousands on a vintage arcade cabinet (and all the hassles that come with them). Emulation has allowed for retro arcade games to be reproduced and run on as little processing power as that afforded by a Raspberry Pi. If you’re looking to start your own home arcade, either via traditional stand-up arcades or something as simple as playing emulated games on an old PC, there is an option for you. Read below to see some examples of popular home arcade systems that are affordable, nostalgic, and simple to use.
Capcom Home Arcade
You’ll love the new Capcom Home Arcade if you enjoy the retro arcades. It features 16 classic Capcom arcade games preloaded, including games that have never been released outside of an arcade. The controllers are competition-class Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT sticks, and the buttons are OBSF. The home arcade system connects to a TV through HDMI or Micro-USB, and it features onboard WiFi, which lets you connect to the High Score Leaderboard worldwide.
Buying Capcom Home Arcade is a good deal if you want to play all the games and don’t have a ton of room for traditional arcade cabinets. The control board can be placed in an area comfortable for two players to operate the joysticks and buttons, just like a traditional arcade, but using a standard television instead like a console. Some have criticized the design (it’s just a big Capcom logo), but it becomes familiar after playing for a bit. Overall, the controls and layout work well after playing a few games.
Another benefit of Capcom Home Arcade is the variety of games that it features. In addition to arcade classics, it features some rare curiosities and oddities that offer a unique perspective on game development in the 1980s and 90s. While these games may seem outdated, they’re still very playable today, thanks to pixel-perfect ports and well-documented glitches. Capcom Home Arcade is a fantastic way to play classic Capcom arcade games in a similar vein to traditional gaming consoles.
Neo-Geo MVSX Arcade
The Neo-Geo MVSX arcade is an extremely compact retro arcade system featuring 50 SNK games. The MVSX comes with an optional riser and stool for freestanding arcade gaming. The compact size of the MVSX makes it a great choice for any room, and it’s also great for schools, offices, or any other location where space is limited. The NeoGeo MVS arcade has a similar style and button layout, but it also supports two-player games. The buttons are used to navigate the game list and start and stop games for either player. The MVSX also features licensed artwork and a matching gaming stool. It also has the option to be upgraded with a newer version of the software.
The MVSX has a 17-inch LCD monitor that replicates the aspect ratio of a Neo Geo console. It features a USB port to update firmware and software. The LCD monitor offers a pixel-perfect display, CRT-style scanlines, and AES versions of the games. The MVSX features 50 built-in games. You can choose between a home or arcade mode depending on your preference. However, you should be aware that some features may interfere with other parts of the MVSX, so it’s important to research all aspects before purchasing.
This system has 50 great games from the NEOGEO series, including classics such as Samurai Showdown, Metal Slug, and King of Fighters. The MVSX features stereo speakers and a scan line for a CRT-style image. This unit comes with a power adapter, user manual, and a branded gaming stool. You can purchase an optional riser and stool bundle.
A new home arcade machine, the Polycade, promises to deliver the nostalgia of classic arcade games. Its simple control system combines the fun of playing classic arcade games with the convenience of a home arcade. This gaming machine comes with four play modes: TV, PC, mobile, and classic console. It will even allow you to play the original versions of your favorite retro games.
The Polycade home arcade system can fit right into your living room, offering a retro gaming experience with the modern, Tron-inspired design. It even comes with a PC for UI customization and game setup. But despite its slick design, you won’t feel like you’re stepping back in time if you’re playing a game that’s been out of print for a while. Regardless of whether you’re a real arcade fan or just an aspiring one, this game system is the perfect way to bring that arcade feel into your home.
The Polycade also supports a wide variety of USB peripherals and two Xbox controllers for four-player arcade gaming. The cameras feature wide-angle lenses and a stereo microphone for clear audio. The Polycade’s speakers and amplifiers are of the highest quality, with low distortion and pop-free performance. And with Bluetooth and two USB ports, it’s easy to share your arcade experience with friends. The Polycade home arcade is available in black and white colors.
The Polycade is also compatible with Xbox One and Playstations, so you can use it with the Xbox 360 or Playstation 4. The Polycade Pro is also compatible with the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4 consoles. Its slim profile and lightweight design make it an ideal fit in any home, and you’ll be able to easily move it around the room. Moreover, you can even purchase an additional Xbox controller for multiplayer games.
If you’ve always wanted to set up your own home arcade, you may want to consider looking into Arcade1Up cabinets for your home arcade. Arcade1Up provides mostly 3/4 size recreations of classic arcade cabinets. The cabinet art is often very close, if not exact, replicas of the original arcades. Specific controls such as a steering wheel, spinner, or trackballs are included for games that require them such as Ridge Racer or Golden Tee. If you are interested (and have the room) to recreate a true home arcade experience, Arcade1Up’s retro arcade systems are an excellent option.
Arcade1Up’s lineup includes classics such as Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Pac-Man, Galaga, Big Buck Hunter, Golden Tee, Outrun, and much more. The cabinets include optional risers to raise them up to close to the size of a traditional arcade without being as heavy or taking up such a large area. Monitors are available in 17″ – 19″ sizes along with traditional button layouts. Modding is fairly easy as there are plenty of videos and how-to guides available to make modding easier.
In addition to including the “flagship” game on each arcade system, most cabinets come with multiple games. For example, the Midway Legacy home arcade system includes 12 classics including the Mortal Kombat series (1 – 3), Gauntlet, Root Beer Tapper, Rampage, and Wizard of Wor.
One of the largest manufacturers of home video arcades in North America is Dream Arcades. Dream Arcades cabinets are very similar to traditional arcade cabinets in size and weight but include numerous games as a Multicade. Although Dream Arcades is best known for creating full-sized arcade cabinets featuring emulated classic games, the company is venturing into the console industry with its new project, the Dreamcade Replay. The Dreamcade Replay brings classic games to any HDMI port. Three devices are being released via Kickstarter. The Dreamcade Replay Classic is a palm-sized Atari 2600-style device that runs non-demanding modern games and video streaming services.
If you’re looking for recreating the arcade experience with one of many home arcade systems, there is an option available for you. The most popular distributor of retro arcade gaming, Arcade1Up, does an excellent job at providing a realistic experience at an affordable price. The scaled-down replicas work well in limited space or can also serve as a recreation of the arcades of yesteryear. If you don’t have much room, one of the many systems that connect to television may be more your speed. Happy gaming!