With the advent of home video entertainment and game consoles, the classic arcade cabinet slowly faded from bar rooms, bowling alleys, and corner stores everywhere. Now, decades later, arcade machines are something of a vintage collector’s piece. The smash-hit classics you remember from your childhood are even more appealing today. Not only are arcade machines a killer nostalgia trip, but they’re also a cool conversation piece to have in the house. No man cave or basement bar is complete without a sick gaming corner.
Our arcade machine sales team, you can find all the greatest classics of the 70s, 80s, 90s, and today– modern multi game arcade machines have the powerful capabilities of any computer and come packed with hundreds or sometimes even thousands of classic games. We can hook you up with an all-in-one super machine that you won’t want to put down for days at a time.
A Brief History of Arcade Machines
Arcade Machines Before Arcades
The earliest “arcade games” of the 1920s were more of what you’d expect to see on the boardwalk at Blackpool– shooting galleries, ring toss, dart throwing, and other carnival-style contests. By the 30s, coin-operated bagatelle machines and pinball games began to pop up in cafes and gambling halls. In fact, the gambling-adjacent roots of early coin-operated machines led to the restriction or outright banishment of certain types of games in many municipalities. A well-known relic of these debacles is the prominent label on so many old games that reads, “FOR AMUSEMENT ONLY.”
What we think of as a classic arcade machine became more ubiquitous in the late 1960s with electromechanical games like Periscope, Crown Soccer Special, and Duck Hunt. Fully electronic “solid-state” games began to replace electromechanical arcade machines in the early 1970s with the prolific success of Pong.
The Golden Age
Arcade machines saw their “golden age” in the late 70s to mid-80s. With the smash-hit success of Space Invaders, arcade machines began to appear in community hotspots from malls to movie theaters, bars and restaurants, and even grocery stores.
The period between 1978-1982 saw the release of some of the most well-known household names in gaming like:
- Donkey Kong
And that’s just to name a few. According to Wikipedia, the arcade game industry was worth an estimated $8 billion. In today’s dollars, that would be just north of $22.5 billion.
The later part of the 1980s saw revolutions in simulation gaming, particularly for racing games. The Sega classic Hang-On relied on realistic 3D scaling to translate sprite positioning in 2D. It was also the first game to feature a rideable motorcycle for the player to control rather than a joystick. And all of this came over 20 years before motion controls were a common technology in-game consoles!
Decline & Comeback
The home video game market emaciated arcades, eventually plummeting the market for arcade machines under $1 billion in the early 2000s. Game consoles are cheaper, more compact, and thus more accessible to the average consumer.
But like any classic hobby, the market never truly went away. Now in the 2020s, a hundred years since the start of our story today, retro arcade machines are seeing a resurgence comparable to vintage cars and vinyl records. You spent your childhood in the arcade, and now you can bring the arcade right into your own home. Get a machine of your very own to join the retro gaming revolution!
Arcade Machines Today
Although their heyday has long come and gone, there are still new arcade machines and pinball games being produced to this very day. Rhythm games like Dance Dance Revolution and rail shooters like Time Crisis are still found in amusement parks and cafe arcades everywhere. And with collectors and dealers picking up classic games to restore and trade, you can find arcade machines for sale all over the world!
These days, all-in-one machines offer the home arcade machine owner a deeper gaming experience than a classic arcade filled with cabinets ever could. But home gaming doesn’t have to be an insanely expensive hobby. There’s an enormous movement of homebrew and DIY arcade gaming enthusiasts who’ve developed mountains of open-source software and hardware plans you can use to customize your home arcade.
Through the power of versatile computing systems like the Raspberry Pi, and with a little creative ingenuity, hobbyists have built impressive homemade rigs. But who has time for that? Building a custom cabinet doesn’t just take some technical know-how, but it also takes workshop space and power tools that lots of gamers just don’t have handy. At ArcadeMachines.co.uk, we’ll bring state-of-the-art, brand new arcade machine technology right to your door.
Advantages of an All-In-One Arcade Machine
Arcade games come in all shapes and sizes, so depending on the video games in the arcade, you might see dance pads, joysticks, silver balls, old CRT monitors, light guns, and even tabletop sports games like air hockey. Arcades are great if you like to play a wide variety of games because it’s traditionally been impractical to put more than even one machine in the home. For decades, if you didn’t have a large site where you can store and maintain several machines, then you were stuck paying precious quarters to the wealthy arcade owners.
A single new arcade machine can cost thousands of dollars. Even many old retro arcade machines can get expensive, carrying a price tag in the high three to low four figures. The best solution for the 21st gamer, both casual and serious alike, is an all-in-one cabinet.
An all-in-one arcade machine is driven by the Raspberry Pi single-board computer which allows even those with little technological know-how to create powerful and diverse applications. A single machine can come jam-packed with hundreds or even thousands of games. Not only do you get so many more video games to play, but obviously, a single all-in-one retro arcade system is far more economical. They don’t come with all the pieces and parts of older arcade machines, and so they carry a much more attractive price tag.
At ArcadeMachines.co.uk, our site brings you the best arcade machines the UK has to offer. You can find new and old games all in a single machine that comes at a great price. We also offer some of the best classic titles in standalone machines if you truly want to play for the vintage experience. For the best games at the best price points, check out our lineup of smash-hit classics and join the rapidly growing of retro arcade machine ownership.
Our site makes it easy for you to shop, compare, and pick out the perfect all-in-one arcade machine for you and your family. Whether you want to deck out the man cave, build the perfect basement bar, or just install a cool new toy for you and your kids to enjoy, an all-in-one setup like the Pandora Box DX is the ultimate gaming system. Turn your friends’ heads every time they come to visit with your very own retro arcade game.