February 10, 2021
It's official – playing 80s and 90s arcade video games or retro console games from back in the day is one of the coolest home entertainment pastimes right now.
Out of home external restrictions from Covid-19 have forced people to look at entertainment solutions closer to home – there has been an explosion in the number of man caves, shed conversions, spare bedroom takeovers and extensions, primarily for entertainment. And if you're 30, 40 or even 50+ what better addition to your play space than your very own 80s / 90s themed multiplayer video arcade machine with 1000s of games on tap?
There are plenty of suppliers of classic arcade machines – as a supplier it is pointless to rank us against other suppliers as we'd place ourselves first (obviously) or, even worse, a faux-humble second. However, choosing the look, sound, features, tech, number of games, build etc. is important so we've listed a few key pointers to help you choose the best retro arcade machine for you.
If you just want to play games and are not bothered about style, look, feel, sound and don't want a showpiece for your space – get a TV box for a few hundred quid. If you are short on floor space but have table space the next leg up is a bar top. We are not fans of bar top machines - they look OK but you need to be sure they are solidly built, that their screen size is big enough with an aspect ratio that doesn't distort the images. You also need to consider their sound, especially the subwoofer for the bass which is so prominent in 80s / 90s games. Adding a stand to a bar top machine normally nudges the price up from around £600 to £750 and if you want illuminated buttons, RGB underglow, more games then your entering the price territory of full size arcade machines which support extra tech, better sound and have the original arcade look and feel.
You'll find most machine manufactures include a number of arcade games for free (none of us own the games so we can't officially sell them). Some suppliers include the best 60 classics, others 400 and some 1000s. We believe the more the merrier – all the old arcade games and the console games would be great (that's around 15,000+) so at Arcade WOW we've made that our standard package – 15,000+ games which will take a lifetime to get through
This is more important than you think. If you want to immerse yourself in the true retro arcade experience you need a serious 2.1 stereo sound system – it's the subwoofer that makes the difference and 100 watts+ will do, with an external volume control (you don't want to have to open up the cab to nudge the sound up/down) and being able to use headphones is a neat option.
If you've spent money on a man cave, an extension or a shed conversion then there's no point in starting to compromise now. If you want an arcade machine that looks cool, really cool – switched OFF as well as on then you have to go for the full size, full retro style replica themed (Pac Man / Space Invaders, Street Fighter, Star Wars, Donkey Kong, Defender, Asteroids, Galaga – or your favourite) machine – a bar top with or without a stand or half size machine doesn't have the WOW of a fully branded full size unit.
Something that might not be on the top of your list UNTIL you've already bought your machine. Where possible you want to see your highest scores – so when you go back you or your friends can try and beat it. This was the main buzz back in the day – Dave's just beat Frank's Hi-Score which had stood for 3 weeks! Many arcade machine retailers don't have the Hi-Score save option so make sure you ask before you buy! (guess what – Arcade WOW machines have Hi-Score saves set up everywhere we can).
These are nice to haves – and can bump up the price a bit. Illuminated, chrome surround buttons are great, RGB under glow lighting with remote control to change the mood of your room is cool too, and certainly an option to turn up / down the sound without unlocking the cab or even plugging headphones in are all neat things. All these are standard on Arcade WOW cabs – but we wouldn't say they are must haves.
The build quality is key – the only way you can really get a feel for the quality and be sure you're getting the best look for your space is to see the machine first. Full size machines can cost between £1000 - £1600 so it's worth going to see the machine you want, or at least ask the supplier to provide a walk around video so you know exactly what you are getting before you part with your hard earned! At Arcade WOW we have a showroom where you can try before you buy or you can request a video demo, answering any questions you may have.
We hope this helps you decide what classic arcade machine is right for you. One thing is for sure – once you've made your mind up and got your machine – you'll be the envy of your friends and never be bored on a rainy day!
Check out Arcade WOW's machines here:
Pac-Man Arcade Machine for sale
Space Invaders Arcade Machine for sale
Defender Arcade Machine for sale
Asteroids Arcade Machine for sale
Bubble Bobble Arcade Machine for sale
Street Fighter Arcade Machine for sale
Mortal Kombat Arcade Machine for sale
Gauntlet Arcade Machine for sale
Donkey Kong Arcade Machine for sale
Custom Arcade Machine for sale
Arcade WOW Arcade machine for sale
February 16, 2023
February 16, 2023