The Sega R360 was a cutting edge arcade cabinet when it launched in the early 1990s, notable for its use of 360-degree gyration. Players who sat in the cabinet were housed in a reactive space designed to flip and move based on the action happening on-screen. While there were only two major games released for the cabinet (G-LOC: Air Battle and Wing War) it became incredibly popular with arcade fans because of its high-velocity gameplay. Its sad commercial flop meant fewer than 200 cabinets were reportedly produced, but that hasn’t stopped wily fans from finding them out in the wild.
Last year, an R360 cabinet was reportedly discovered in a field in Northern Ireland by Lee Peters, a member of the retro Sega R360 & R360Z Fan Club on Facebook. The find, reported by Forbes, took place in May 2020 with Peters indicating he’d spotted it rusting outside and recognised it from his childhood. He said it had “been left with a farmer in has [sic] yard from a local arcade in Northern Ireland and [the] owner never returned to pick them up, have [sic] been there for years.” With the discovery, the cabinet might have found its new forever home.
In a newer post, Peters indicated he’d be returning to the farm this February to pick up the console for his home collection. Given its state, it’s unlikely the machine works but with refurbishment it could return to its former. Plus the R360 is dated to around 1991, so it’s likely the cabinet has been exposed to the elements for the last two decades or so, meaning repairs will be a major challenge.
The cabinet is believed to have come from the Ulster Arcade in the 1990s, but its exact origins are currently unknown.
It’s likely the cabinet was placed on the farm for temporary storage, but its bulk made it difficult to move. The rest, as they say, is history. The wear and tear here seems to indicate long-term neglect, and it’s a shame to see a device once revered now turned to scrap metal.
This Sega R360, once a pioneering development of the arcade world, was sadly forgotten by time.
It’s only fate and circumstance that’s led to it being found by a collector who knows the tech. One day, it could be returned to its original state. Until then, it will continue rusting away in a Northern Ireland field.
Godspeed, Lee Peters. We hope you can give this cabinet the love and attention it deserves.