Kerpow bling beep. If you are old enough to remember spending most of your pocket money at the Pinny Arcade back in the 80s or want a taste of what retro-gaming was really all about then the Absobu Arcade Table may be exactly what you are looking for.
Retro-gaming is definitely possible on the PC using emulators such as MAME however the difficulty is in sourcing legal copies of the ROMs which contain the actual games themselves. Even if you can obtain the ROMs sitting around a PC and using a keyboard or mouse is not the same as thumping away at a real arcade table with proper arcade controllers — heavy duty joysticks and so on.
Measuring 760 x 800mm (or about the size of a coffee table) the Absobu gives you the real arcade experience down to having actual joysticks and control buttons. If you want to be as authentic as possible you can order an Absobu with a CRT display (just like the consoles back in the 80s) although LCD display models are also available.
The unit contains 60 original games including favourites such as Space Invaders Pacman Donkey Kong Dig Dug Frogger Pooyan and Pinball Action. The Absobu unit runs the JAMMA platform which means that the games are burnt on to the PCB using the original hardware of the time which means that you can concentrate on obtaining high scores rather than tweaking the games to get them to run under emulation. According to Arcade Tables Pty Ltd the platform is very stable so all you need do is plug (in) and play as there are no connectors or devices to fiddle with.
The unit itself is not upgradeable (so don’t bother looking for an Ethernet or USB connector) however it may be possible to replace the PCB as more games become available.
Compared to the killer graphics and realistic sounds of modern gaming these retro-games are incredibly tame but still lots of fun. At around $3000 the Absobu unit is more of an investment than an impulse purchase but would no doubt make some Gen-X’er an excellent Father’s Day or Christmas present.
From what we have seen this is as close to the real thing as you can get without having to put 20c in the slot!