The different designs of arcade machines

Want to go back to the 80s and 90s with the arcade machines ? Retro gaming opens its arms to you with hundreds of video games to play alone or in pairs. You will have the choice between models intended for professionals and individuals with very advanced customization possibilities.

Why get an arcade machine? 

Nothing beats an arcade machine when you want to immerse yourself in the sensations of old video games. Indeed, although it is no longer in its glory days, the arcade machine is not a thing of the past. With the strong comeback of gaming companies such as Sega, Nintendo, Taito, etc., retro gaming fans are generously well served.  

Online as well as in physical stores, on specialized sites or on marketplaces like eBay or Amazon, you can obtain various models of arcade machines with functionality offers, each as attractive as the next.

Buying an arcade machine for your home is the best way to celebrate Christmas with your children. You will thus create a very beautiful, playful and retro atmosphere in your home. Obviously, design offerings vary from one brand to another. To make the choice, it is better to know what you are looking for.

Indeed, brands now offer original designs inspired by old models with an updated look in strict compliance with the codes of the arcade world.

How to choose an arcade machine?

So, are you ready to choose your arcade machine? It's an excellent decision. However, finding the ideal model might not be as easy as you think. In fact, the market is full of such an impressive range of models that you can only refer to recommendations and advice to make an optimal choice.

Firstly, we will have to find the right compromise between nostalgia and modernity. Find the model that best suits your entertainment needs. The design of the terminal constitutes a fundamental parameter of choice.

It is true that you always have the possibility of requesting the personalization of your terminal, in particular by changing the graphic theme and adapting it to the theme of a favorite film or manga. Customizations can also go as far as adding a headphone jack, joysticks or silent buttons. However, the initial design of the device is essential, as it can limit customization possibilities.

But not all of these settings are the most vital when it comes to gaming. Indeed, when you buy an arcade machine, it is primarily to play games. So, all your selection criteria must be oriented towards a single parameter which is the games offer.

In this regard, be aware that although Western terminals are very practical and offer a very rich gaming experience, they are not worth the Japanese ones. Indeed, the latter have the advantage of being compatible not only with classic arcade games but also with the most recent games. This guarantees you better functionality than Western models. In addition, it is established that Japanese terminals are of better quality. Their finishes are also more attractive. The only downside is that they require more space than Western terminals.

Apart from these parameters, price and availability must also be taken into account. Some models will be rarer while others come in a wide variety of models, making it possible to find a model specifically suited to your needs.

Which design of arcade terminals to choose?

When it comes to arcade cabinet designs, options are the least lacking.

Steel terminals

Have you ever tried a steel arcade machine? This is ecstasy in its purest version. This is a toy with a stunning and unique look that leaves no one indifferent. In fact, steel bollards are completely new on the market. This design can only be found on Flex Arcade.

These are designs that are very resistant to shocks, especially during travel and use. They are perfect for bringing together different generations to share intense sensations. Despite their robust construction which guarantees them longevity, they do not lack curves.

Nothing better to seduce a retro-gaming enthusiast. The steel arcade cabinets feature an epoxy-painted and oven-baked chassis, giving it a superb matte appearance that resists the effects of time.

Melamine-coated wood arcade terminals

We find a lot of them on the market. They are more common than steel models. These are cheaper designs designed for retro gaming enthusiasts. It should be noted that the designs are very varied.

For example, there are models with interior storage space, a cabling station, a front drawer which can accommodate, for example, a keyboard, a mouse, a rear door for possible additional cabling, etc.

Fighting game designs

Designs like Metal Slug, Street Fighter, Tekken, MultiVersus, Mortal Kombat, etc., what do you think? Well, this is just one of the various arcade machine designs.

In fact, on the market, manufacturers offer terminals with designs reminiscent of famous popular films, very famous games, etc. If you have a passion for a particular game, look for a terminal with this design and treat yourself.

Personalized designs

Arcade machines can also be personalized. You can request that your toy be designated according to your personal aesthetic preferences. Kiosk manufacturers work with artists and can help you give your kiosk a design specifically described by you.

It can be a design inspired by a graphic theme or it can be a completely original creation. In any case, you will have unique equipment, which will make using it even more fun.

Which arcade machine models should you choose?

With the advent of deco-gaming, arcade machines are now displayed on the wall, becoming works of art. Now find your old consoles with HDMI sockets. These are models that hang on the wall or sit on a desk and allow you to play without wasting space. But the range of models is much wider than that. Here are some models of arcade machines that might interest you.

The pocket arcade

The pocket arcade is the arcade machine in miniature. This is a compact model that brings the technology and fun of the arcade into a rather small box. It is so small that it is transportable. Moreover, it is an all-purpose model. If it interests you, don't hesitate.

The bar top

The bartops are a type of arcade cabinet without a base. These are models designed to place directly on a support such as a table, on a buffet or a bar for example. If you don't have too much space in your house, especially in your living room or bedroom, or in your office, these are the type of arcade machines you should buy.

The mini arcade machine

Have you ever tried mini terminals? With their small volume, they fit perfectly into small spaces while maintaining an authentic and timeless style. For a children's room, nothing beats arcade machines. They are also perfect choices for modern interiors. Try for example the Mini hip hop terminal or the Mini skull face and see the experience they offer.

With a 19-inch screen, mini terminals are generally 142 cm high. However, if they seem too small to you, you always have the option of choosing other compact arcade machines. How about the Vizion and Classic models, for example?

The first is 160 cm high for a 32-inch screen. Vizion is therefore a little wider with a rather futuristic design. It is a seated model like those found in Japanese rooms. The second on the other hand, Classic, is 175 cm high for a 24-inch screen. This is a model of arcade terminals standing in real coin mode and which is distinguished by its authenticity.

As for the Compact model, it is much even smaller. Easily installable at home, this 22 kilo arcade machine measures 56 x 49 x 45 cm and can easily be fixed on a table. Some players may prefer arcade tables, however.

The XXL arcade machine

For those who see the world big and have the space to bring their ambitions to life, you can opt for XXL format arcade machines. Practical for tall people, they have a larger and wider screen of up to 27 inches. Its width allows two people to play.

So, which arcade machine will you choose? Are you the type to opt for a Japanese or Western terminal? Would you prefer the steel bollard with its roundness and robustness? How about a terminal with a Metal Slug or Street Fighter design? Decide and treat yourself.

Flex Arcade

Picture of Flex Arcade

Flex Arcade


At FLEX we love video games, it is this passion that rocked our childhood (and perhaps yours!?) that drives us on this adventure, to design and manufacture superb machines to replay the best titles of the young history of video games. We produce a “ready to play” range but also make special orders for unique and characterful arcade terminals using for example the base of a 300L wine barrel or a French army ammunition box ! We are at your disposal for your projects, share your wildest dreams, we love to make them come true.

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