After Hours

Relive your arcade glory with new machines from Dreamauthentics

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

32 comments
mags
mags

Ah yes, a pocket full of coin but unable to play your fave game until the technician rocks up sometime next week to fix the controls or video. Just what I want to re-live at home - NOT. I'll stick with my MAME and a drive full of ROMS for when I'm next overcome by a wave of nostaligia... for a lot less dosh too. It does look cool though.

Get Results
Get Results

This machine costs $3,600 and up depending what you wanted on it. That is a lot of money to spend if you want to play to style of games. You can buy Wii, XBox 360, and Playstation 3 with a bunch of the games for that price.

IT_Irish
IT_Irish

Video games and games such as these take adults and children away from life, wasting their minds on worthless junk. Millions of adults and children sit in their homes and stare at the screens instead of doing their homework, helping kids w/their homework, socializing, going outside and playing, making friends, helping others - a travesty for our country. Not to mention the violence and aggressivness they learn from these horrible games.

birdman13
birdman13

Guys, It is all about the style and approach. Those sturdy boxes demands attitude unknown to PCs.

garibaldi69@
garibaldi69@

!!WARNING!! You can Lose hours/days (maybe even your Girlfriend/Boyfriend/Spouse. Has anyone else checked the Computer specs: CPU: AMD Athlon? 2800+/ 3000+ or Sempron 3000/3100 Processor (Minimum) 512KB L2 cache Operating System: Microsoft? Windows? XP Hope there is hardwired reboot button as well a reimage button. Motherboard Chipset: INTEL or NVIDIA Memory: 512 MB DDR (Minimum) XP Pro uses more than that! Hard Drive: 100GB to 160 GB HDD (Minimum) I have more ROMS than that now. Optical Drives: 48x Max. CD-RW Drive; 16x Max. DVD Drive; 3.5" 1.44MB FDD; 8-in-1 Media Reader(USB 2.0, Secure Digital (SD), Smart Media, Compact Flash, Memory Stick, Memory Stick PRO, Micro Drive, Multimedia Card) Video: Integrated 64MB (minimum) Video Custom configured to work WITH our ARCADE MONITORS Modem: 56K* ITU v.92 ready Fax/Modem WHY! Network: 10/100Mbps built-in Ethernet Peripherals: Premium Plus Multimedia Keyboard, 2-Button Wheel Mouse Dimensions: 7.25"w x 14.125"h x 16"d Internet: AOL 3 month membership included, click here for details Ports/Other: 5 USB 2.0 ports (4 in back; 1 in Media Reader), 1 Serial, 1 Parallel, 2 PS/2, Audio-In & Out Pre-Installed Software: Microsoft Works 7.0, Microsoft Money 2004, Encarta Online, Adobe? Acrobat? Reader?, Microsoft Media Player, Real Player, Power DVD, Internet Explorer, Netscape? Navigator, MSN?, CompuServe?, AOL, Norton AntiVirus 2004 (90 day complimentary subscription) *software bundle subject to change. Even knowing all that, I'd love to get one. Not that handy with building a case or the controller board, though you can buy a controller board these days.

stevethehawk
stevethehawk

That type of machine has too many things to break. PC based games are likely a better idea. If your joystick breaks (or whatever), go to the store and buy a new one. If one of these consoles breaks, what will you do? Ship it back or call a repair service, both of which are expensive.

Twistabister
Twistabister

Definitely nice stuff but you can build your own for a fraction of the price I'm sure they're charging..

mktgurl
mktgurl

You can buy an old standalone arcade console for less than that and refurbish it yourself.

brian.ross
brian.ross

"Video games and games such as these take adults and children away from life, wasting their minds on worthless junk. Millions of adults and children sit in their homes and stare at the screens instead of doing their homework, helping kids w/their homework, socializing, going outside and playing, making friends, helping others - a travesty for our country. Not to mention the violence and aggressivness they learn from these horrible games. " I rather think the irony of what you typed has passed you by... ;-)

Rndmacts
Rndmacts

The specs were last updated in 2005. I wish that when TechRepublic did these stories the authors would take a little time to review the companies site and quit wasting our time. If the company can't update their information in a timely manner, what does that say about the quality of the machines. If the specs are current, then what a waste of money these machines represent.

ssrat_
ssrat_

I remember seeing a site that had some one who stripped an old arcade cabinet out, rewired the controllers and replaced the screen + a PC system. The cabinet only cost him $200, and the rest is the PC (+rewiring) The easiest way to do it now is to get the PC version of the arcade controller $150-$200 call the local arcade for the dealer and then just see how much an empty case will go for BEST of ALL ways, load the roms in an htpc, buy the controller and optionally build a stand for it. Or just ignore the controller and use a cheap joystick

Johner Flaxmill
Johner Flaxmill

Hi All, I agree. By buying one these units, after the warranty period ran out, if it broke down, then the repair bill would probably be expensive. Then again, I have a friend who has just built his third one based on plans (off the wonderful internet) from the old Williams Defender stand-up arcade model. Throw a low end PC/Mac in (my friend started off with a blueberry G3), plus monitor (and in my friends case) an X-Arcade dual joystick console and you're away! To me there are only three things that can go wrong:- 1. The monitor can blow 2. The computer (or any of its parts) could blow 3. The X-Arcade could break (although I believe these come with a lifetime warranty) Items 1 and 2 are relatively cheap these days and if you haven't backed up the 14 gig of mame related paraphenalia there are always at least 1 or 2 friends that you could retrieve them from again. A small price to pay to play all those arcade games for nothing!

craig.shrimpton
craig.shrimpton

This isn't an "investment", it's about reliving wasted youth! It's frivolous and I love it. I suspect these controllers are more robust than the typic PC equivalents anyway.

techrepublic.subscriptions
techrepublic.subscriptions

If you played on one of these as a kid you know that: *) they are way more responsive and fluid than many pc alternatives - the engineers put a lot of effort into this (back in the 80's) *) they don't move around when you operate them *) they were made to be pounded for hours by teenagers before needing any service - if you buy one for home use it's likely you will pass it on to your grandchildren before it breaks.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

YOu can get plans, original game labels, arcade controllers etc. and build one for abotu $100.00, I built a couple a few years back, great Christmas present for a friend with a couple of young boys. Set up the sleector with a good 40-50 ROMS and you're good to go. I was on the Ferry a few weeks back, they used to have the cool retro games there but sinc ewent ot the new $2 per plat games. They had an old retro game that played about 50 or so of the old classics, Centipede, Joust, Donkey Kong, Mario, Elevator action et al. All at 25Cents/play. What a gas! I play arcade ROMS all the time, I find them more amusing than standard PC games, which are all just minor advancements of the last one the released. At least with the old gaemes they were al pretty different (with the exception of Galaxian and Galaga of course).

IT_Irish
IT_Irish

The irony of what I think has passed me by. What kind of a cryptic remark is that??? Too lazy to type something intelligent cuz you have your game stick in your hand?

cohibaman3
cohibaman3

I have built many MAME's (Multi Arcade Machine Emulators), Uprights 2-4 players,Cocktails and tabletops like the ones at the bars with many diff kinds of computers. It really does not cost that much, no where near what you might think. I built a cocktail MAME using a very old computer that was 200mhz(yes 200 not 2000) 128mb ram 32mb video card and guess what I used for the Hard Drive? a Compact Flash 64mb digital camera card with a cf to ide adapter just to see if I could make it all work. It worked very well. IF you want to build an upright then you should use a much larger IDE HD 250GB or larger so you can load all the roms. I think those "all in one" machines they are selling do not need all that power and ram + a large video card. Remember the old/new video games for arcade are a very low bit rate graphics and does not require all that computing power. You can buy most of what you need from this site http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html , most importantly the I-PAC keyboard controller card, you can also bet a controller board for the trackball for games like bowling or centipede(Opti-PAC) and one for the spinner (J-PAC) for games like Tempest. Or just buy the new Mini-Pac which has all these features built right into the board with wiring harness, all boards are pre-programmed. If you need Roms (a.k.a. the games) then you can spend hours and hours on the net trying to find or download them and hoping they are complete or you can order the entire, most current up-to-date set for free from here: http://www.us-lazarus.com/rom-burner/index.shtml all you have to pay for is the media and shipping, because its illegal to sell the roms and so rom collectors can only sell their services and supplies. Most of you geeks are like me and probably have alot of extra old pc parts just lying around and I am telling you that this is enough to build your very own MAME. BTW all the wiring I use in my MAME's are CAT-5 you do not need to spend alot of money on expensive wires CAT-5 is fairly cheap in a 1000' spool for about $60 at Fry's. If anyone is intrested in building their own and needs help shoot me a msg here and I will point you in the right direction. Good Luck to all and I hope this has helped atleast one of you...lol

dholman
dholman

I would like to see someone play Call of Duty 4 on an arcade machine controller vs. let's say a mouse and keyboard. I have an original Galaga arcade machine in my bar/rec room. I recently replaced the screen with a TV since it finally went. The machine is from 1981, so yes they definitely last a long time.

ian.burton
ian.burton

It would only be authentic if I could charge all my buddies a quarter to try and recoup all those losses from the video arcade at university.

jdclyde
jdclyde

High end graphics are more important than creativity and playability. Throw in some CG T&A and you have a winner! I used to love games like Defender and robotron....

GaijinIT
GaijinIT

Just to annoy everyone, I think he means why aren't you out socializing instead of spending your time posting inane responses to peoples' wishes for a little nostalgic fun? Lighten up and have some fun, life is short!

JCitizen
JCitizen

every generation since the nickelodeons and pool halls of the 1890's and the world still hasn't fallen apart.

mvondran
mvondran

If I remember correctly each you can adjust the keyboard mapping for each rom. So if you come across one that does not play as you expected you can adjust the keyboard mapping for that rom. In all the years I have been playing arcade games using mame and I started back in 98 I have never found a game that I couldn't play or adjust the settings on.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I have a bunch that use F keys for start and coins. I know I used to have a bunch of roms using 5 then 1 or 2 for player select. Then again, I've had a few where ALL the keys are a mystery until you play with the entire keyboard. Been playing ROMS since arcade games were new though long before ROM nation and such, before PC's really. Used to have to get the original mobo's, chips weren't cheap either.

sallas001
sallas001

My buddy has built himself an Arcade Machine based on the Ultimate Arcade II plans. He uses dual coin slots - and all the times I have been over there and given it a bash NEVER have we come across a game that doesn't use either of the coin mechanisms (mapped to key #5 and #6 using an IPAC controller). And just to add he has some 2000+ games on there (MAME)

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

It works like shite. Not all ROMS use #5 or 6 for coin addition, in fact many don't. Therefore you would only be able to play certain ROM that fit your configuration.

mvondran
mvondran

Most of the arcade controls, especially home built, use either a homebrew or commercial made interface for joysticks and buttons to use the keyboard connection. In a way the controls emulate keys on the keyboard. Since the number keys are usually used for "adding coins" then you just wire the coin slot for the number key that coresponds to your "coin slot" in the games.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Build your own and install a coin slot. The only problem is, you can't use it on a PC based emulator, you would need the original motherboard unless you buy a new updated one that accepts multipls ROMS.

JCitizen
JCitizen

Playing games like Galaxian. I'm sure he'd be more than willing to spring some bucks to have that old fun again.

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

I played a fair bit but found more fun in flapping wildly in a game of Joust.