Choosing the best retro arcade gaming console - machine for home
In recent years, the popularity of retro gaming has been on the rise, with many people rediscovering their love for these classic games.
This has driven the boom for in home retro gaming consoles and with that good and not so good consoles flooding the market and peoples face book feeds.
This has left many wondering what the best retro arcade machines are for home gaming.
Look no further, while we don't create YouTube guides and reviews, we've read up, researched, purchased and tested many consoles along with their variations. So here's our quick rundown of the main retro gaming console categories and variants we feel are worth considering.
Before we dive in, there's those that don't have the space for a super large arcade cabinet and others that simply prefer a smaller more portable retro arcade gaming experience at home.
Electro Arcade is located in Melbourne Victoria with a large range of Arcade Machines.
For those looking for more convenient ways to enjoy retro gaming at home, lets get into some options...
Pandora box fights sticks
Pandora box fight sticks are a single panel with joysticks and controls for 1-2 players on a single deck/ panel. They resemble an arcade machine control panel in a box, are low maintenance, can be packed away in a cupboard and brought out to play whenever friends are over or you’re after a hit of nostalgia.
They plug into most TV’s or monitors via HDMI or VGA turning them into an instant arcade Centre. They offer great value for money, and the arcade style deck delivers Nostalgia in spades as you smash that joystick around and mash those buttons frantically. While they bring that arcade feel, if you are looking to tinker there are easier platforms. That said the upside is plug and play no maintenance instant fun for everyone irrespective of skillset or age. The tricky bit can be choosing the right one as there are so many different versions out there and many generalist sellers don’t list specifications.
Price ranges up-to AUD $399
Super Console X
This is basically a small android TV box that you can hold in the palm of your hand. It runs software called emulation Station and is highly configurable. You can use most USB controllers with it however due to being able to tweak and adjust many aspects of it, means it can also be broken easily if not careful.
Performance wise the super console X3 max is inline with the leading pandoras box gameboard - but highly configurable.
They usually come with 2 USB ports and a HDMI out for your TV. Some sellers include a USB hub in order to add more than 2 USB controllers however the device can struggle to power the extra controllers so if going this path consider a powered hub when using more than 2 USB controllers.
Price ranges up-to AUD $350
Super Console X2 TV stick
For those looking for the ultimate in portability the SCX2 TV Stick is the latest and brings the most power available into such a small footprint.
While a premium TV Box will have the edge, for the price and footprint these are impressive little retro consoles that deliver more than most expect. Turn almost any screen into a retro console.
The Super Console X2 is a HDMI stick with extension cable for easy of use and placement. They run an S905X chipset with 2GB RAM and will play the arcade classics along with consoles games including Dreamcast, PS1, PSP and many more. These little devices send the cheaper Android TV boxes running.
Matched with 2 medium level wireless PlayStation style gamepads you can also remove the wireless USB dongle and attach your own wired gamepad.
Price ranges up-to AUD $199
Bartop Arcade Machine
While many dream of having an arcade machine at home, for most it either doesn’t happen due to space or ends up in their garage or their parents garage. If you have a man cave with numerous arcade machines your very fortunate. That said for those seeking an in-home arcade experience a bartop arcade machine is a great option. Why? Well as the name states a bartop means the bottom section has been removed, so you are left with the top part of an arcade machine which can then be placed on a bar, desk, bench, table and so on.
They are quite light at around 30kg and can be moved around the home as needed from lounge to kids room and even to a friends house for a retro gaming session.
Bartop arcade machines can be powered by a Pandoras box, Raspberry PI or even a small form factor PC. Screen size on a bartop arcade cabinet usually varies from 17” to 24”. Components and quality along with visual design and finish vary and a higher price isn't always reflective of a better machine.
Price ranges up-to AUD $1,699
Light Gun Arcade Shooter
Light gun games teased home gamers during the PS1 and SNES days however have eluded us ever since. Thankfully over the last couple of years a few options have been evolving to the point where its now affordable. The tech ranges no sensors to single and multiple IR sensors. Effectiveness varies as does price, however the tech is at a point where in-home lightgun arcade and consoles games are very affordable and accurate enough to deliver a ton of fun!
Entry level is via a select number of better Pandora Box gameboards. Next level up is entry to mid tier PCs while the gun pricing and accuracy depends on brand and tech with the option for recoil. We offer IR bar and Sinden light guns.
Price ranges from AUD $350 and upward to around AUD $2,100