Welcome, and thanks for visiting my blog. Having my own arcade machine has been a fantasy of mine since childhood. Like many 80's kids, I have fond memories of classic arcade games like Pac-Man, Missile Command, Centipede, Space Invaders etc., so the idea of owning an arcade cabinet that can faithfully play a variety of such games is very appealing.

There are several ways to accomplish that goal, but at this point in my life I wanted something simple, effective and reasonably authentic. For that reason, I chose to buy a new "Multicade" cabinet from a local shop, and purchased an ArcadeSD board (pictured above) to run inside of it. The beauty of the ArcadeSD board is the accuracy of its emulation (especially compared to the various XX-in-1 boards), the simplicity of its interface, and most of all the constant updates it receives. Others might choose to use an old cabinet, build a cabinet themselves, and/or use MAME etc. But for me, this was the most attractive way to accomplish my goal of playing a focused variety of classic arcade games at home.

The cabinet will look very similar to the image below. The design is based on 1980's Midway/Namco Pac-Man/Galaga cabinets, which I find attractive. Another reason I chose to buy this cabinet is the shop is able to provide me with a NOS (new old stock) arcade CRT monitor. CRT's have been out of production for several years, and it's very difficult to find new ones. Most places only sell new cabinets with LCD monitors now, but in my opinion the games just don't look the same on LCD's. Your mileage may vary, but I love having an actual low resolution arcade grade CRT, complete with natural scanlines, deep blacks and bright, glowing colors. The monitor will be vertically oriented, which is perfect for games like Pac-Man, Centipede, Galaga etc. Unfortunately it's not perfect for games that were meant to be played on a horizontally oriented monitor, so some favorites like Defender, Joust and Robotron won't work on this cabinet (for now). However, the ArcadeSD board can pull a few tricks and play certain horizontal games on a vertical monitor, i.e. Missile Command, Moon Patrol, Elevator Action etc., so not all is lost. All in all, a nice variety of games will work well

In regards to controls, the panel will have a single 4way joystick (perfect for Pac-Man, and most old classic games), a trackball (perfect for Missile Command, Arkanoid etc.), 3 gameplay buttons, and player one and two start buttons. This should accommodate a nice variety of classic games, although a few need an 8way joystick, and a couple need dual joysticks. Down the road I may build some optional control panels for those games. You might wonder why I don't substitute an 8way stick for the 4way. The answer is that some games, like Pac-Man, get confused when 8way sticks are used, and can become almost unplayable.

As with everything worth pursuing and enjoying there are tradeoffs. Maybe someday I'll have space for a second cabinet with a horizontal monitor and 8way sticks. But for now, the vertical ArcadeSD Multicade will more than suffice in providing a heavy dose of classic arcade goodness.

More to come in a week or two when my cabinet arrives...


    This blog is about using an ArcadeSD board in a Multicade arcade game cabinet. Please see the Links page for more info. Thanks for visiting!


    I'm old enough to remember when Pong was new, and Space Invaders took over the world.


    April 2013