Australian Arcade 1Up gaming machine cabinet specs and review

Not too long ago the go-to for gaming was a big heavy arcade cabinet. While these are old and can be expensive to buy and maintain, the Nostalgia associated with these is big and the feel and sound of coins being inserted takes many of us right back down memory lane.

There are many options available for those looking to experience arcade retro gaming. This includes replica cabinets down to smaller consoles that plug into your TV or even portable handhelds.

Arcade 1up cabinets are the only retro cabinets available through retailers and while enthusiasts have criticised the limited game choice and quality of controls, Arcade 1up cabinets are small, relatively cheap and provide an easy entry level arcade experience for home.

They follow the Ikea model and come in a flat pack that requires assembly. If this is a deal breaker you may consider an Ikea assembly service or purchasing a pre-assembled arcade machine.

The 3/4 build size means it's a shrunk down arcade machine, so you can expect a toy build quality opposed to arcade level components and finish. That said Joystick and buttons are full size and for the price the overall finish isn't bad invoking nostalgia.

They come with 2 to 12 games included along with varied external theme and design depending on the model. There is no ability to add or expand on games. There is also no option to add gamepads for P1-P4 play.

Arcade1Up comes in the following designs and game combinations;

  • Pac-Man, Pac Land, Pac-Man Plus, Super Pac-Man, Pac & Pal, Pac Mania, Galaxian, Galaga, Dig Dug, Dig Dug II, Mappy, Rompers
  • Simpsons, Simpsons Bowling
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time
  • X-Men: The Arcade Game, Captain America and The Avengers, The Avengers in Galactic Storm
  • Street Fighter II, Street Fighter, Street Fighter: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II: Turbo, Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers, Super Street Fighter II: Turbo, Darkstalkers, Strider, Commando, Final Fight, Ghosts n Goblins, 1944: The Loop Master
  • Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, Joust, Defender, Rampage, Gauntlet, Paperboy, Rootbeer Tapper, Bubbles, Toobin, Wizard of War
  • NBA Jam
  • Terminator 2 Judgement Day
  • Ridge Racer
  • Big Buck Hunter World, Big Buck Hunter Pro, Big Buck Safari, Big Buck Hunter Pro Open Season, Big Buck Safari Outback

Arcade 1Up cabinets not available in Australia are;

  • Centipede, Millipede, Missile Command, Crystal Castles
  • Final Fight, 1944, Ghosts ‘N Goblins, Strider
  • Galaga, Galaxian
  • Golden Tee Classic, Golden Tee ’99 and Golden Tee ‘98
  • Karate Champ, Bad Dudes, Burger Time, Caveman Ninja
  • Rampage, Defender, Joust and Gauntlet
  • Space Invaders
  • The Star Wars Home Arcade Game

Arcade 1Ups come in free-play mode, meaning no coin mechanism for that added nostalgia or ability to select between arcade coins mode or free play. While a nice to have this might not be a deal breaker for you.

Spec wise the Arcade 1Up uses a 17" 1280x1024 LCD screen.
Under the hood it has an allwinner A13 single core 1GHz CPU with a Mali MP400 300Mhz graphics chip and either 256 or 512MB of RAM.

This places the Arcade 1Up's performance below entry level Pandora's box at 10.8 GFLOPS being the same level as a Pandora box 4s. As a comparison our EX2 boards shown in blue below run at 47.6 GFLOPS

That said as the games included and emulated are old school arcade titles and you can't add more games, you won't need a higher spec board.

Audio is through 1x 8hm 3Watt speaker mounted top right of control panel and there is around 10 volume steps adjusted using a left/right button. There is a 3rd party mod available that converts this to a dial and ability to turn the volume lower.

The LCD screen is sharper and nowhere near as heavy as the CRT screens found in the original arcade machines, however most modern arcade cabinets now use varied LCD screens. The only difference being that some have the ability to use scan line overlays which make the picture resemble that of a CRT display. This is not possible with an Arcade 1Up.

The Joystick while not clunky has very little resistance making it feel cheap. The buttons are also a low quality product, but are full size 28mm and will do the job. Both can be upgraded however are not modular and will require either soldering or cutting of wires and addition of 4.8mm female terminals or 5 PIN terminal to connect to new arcade buttons/ Joysticks. Upgrade parts estimate $100.

Should you get to the point where you want more from your 2-12 game arcade, you'll need to upgrade to a Raspberry PI or Pandora's box. To achieve this, you'll need a new monitor or a graphics converter board if you want to keep the standard 17" screen.

So should you buy an Arcade 1Up machine? They are an ideal size for kids and down the track, should the need arise an aftermarket games board and controls can be installed from around $400 in parts.

In Australia the upright arcade 1Up cabinets range from $749 which is more than most modern gaming consoles. However in America the Mortal Kombat 12 in 1 starts from $249.
If you're in Australia and looking for a truer arcade experience there are better options around this price break. If you're in the states and can pick up a bargain then this very well might be a good entry point.

While we may not be sold on Arcade1Up cabinets they have above average reviews and may be a good fit for your needs.

 

Size wise, the 3/4 cabinet means that adults need a riser in order to achieve a usable height. The size also means that for adults the spacing between P1 and P2 controls is quite tight. The Player 1 joystick has your hand hanging off the panel - making the cabinet a little wider would have meant a more comfortable play when 2 people are battling it out.

The smaller size cabinet does mean that its a great size for kids and easier to move. If portability is high on your list, be it around the home, office or taking it to a friend’s then you may consider a bartop arcade machine.

While this may not matter to you, most of the Arcade 1Up cabinet panels come in at 13mm and under in thickness compared to 18mm higher spec arcade cabinets.

A standard 1Up cabinet assembled comes in at 58cm D x 49cm W x 116.3cm and 36.3kg.

The standard cabinet height is 116.3cm and with the riser box height is increased to 146.8cm. 

The riser box dimensions are 52cm x 50.16cm x 33.65cm

Arcade 1Up arcade machines come in a flat pack and just like IKEA require assembly which is relatively straight forward, however as shipped in cardboard packing, be sure to check panels for any damage.

Looking to compare Arcade 1Up buttons and joystick with arcade quality equivalents? or looking to upgrade? The below image on the left shows upgraded arcade quality buttons and joysticks and to the right, the standard Arcade 1Up buttons and joystick.

 

While Arcade 1Up doesn’t get our vote, it very well might get your vote and be the gaming furniture that delivers a nostalgia hit for your place.

Exploring arcade gaming options? Check out our Range below; 

MiniBeast Bartop Arcade Machine >>

Arcade Machine range >>