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Ars dives into the pricey-but-fancy world of miniature arcade cabinets

20 oz. soda bottle for scale.

Enlarge / 20 oz. soda bottle for scale. (credit: Sam Machkovech)

The category of miniaturized classic arcade cabinets has exploded in recent years, and I’ve found that I’m in its target demographic. My struggle to juggle raging arcade-era nostalgia with limited apartment space means I’m not quite to the point of opening my own luxurious basement arcade, let alone purchasing every “small but still bulky” cabinet made by the likes of Arcade1Up.

Instead, I’ve compromised with a few space-saving options. In addition to a virtualized pinball machine, which condenses a mix of pinball and arcade games into one “full-size” unit, I’ve also appreciated the Sega Astro City Mini as a bookshelf decoration. Today, let’s check out a few more options in the latter category.

If you’re willing to shell out $140–$160 per game, a few companies offer decent (but not perfect) replica arcade cabinets that measure no taller than 17 inches and come with built-in screens, buttons, and batteries. None of these are highly recommended ways to play the games in question, but if you like the party trick of powering-on junior-size arcade cabs and sharing them with gamers of all ages, they get the job done.

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