Ask any gamer if they would like an arcade machine in their house, and they would respond with “Heck yeah.” What prohibits this from happening for most of us is the cost. An authentic roughed-up arcade unit from the Golden Age can run anyone $600 to $1000, or possibly more. If you don’t care about authenticity, there are independent contractors who make bootleg 100-in-one arcade stand-ups, but those can be pricey as well.
Hobby manufacturer Tastemakers has seen the need and come to fill it — sort of. Their new officially licensed Arcade1Up cabinets will become available this fall. Each contains four classic arcade games released in their heyday by the Atari company — except for the one cabinet that includes Street Fighter II, they’re all Atari. The dedicated nature of the machines means their games are grouped by control type — Centipede, Millipede, Breakout and Missile Command comprise one machine that has a giant trackball.
In order to make these affordable, something had to give. For one thing, there’s some assembly required, though Tastemakers swears they “can be easily assembled.” Another thing…they’re short. Each of them are just four feet tall — you’ll have to sit down to play any of them. And the price of each is $400 — undeniably cheaper than the other options, but not by enough.
It’ll be several months before Arcade1Up machines are officially on the market, so we don’t know where you’ll be able to find one yet. But for arcade gaming on a budget, they’re something to consider.