Don’t Expect Those Flatpack Arcade Cabinets To Arrive This Year

Don’t Expect Those Flatpack Arcade Cabinets To Arrive This Year

Towards the end of last year, ALDI and EB Games started selling arcade cabinets. Small ones, at least, that shipped in flatpacks.

The cabinets were available for a short time and the makers confirmed at CES 2019 that five more cabinets would be coming to market, centred on games like the Mortal Kombat series and Karate Fight. Unfortunately, none of those cabinets will be making their way down under any time soon.

The Makers Of Those ALDI Flatpack Arcade Machines Have 5 New Cabinets This Year

Last year, ALDI dropped a nice surprise in one of their weekly catalogues. Instead of bargain bin Xbox 360's or a Bauhn-branded TV, the no-frills grocer was selling flatpack Gauntlet and Street Fighter cabinets. The maker of those was Arcade1Up. Unsurprisingly, they're expanding their line in 2019 with five more cabinets ranging from Mortal Kombat games to Final Fight and Karate Champ.

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A representative from Arcade1Up, which is showcasing all of their cabinets at CES this year, confirmed to Kotaku Australia that the company is primarily concentrating with the North American release of the flatpack cabinets for 2019. When asked if an Australian release was off the cards entirely, I was told that it wasn’t – the response from Aussie gamers was quite good, supposedly – but the main challenge was getting the product to market.

That means the most likely result is that a small release might occur in 2020 when Arcade1Up looks at targeting more markets outside of the US. There’s always the possibility that something happens during the launch which delays things further, too.

It’s a shame the cabinets won’t come to Australia straight away. On the positive side, I did have a chance to try some of the new cabinets on the show floor. The Karate Champ and Mortal Kombat cabinets held up rather well: the joystick and buttons were sturdy without being too spongey, and the screen nice and clear with no perceptible quirks in performance. I don’t know that I’d play the cabinets for hours on end given the smaller and less ergonomic form factor, but it’s a serviceable retro centrepiece. Unless you build your machine from scratch, of course.

One Australian Turned A Wine Barrel Into An Arcade Cabinet

I've always wanted an arcade cabinet of my own, but I don't have the materials, tools or the know-how to get started. Fortunately that's no problem for Matt Shaw, an Adelaide gamer who has enjoyed a little bit of internet fame after he decided to transform an unloved wine barrel into something special.

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  • According to Arcade1Up’s webpage, there are about 13 stores/chains that stock these. Some of them are big enough that their individual orders would be bigger than the entire Australian market.

    In other words, if someone like JB’s, EB, or even Harvey Norman brokered a wholesale deal with them to exclusively stock them 24/7, it would be trivial to fill the order. Manufacturing to have Aussie plugs wouldn’t be hard to change to either, it happens all the time.

    • That’s always the kicker – whether the retailers are interested. I’m sure they’d be happy to ship to Australia more often, but if the margins for retailers don’t work out it’s going to be a short conversation.

      You can see it as a great setup in a JB Hi-Fi though. Get some of the staffers to stick promos for whatever’s coming out that week .. it’d be a lot of fun.

    • Have you started yet? I can semd you sone links to a guy that does awesome flst pack cabinets. Your controls your screen cut out. Even did custom routing for the top tittle bar on mine.

  • Ooooh! You get me all worked up and excited and then remove!! You are truly evil Alex!!!!
    It’s like Tinny Tim in Futurama – You raised my hopes and dashed them quite expertly sir!!
    Back to Pi and the cabinet plans from an old Retro Gamer mag.

      • Thanks!! I am blessed with three left thumbs and whenever I put stuff together, Homer Simpson’s BBQ looks perfect compared to the destruction I “create”!! This is why my Pi just has not come out of the drawer.

  • At least those flatpack Arcade cabinets will not be arriving in Australia anytime soon.
    If you’re listening Alex Walker what we can look forward to now is more indie games coming to Nintendo Switch and more third party games coming to Nintendo Switch later this year.

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