For those of you who don’t remember the 90s, there was once a ball made of hundreds of rubber strands called the Koosh Ball, named after the noise it made when it hit the floor. Koosh Balls could be safely thrown around the house as they were soft enough to not break anything (unless you threw them really hard against a lamp). They were massively popular and before long, everybody had a Koosh Ball or two around the house…which put their maker, Oddzon Productions, in an awkward position.
If everyone had a Koosh Ball, no one would need to buy them anymore. So they came up with all sorts of weird variants….Kooshes in day-glo colors, Kooshes that glowed in the dark, ones with straps that turned them into slingshots, and even ones with wacky faces on them. I bring this up because Arcade1Up, after years of expanding into every classic arcade game in existence, seems to have hit the Koosh wall.
They announced their 2022 line of new products this week, and they’re a lot like their old products. Cabinets for Mortal Kombat and Centipede are coming, but they already came years earlier, so these are more like reissues with improvements. Pac-Mania is getting a dedicated cabinet, despite the fact that it was already included with the first Pac-Man machine. The only real difference is that these newer models cost more, due to the rising expense of materials. And speaking of that…
Since there’s nothing Arcade1Up can do about the price of their units going up, they’ve decided to push them WAY up. Their big 2022 announcement is an impending “Pro Series” version of the Killer Instinct machine they released last year. Unlike all other Arcade1Ups, which are 3/4 as tall as a real arcade machine and need a “riser” to boost their height, this revised Killer Instinct will be full-size…and come with a larger monitor, upgraded controls, improved speakers, chrome trim, and a light-up coin slot. A price wasn’t mentioned, but we would not be shocked to see this one in the four-digit range.
The company says more “Pro Series” versions of the things they already released will be announced in the coming months. We say: there’s no need to do this much recycling when there are plenty of arcade classics that still have yet to be revived. They still haven’t done Roadblasters yet.