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Custom Arcade Cabinets: Retro Gamer

April 13, 2016       Gameplay
Custom Arcade Cabinets
Gaming Chic for Retro Vid-Game Lovers

The much touted man-cave is that part of every guy's living and working shack that many either love or hate.  Hated by girlfriends or moms who think guy has to grow up sooner than later.  But beloved by guy's friends and often a mark of whether guy is finally moving on in the world to be able to afford having his own personal space--no matter how cliche that sounds--man-cave.

In the past, a man-cave would be a room with a bar and a pool table, and a home theater system or audiophile rig for one's vinyl LP or CD collection. 

Today, man-caves come in all sorts of makes.  For most of us who grew up with living for the next gaming fix via coin-slot video games, reliving those boyish days by grabbing a custom-made arcade cabinet and installing the machine with our favorite video games should be like having an heirloom trophy.  Remember those 'That's Incredible' episodes with video game contests in them for top dog player?  You can relive those moments, you old geezer or share them with your kids today with a custom built arcade cabinet.

Expect everything from Centipede, Space Invaders or Ms. Pac-Man for 80s hobos, to Marvel vs. Capcom, King of Fighters, Tech Romancer, and even Dance, Dance, Revolution for 90s gamerbros, to whatever arcade game is popular at the moment--all saved as ROM files in a dedicated harddrive or even actual custom ROMs in a souped-up custom PC engine disguised in an aracade cabinet housing and propped up in a corner of your personal space.  It IS a dream come true for most kids-at-heart who finally have a job to splurge to their heart's content on one of the only things to live for as a boy not so long ago--video games.

Several manufacturers of retro video game cabinets and customizable PC engines exist in the market.  The custom made cabinets and machines are built from the ground up with computer motherboards and LED video screens.  Some may come in tabletop format where players sit across each other, or in the classic arcade style, standing cabinet.  Either way, any system you have bespoke should be a better investment over time over just any off-the-shelf gamng console.

Let's look at the best online custom arcade cabinet makers:

Phoenix Arcade is a U.S.-based arcade game cabinet maker that provides a MAME-engine, PC-build that can potentially be loaded with over 7,000 plus video games from the 70s and up. 
Phoenix arcade prides itself in using top of the line technology and eschews CRT screens in favor of modern LED video screens, uses high-end programmable joysticks and super fast trackballs.  The customized cabinet housing they build uses only the finest in quality materials: that means no plastic, plexiglass, or low quality buttons and joysticks.  Although pricey, the bespoke machines Phoenix builds do speak for themselves as quality products and you might find some of their gear in some corporate places that have employee recreation rooms / waiting rooms or sports bars that have these kind of retro gaming arcade cabinets.  Their top-of-the line rigs start at $1,399 for pedestal systems to $2,200 for retro arcade cabinets.  Phoenix Arcade offers a 3 year warranty on all of their machines.

Bespoke arcades is THE maker of the world's best video cabinets and have been commissioned by no less than video game makers like Capcom, Warner Bros and 2K Games.  They have built custom machines for celebrity clients, as well as royalty.  their products have been endorsed by top gaming magzines like T3 and Stuff magazine.  Bespoke has over 10 years experience manufacturing custom arcade machines.  Their custom arcade cabinets are all designed and made by hand in their UK workshop.  They offer over 800 of the best retro arcade games accessible for free-play use.  A custom free-standing arcade cabinet costs UK 1,000 pounds, and their top-of-the-line Nu Gen arcade rig runs to UK 3,000 pounds.  If you want a premium make and a sure product, bespoke Arcades should be your best choice for custom arcade cabinets. is another U.S. based builder of custom arcade cabinet machines that has shipped to clients like Microsoft, Apple, Disney, and Google for their rec room gaming gear.  They do custom hardware and software for your personalized gaming cabinet build and they have extensive experience shipping to countless countries on seven continents.  Your custom arcade machine gets to you right on schedule.  Their upright arcade cabinet starts at $1999 (rec room machines) while their 40-inch LED screen arcade cabinets start at a little over $3000 (for your man-cave).

If you are a gaming dad, and have kids, don't spend one more cent on the latest gaming console system when you can having a custom arcade machine sitting right in your family room to impress your kids friends, and give them a childhood they will always cherish.


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