Arcade gaming may not be the popular staple of society that it once was, but the scene remains alive in plenty of other ways. From emulators granting access to classic arcade titles, to full-on cabinet recreations, diehard arcade fans remain to make sure an important piece of gaming's history remains relevant to this very day. No one knows the importance of that better than Arcade1Up, a company that has been building and selling miniature arcade cabinets for a couple of years now. When I say miniature, they're by no means small; rather, they're a 3/4 recreation of the size you would've seen at your local arcade back in the day. According to their official website, they're approximately four feet in height, though risers are sold separately for those who desire them.


These guys have made several faithful recreations of classic arcade cabinets, all of which are emblazoned with artwork from their featured games. While one game is featured prominently in this fashion, each cabinet is sort of a mini collection of games related to the primary one. For example, their Capcom cabinets include both a Street Fighter one and Final Fight one. The former features various versions of Street Fighter 2, whilst the latter contains Final Fight, Ghosts 'n Goblins, 1944: The Loop Master, and Strider. Therefore, you'll want to keep in mind what all you're getting before deciding for sure on any one cabinet.

The games contained within were all brought about through the use of approved ROMs, all of which were tested to maintain the original vibe and gameplay of the classics. Thanks to Arcade1Up acquiring the licenses from all the related companies, it's all above board. For this reason, the cabinets can be purchased from a wide range of major retailers. These include: GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart, Costco, Amazon, Target, Kohls, Sam's Club, Fry's, Scheels, TJ Maxx, Dillard's, and HEB. While you can purchase them in-store and online, both see their own difficulties currently due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Shipping delays have struck just about every form of online retail there is right now, and going in person may not be an option depending on where you live and what the various businesses of the area are doing during the whole crisis.

It's important to note that the cabinets don't come fully assembled; rather, you'll have to assemble it yourself before you can begin playing. Rest assured that this is quite an easy process, one that's been streamlined and simplified by design thanks to Arcade1Up. They have their very own tutorial video on assembly that can be accessed from their official site. Weighing in at around 63 pounds, the cabinets are fairly lightweight and functional compared to their bulky ancestors, some of which would come in at around 300lbs for the heaviest. The best part of it all? No quarters required! A shame, I know, but certainly a welcome absence for the sake of convenience! Every single one of Arcade1Up's cabinets are coinless in nature, meaning you can play till your hands are cramping (though we don't recommend you do that). While the cabinets successfully recreate the feeling of the joysticks and buttons from the glory days, those longing for a controller won't be left out. Presently, Arcade1Up is in the midst of developing their very own controllers that will be fully compatible with each machine. The controllers are being made "based on arcade specifications", according to the company's FAQ.

Currently, several cabinets are already available for purchase, though these will cost a pretty penny. Now that the pre-order phase is over for these cabinets, the price ranges anywhere between $300-500. What determines it is whether the cabinet is one of the original set or a limited edition. The original sets included two Midway cabinets, two Atari cabinets, and two Capcom cabinets. Since then, Arcade1Up has produced the following:

  • BurgerTime
  • Centipede
  • Final Fight
  • Frogger
  • Galaga
  • Golden Axe
  • Golden Tee
  • Marvel Super Heroes
  • Mortal Kombat
  • Pac-Man
  • Rampage
  • Space Invaders
  • Star Wars Home Arcade
  • Street Fighter
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

While most of the cabinets try to maintain a perfect semblance of what used to be, there are some nifty new gameplay additions unique to each one. For example, the Street Fighter cabinet (which features Street Fighter II Champion Edition, The New Challengers, and SFII Turbo) has a custom-made two-player configuration with its joysticks and buttons. This allows for quick and easy play with a friend, and a perfect way to show off the cabinet in action. It also allows you to play against a CPU opponent if desired. Other fighting game cabinets also sport a similar two-person setup to this, including the Final Fight and Mortal Kombat ones. Another good example of these upgraded cabinets is the Star Wars Limited Edition Seated version. This Walmart-exclusive is exactly what it sounds like; a passionate recreation of a seated arcade experience. It goes for $415, and is one of the few Arcade1Up cabinets that record a high score list. This one will net you three Star Wars hits: The original game, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi.

As with the Star Wars cabinet, some of these are only available at certain retailers, so you'll want to check that beforehand. Even though these ones passed their pre-order period, Arcade1Up recently showcased a few new cabinets they're working on, all of which are available for pre-order as of right now. Getting in on these early is best, as it drops the price by $100 than what it would be if you purchased it post-release. These cabinets include BurgerTime, Frogger, a special 40th-anniversary edition of Pac-Man, and NBA Jam.

One thing that separates these cabinets from traditional ones is the inclusion of online multiplayer, a feature that's been heavily discussed behind their NBA Jam cabinet. Using this, friends with matching cabinets can play the classic game together. It makes the piece one of the most lucrative ones to date, and also one of the most pricey. The online play is conducted through wifi connectivity, and the cabinet features 4 player controls on top of a light-up marquee, volume controller, and dual speakers. The cabinet contains the original NBA Jam, alongside NBA Jam Tournament Edition and NBA Hangtime.

The aforementioned Pac-Man 40th anniversary cabinet is a rather tantalizing deal, as it sees a huge list of improvements over the standard Pac-Man cabinet already sold through various retailers. First, and most obviously, is the fact that it comes with a whopping seven games in one cabinet; a huge edge over the couple of Pac-Man titles contained in the original. The games include Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus, Super Pac-Man, Pac&Pal, Pac-Land, Pac-Mania, and Galaga. The cabinet aims to recreate the 'upright' style of the original arcade machines, and gets bundled with a riser that has its own exclusive Pac-Man artwork on top. This cabinet can be pre-ordered from either GameStop or Best Buy, and the same goes for the NBA Jam one.

Who could forget Frogger, though? The classic game brought an intense challenge to kids everywhere, tasking them to cross a busy road and raging river to get a frog to the other side. The game is a huge hit, and the Frogger cabinet beautifully recreates all of the appeal of the game right on the cabinet artwork. This cabinet is only available for pre-order on GameStop, but also comes with two additional games alongside the star of the show: Time Pilot and Time Pilot '84. This cabinet will run you $500.

And last, but certainly not least, is the BurgerTime. Arcade1Up is going all out for this puppy, adorning the cabinet with vibrant artwork and including four games in one cabinet: BurgerTime, Karate Champ, Bad Dudes, and Caveman Ninja. This cabinet is exclusive to their very own website, so if you want to pre-order it, it's going to be there. Running you at a pricepoint of $399.00, the cabinet is expected to be shipped out sometime in May, though a specific day hasn't been provided, likely due to the pandemic.

It's hard to say what other cabinets could come about once that wave is all released and out there. Arcade1Up has stated themselves that they're open to suggestions from fans, and current games under consideration include X-Men vs. Capcom, Tron, and the Simpsons, among others. If you've got a classic arcade hit that you're missing to this day, make sure to get in touch with Arcade1Up and float the idea by them; who knows, it could become a reality all through suggestion.

If you need replacement parts for a cabinet, Arcade1Up also has you covered there. If the situation arises, they can send you replacements with free shipping. Naturally, this too has been affected by the pandemic. As far as that goes, Arcade1Up has an important update for all customers. "The health and safety of our community is our top priority; the Arcade1Up warehouse is working on a limited schedule due to COVID-19 concerns," the post reads. "We appreciate your patience and understanding regarding the possible delay of shipment for games and parts; at this time we cannot guarantee a shipping timeframe. Stay safe and healthy... and don't forget to wash your hands before playing your Arcade1Up games!"

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