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Bill Loguidice

Budget Atari and Capcom arcade cabinets to see release this fall!

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I remember seeing the el cheapo Midway cab at Target and noping the hell out when I inspected the build. Crappy crt TV inside, connected by AV inputs. I think it was even marked down to $100 or so.

 

Recently I have seen 2 different arcade sellers trying to get $500 for used ones.

 

These new cabs look interesting. I'd have to see one in person or see some legit reviews, but I would probably go for the Asteroids one.

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Wait a minute. Judging from the pics, they gave the Centipede cabinet a horizontally oriented monitor even though 3 of the 4 games are vertical including Centipede itself? Disappointing choice if so.

Edited by Ramses

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Wait a minute. Judging from the pics, they gave the Centipede cabinet a horizontally oriented monitor even though 3 of the 4 games are vertical including Centipede itself? Disappointing choice if so.

 

That is expected as they have to use existing extremely high volume LCD monitor designs to keep the cost down. A custom LCD with the correct orientation and aspect ratio would make these arcade machines well into many thousands of dollars.

 

Anyway all that matters is the physical experience when playing. Just like my AFP 2017 that plays great with over a thousand 2600 games all for under $40 ... I can live with the screen rotated 90 degrees to keep great low price point.

Edited by thetick1

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Wait a minute. Judging from the pics, they gave the Centipede cabinet a horizontally oriented monitor even though 3 of the 4 games are vertical including Centipede itself? Disappointing choice if so.

Maybe it's still early. A vertical monitor would distinguish this from being yet another TV or computer monitor.

 

If not, that's the norm, isn't it. Remember Atari Anniversary Advance on GBA?

 

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I remember seeing the el cheapo Midway cab at Target and noping the hell out when I inspected the build. Crappy crt TV inside, connected by AV inputs. I think it was even marked down to $100 or so.

 

Recently I have seen 2 different arcade sellers trying to get $500 for used ones.

 

These new cabs look interesting. I'd have to see one in person or see some legit reviews, but I would probably go for the Asteroids one.

I've seen that locally too with idiots acting like it's a real cab and wanting $500+ for them and I just laugh at it when I see it, though I probably shouldn't as some dummy probably bought it and ended up regretting it. I recall when Target and Costco ages ago tried to clear them out cheaper and cheaper and they sat as they were just bad. These new cabs I just can't equal them to it or even see them being that bad. The price is less than what the Midway originally sold at and just looking at what they're showing minimally so far the build quality including a well sized far better LCD going for it at a lower price seems like a decent thing here. The key though for many will be, what's the board, and can you throw something else in it from a Pi thing to another capable cheapo board (60 or 400something in 1s) or even attach a console or closed console(NES/SNES/Genesis TV game) at it. THere could be some real possibilities here along those lines or even just strapping a DIY PC setup in there too. It all comes down to the first buyer with a tech bone in their body taking pics of the build and inspecting the parts to see what's open or closed about it.

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That is expected as they have to use existing extremely high volume LCD monitor designs to keep the cost down. A custom LCD with the correct orientation and aspect ratio would make these arcade machines well into many thousands of dollars.

 

Anyway all that matters is the physical experience when playing. Just like my AFP 2017 that plays great with over a thousand 2600 games all for under $40 ... I can live with the screen rotated 90 degrees to keep great low price point.

 

But it wouldn't be a custom LCD. A vertical LCD is just a regular horizontal LCD turned on it's side. It shouldn't be any more difficult or expensive.

Edited by Ramses

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But it wouldn't be a custom LCD. A vertical LCD is just a regular horizontal LCD turned on it's side. It's no more difficult to mount either.

 

Wrong they are designed differently as the clear angle of view is completely different!

Turn your LCD TV 90 degrees and see how bad the angle of view is ?

Edited by thetick1

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Wrong they are designed differently as the clear angle of view is completely different!

Turn your LCD TV 90 degrees and see how bad the angle of view is ?

 

I see. I have an LCD for my Raspberry Pi and a digital photo frame that I've set up vertically in the past and I never really noticed that it was that much worse. Looking at them again, they don't seem too bad when looking directly at them, but yeah not quite as good as horizontal. I do see now that one angle in particular (when rotated counterclockwise and looking from the right) has really poor visibility. The other side is okay.

 

Edit: This actually brings up another question for me. Are the LCD replacement arcade monitors some people use for vertically oriented arcade games custom or standard horizontal monitors. I do prefer CRTs even if they have some burn in but some people seem to really like the LCDs. I'm not suggesting these for these budget arcade machines as they'd probably jack up the price by a few hundred. Just curious.

Edited by Ramses

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Wrong they are designed differently as the clear angle of view is completely different!

Turn your LCD TV 90 degrees and see how bad the angle of view is ?

That sounds like a limitation of some older/cheaper TFT screens.

 

The VESA mounting standard is designed to allow different mounting orientations, and most decent smartphones since at least 2007 can rotate without issues. The displays I've seen at airports, train stations, and delis don't seem to be anything special, just turned on their side.

 

IPS is designed for 140 degree viewing from any direction. Anything less is nearly unusable to me nowadays.

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Overall, I like it. You could always get it up higher off the ground if you're really concerned about the height and maybe it's more ideally targeted toward kids as well? The only thing I can see that I truly dislike about the cabinet is the bottom front with the game names. You have this beautiful side art and then half-ass the front with just the basic game logos. It works but that's not the point.

 

Could see these being cool additions to small pizza joints or other places that don't mind sacrificing a little space to provide a game that is there just for the enjoyment of their guests instead of trying to milk them for paying for it as well.

 

I'm still waiting for my Tempest 2000 arcade machine with built-in spinner with jukebox-like pounding stereo speakers capable to make things worthwhile.

Edited by Clint Thompson
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That sounds like a limitation of some older/cheaper TFT screens.

 

The VESA mounting standard is designed to allow different mounting orientations, and most decent smartphones since at least 2007 can rotate without issues. The displays I've seen at airports, train stations, and delis don't seem to be anything special, just turned on their side.

 

IPS is designed for 140 degree viewing from any direction. Anything less is nearly unusable to me nowadays.

 

Oh I'm sure many high volume LCD can be turned any way and have good viewing angle.

So in general I think you are correct but the REALLY cheap ones which the Chinese company has not upgraded to the newer technology in their manufacturing centers likely still make LCD screens with 90 degree and viewing angle issues. And considering manufactures own many plants they may just "sneak" some of the older LCDs in la large order. I know this happened just last year with cheap embedded product I support.

Edited by thetick1

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The cab height probably has a lot to do with packaging. Meaning the box it comes in. I understand that it will be flat packed (ikea style) so the longer the box, the more expensive it is to ship. Once you go over a few feet in length, that number goes up dramatically. I'd bet they weighed that against having a seam in the midde of the cabinet instead where you somehow put two sides together to make it taller. That would also add weight and complexity to the cabinet itself.

 

One could always go to Lowes and get screw on legs for the thing... At least then you could clean the floor under it. ;)

 

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I think it's a really cool idea, and $400 doesn't seem at all bad for a brand new arcade cabinet. Even a bartop sized multicade cab tends to cost $500 to $600 to build yourself, so as long as the emulation on whatever software it's running is 100% accurate then it seems like a solid deal for the price. I love the aesthetics of the Centipede one too, it reminds me a lot of the classic Centipede cabaret cabinet.

 

 

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you are right about price. i invested around 500usd into my portapi build after all was said and done. the kit was over 300 with shipping. i checked at adafruit and the cost to buy all the hardware individually would have run me about as much. then i had to buy tools, stain, upgraded arcade parts, etc, and by the time all was said and done, total bom, it ran me over 500usd. software was a pita to set up, using forums etc to get mame running, old romsets, audio samples, but the end result was worth the effort and money i put into it. so i can see a commercially viable arcade cab for home use.

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After sitting on the brain for a few days, I feel like there may be some really cool ass modding capabilities for this cabinet. Including the buttons and joystick itself as well. Now I'm kind of wondering if they will also supply blank cabinets for DIY'ers so that I can finally do a decent Tempest 2000 cabinet. Toss in some proper switches and spinner, have the artwork printed, add some Cerwin Vega speakers and boom! Techno Time.

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As cool as I think these are, I know in my heart that they'd never do it for me. What I find odd is that amidst what I feel is the height of the retro boom (at least mainstream-wise), no company has come forward to cater to someone like myself, who, if shown a quality product, would pay good money for the real deal.

 

I'd be willing to spend around 1k on this concept, if it were a quality build. I'm not talking the best of the best, but I'm talking decent controls, a sturdy built cabinet, a game selection that makes sense...I'd pay it, but so far nobody is making it. These things, if they were quality, I'd be interested in. The game selection isn't the best, but even that can be modified given the right incentive.

 

Anyways, I'll keep my eye out on these and hope the reviews will be ok. I hate to always be the pessimist with this kinda stuff, lol, I really do!...but it's just frustrating that the only way to get something halfway done right is to build it yourself (something I don't really have the skill or time to do properly).

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I saw this on the Shenmue 500K facebook page (At Sega Akihabara):

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Edited by roland p

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I saw the ads for these popping up on Facebook the last couple of weeks,and they look interesting. They are also offering an optional "booster seat" platform for the bottom of them to make them standard Arcade height.

 

my question is - how hackable is the OS, or do I have to resort to dropping a laptop with MAME loaded on it to get all the games I want, instead of the tiny selection of games it comes with?

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I pre-ordered the Asteroids one. At that price, it seemed like a no-brainer.

 

As for hacking these, I don't really see the need myself. I don't need another do everything device. I'm good with a curated selection of games targeted to the control panel that's present. This isn't thousands of bucks we're talking about here.

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There are some good closeups of the controls in those pictures. Asteroids has a spinner for Tempest, which instantly makes it at least a little interesting.

 

The price seems nice, but such an early sale makes me wonder if $300 might be the real street price once these drop.

 

Too bulky and a little too expensive to make a blind purchase -- what a PITA it would be to return if it's junk! -- but it's neat to see these becoming a reality.

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I pre-ordered the Asteroids one. At that price, it seemed like a no-brainer.

60lbs shipping weight. I hope it feels sturdy. Looking forward to reading your Armchair Arcade review in September!

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60lbs shipping weight. I hope it feels sturdy. Looking forward to reading your Armchair Arcade review in September!

 

I've heard good things about it direct from people who have seen them on display at E3 and what-not. These are actually really small as these things go. It HAS to go on a table, or you have to buy one of their ugly (and overpriced) bottom booster things. Otherwise, it's just too low to use.

 

While I have no plans to buy a booster thing, I will buy an adjustable stool. Hopefully the table I put it on is sturdy enough for there not to be any wobble, but either way I'll figure something out.

 

I struggled with which one to get. I REALLY wish this spinner Asteroids unit had like Breakout or something in it. For whatever reason, they chose to stick that on the Centipede paddle cabinet. Ugh.

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