Retro video games seem to have come back in a pretty big way over the past year, more so since Nintendo released the NES and SNES Classic Editions. During the 2019 CES, I visited a few of these booth that had some classic gaming products that brought back some old memories.
Arcade1Up had a booth setup that was almost like a throwback to my youth, when I was growing up in an era where you spent your quarters at the local arcade. A row of Street Fighter cabinets all lined up against one wall, a row of Mortal Kombat against another, and then a couple more rows of random classics. Four cabinets clustered together in two corners of the booth.
Each game cabinet has multiple arcade classics, such as:
Centipede, Missile Command, Crystal Castles, Millipede
Street Fighter Champion Edition, Super Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo
Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus
Rampage, Gauntlet, Joust, Defender
Asteroids, Major Havoc, Lunar Lander, Tempest
The newest collection of game cabinets arriving in 2019 are loaded with:
Space Invaders (Feb)
Final Fight, 1944, Ghosts ‘N Goblins, Strider (Feb)
Classic Golden Tee, Golden Tee 2K, Golden Tee ‘99, Golden Tee ‘98 (June)
Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (Sept)
Karate Champ, Burgertime, Caveman Ninja, Bad Dudes (Sept)
It looks like there are a few other game that may be released in the future that have not been announced yet, such as Dig Dug, Dig Dug 2, Pac & Pal.
New for Spring 2019 will be the Counter-Cades and Wall-Cades. The Counter-Cades are the perfect size for countertops, while the Wall-Cades can be hung onto a wall or door. These are shipped pre-assembled, unlike the cabinets which assembly is required.
One other prototype cabinet that was on display is a Cocktail Cabinet with the games: Street Fighter, Street Fighter II Champion Edition, Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting, Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha II, Street Fighter 3: The New Generation, and six other games included. Not sure when or if this cabinet will be released. A rumored release is the popular hit video game, NBA Jam, and they may be working on four-player cabinets.
I played a few of the games at the booth and how could I not do that. The games play well, but I did have a problem with the controls for the Centipede and Tempest controllers. The track ball for Centipede didn’t seem to roll enough, making it a little difficult to control. While the rotating knob controller for Tempest was not loose enough to spin really well.
A few of my local GameStop stores have these cabinets on display/for sale and also heard about them being sold at Walmart during the holidays. The Arcade1Up game cabinets are quite a bit smaller than the original game cabinets from back then. They are the perfect height if you are sitting on a chair or stool, but you might want to invest in purchasing a riser to be able to play them at a standing position. Look for custom risers and stools to match your arcade cabinets too.
For more information on Arcade1Up products, visit www.arcade1up.com.
If you want a retro game cabinet that is a bit more portable, then My Arcade has the games you are looking for.
The My Arcade booth had their Micro Players and Pocket Players on display. The Micro Players are collectible retro arcade machines that look like small replica arcade cabinets that fit in the palm of your hand. While the Pocket Players are small handheld, portable gaming units with three games in one unit.
Micro Player titles:
Some new titles for 2019:
Rolling Thunder (limited edition)
Elevator Action (limited edition)
Namco Museum – includes 20 arcade hits
Pocket Player titles:
Pac-Man, Pac-Mania, Pac-Panic
Don Doko Don, Don Doko Don 2, Chack’N Pop
Ms. Pac-Man, Mappy, Sky Kid
Dig Dug, Dig Dug II, The Tower of Druaga
Galaga, Galaxian, Xevious
Bubble Bobble, Bubble Bobble Part 2, Rainbow Islands: The Story of Bubble Bobble Part 2
Do you have NES or Famicom cartridges that you want to play, but don’t have the original gaming systems? Then the Retro Champ is what you need. This handheld system allows you to play your favorite 8-bit games on the go.
Had to try out Bubble Bobble, since it was one of my favorite games growing up. It did take a little bit of time to get used to the smaller graphics. But the games play really nicely on the Micro Players, which was a bit surprising. I love that they have some of my favorite games like Bubble Bobble, Burgertime and Mappy.
One cool thing that happened at their booth… I did win a Galaga Micro Player just from playing a Plunko-type of game, which was awesome!
For more information on MyArcade products, visit www.myarcadegaming.com.
Retro-Bit is bringing some accessory support to retro SEGA consoles and releasing some new retro products/consoles.
If you have a SEGA Genesis, SEGA Saturn or SEGA Dreamcast and need replacement controllers or an upgraded controller, then you’re in luck. Retro-Bit has a collaboration with SEGA, producing wired and Bluetooth controllers for these systems. The wired controllers come with 10-foot cables that are compatible with the original and most third-party consoles or USB connection. The Bluetooth controller needs the receiver unit in order to use it with compatible consoles. Packaging art/design for the controllers look similar to the console systems during the time when they were originally being sold.
They also have some controllers for Nintendo, like the N64, that can be used with the new Nintendo Switch.
The Super Retro-Cade has over 90 classic games packed into a tiny console, from publishers Capcom, Data East, Technos and Irem. Some of the game titles that are included are Mega Man 2, BurgerTime, Joe and MAC, Bad Dudes, Double Dragon, Strider, Super Dodge Ball, Super Ghouls ‘N Ghosts, Super R-Type, 1942, Final Fight and much more.
The Super RetroTRIO Plus is a 3-in-1 system. It plays original game cartridges for the NES, SNES and Genesis. Comes with with a pair of 10-foot wired six button controllers with ports that are compatible with NES, SNES and Genesis controllers.
For more information on Retro-Bit products, visit retro-bit.com.
The classic PONG game was the first game console system I ever owned and the game hasn’t changed since then. So when I first heard that ATARI PONG Tables would be showcased at CES this year, I was a quite a bit intrigued by this.
These ATARI PONG Tables are not what I expected. The tables are not pixel generated video game screens, but physical block pieces. You control a rectangular block piece that protects your goal, while trying to hit a cube-shaped ball past your opponents block and into their goal. You can play against the computer or another person.
There are two versions: a stand up table and a sit down table. The stand up table has drink holders on the corner. The sit down table has other features such as USB charging ports. Both tables feature a rather large rotating knob controller.
Even though the game has not changed much, the mechanics of this game is a little bit different. If you hit the ball a certain way, you can actually make it curve, which is different from the classic PONG.
It took me a few minutes to get a feel for the controller. The knob of the controller is pretty large, making it difficult to use by holding with your fingers. I had to modify my technique in using the controller and once I figured it out it made playing the game much easier.
Another game they had at their booth was a bowling type of game that had a long ramp you rolled a small ball on and a video digital screen at the end. The video screen had bowling pins which you knock down.
For more information on ATARI PONG Tables, visit www.tablepongproject.com