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Retro gaming has never been bigger… and we mean that literally. Already popular for its slate of 3/4-scale, slimmed-down arcade game cabinets made for dens and gaming rooms, replica maker Arcade1Up is size-boosting its way to the next level.
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the company showed off a new line of arcade cabinets that, inch for inch and pound for pound, exactly mirror their full-sized arcade cousins from the 1980s. The new-for-2022 "Pro Series" is aimed at enthusiasts who want the complete arcade experience at home, right down to the skating rink-worthy decals that adorn the full-sized cabinet.
Complete with light-up coin slots to duplicate their token-devouring predecessors, the new line of retro-futuristic furniture features a 19” LCD screen, wicked-looking faux chrome trim at the edges, and a backlit marquee right at the top — “a fighting game beacon,” teases Arcade1Up, that challengers will have no trouble spotting from “clear across the room.”
It’s a good thing these rigs can handle all the fighting, because the very first game to launch the Pro Series is a classic brawling title that harkens from the waning days of the stand-up gaming era. Old-school 1990s fighting game Killer Instinct (developed by Rare in the studio’s pre-Banjo-Kazooie days) is the retro newcomer that’s slotting into the Pro Series’ launch lineup, joining a current list of titles that also includes Killer Instinct 2, plus a trio of flavors of Rare’s iconic Battletoads beat-‘em’up.
The look may be laced with low-fi 1980s vibes, but under the hood, the Pro Series comes with an appropriately revved-up version of the same present-day tech that powers the company’s smaller arcade replicas. It’s equipped with onboard wireless internet (all the better for those online multiplayer battles), improved speakers that measure up to the full-sized onscreen action, and haptic feedback-enabled joysticks and buttons lifted straight from the satisfyingly smash-able arcade panels of the past.
The Pro Series is expected to go on sale this year, though there’s no early word on exactly when. But if you want to be among the first in line for a chance to set your own high score at home, head on over the Arcade1Up website to hop aboard the Pro Series’ notification list.