Arcade1Up vs. Real Arcade


Sometimes, gaming enthusiasts find it difficult to choose between an Arcade1Up cabinet and a real arcade cabinet. However, understanding their differences, pros, and cons is a good place to start before finally settling on one cabinet. Ensure you know what you want and need before purchasing or you may regret it. For example, a real arcade machine is typically significantly larger and heavier than an Arcade1Up model. If you want a wide range of arcades, you must take into account the amount of room available.

Maintenance is another aspect one must pay attention to as a real arcade is mostly comprised of older components that require more maintenance than the newer Arcade1Ups. To find out which one you prefer, read below to see what we think of Arcade1Up vs real arcade machines.

Arcade1Up Arcade Cabinets


Arcade1Ups are easier to obtain compared to real arcade cabinets. Players can order them from online platforms such as Walmart or directly from the manufacturer’s website, where they are most readily available. Arcade1Up is most players’ favorite, considering it has newer hardware which is less likely to break down at least so long as it was well-secured in a box during shipping. The good thing about Arcade1Up is that your replacement parts are easily located in the event something breaks. If the monitor goes out, you can get new ones in most cases. If your controls fail, you can also easily find new or upgraded controls on eBay and other online platforms.


On the flip side, while you can easily replace any other part, replacing Arcade1Up’s PCB can be tricky. Some are available and used via online sites such as eBay, but mostly the manufacturer will need to supply a replacement. Fortunately, modding an Arcade1Up is a fairly easy process with lots of vendors, so if you want to replace that PCB with a modded Raspberry Pi loaded with Retropie and thousands of games, it isn’t difficult. Another drawback to Arcade1Up cabinets is that they may come with less-than-ideal components to save the manufacturer money to reduce costs. This most often occurs in monitors and joysticks. The joysticks and buttons are easily replaced for a minimal cost while upgrading the monitor vary depending on the type of machine.

Real Arcade Machines


Real arcades are bigger and provide an authentic arcade experience. They offer players the best gaming experience through the available buttons, joysticks, and special controls (i.e. Paperboy’s bicycle steering wheel). The fact that they are huge reduces the risk of falling and damage. They are also children-friendly, taking that the buttons and joysticks are pretty steady and don’t break easily. Real arcades are authentic because they provide a genuine sensory experience. For example, driving games can feature a real seat with a back that is comfortable. Additionally, if you are lucky you may find some really good deals and be able to purchase and restore one for less than buying an Arcade1Up.


On the downside, real arcades are heavy and take up too much space. Moving them is very difficult and requires more than one person. If you are going upstairs, good luck. Moreover, real arcades often need a lot of work. Their monitors (CRT monitors) get old and worn out quickly. Repairing them is difficult, challenging, and tiring. It is also almost impossible for someone to find the replacement parts. If you are fortunate enough to find them, you are more than likely to spend hundreds of dollars on them. Later, you will have to face the challenge of fixing the parts yourself.

Full-Size Arcade Cabinet Dimensions

A full-size arcade cabinet measures approximately 70 inches in height, 43.75 inches by depth, and 39.5 inches in width. Evidently, one would require a huge room to fit more than one full-size arcade cabinet (for example, a garage).

Arcade1Up Cabinet Dimensions

For those who prefer to play their favorite arcade games in the comfort of their own home, Arcade1Up is a compact, home-based arcade game system that measures 45.8 inches in height (116 cm), 23 inches in depth (58 cm), and 19 inches in width (48 cm). The height can be adjusted using a riser that raises it to approximately 5′ in height. They have also released a Pro/XL line that further increases the height to almost real arcade dimensions (66″ tall for Golden Tee 3D XL). From the above dimensions, it is evident that numerous Arcade1Up machines can fit into any room size, even the Pro line.

Full Size vs. Arcade1Up Weight and Ease of Moving

Arcade1up also provides the real arcade feel without the giant size and all the other stuff in real arcade machines. Since you’re running games on an emulator with much more modern technology, Arcade1Up cabinets weigh about 60 pounds. This makes it possible for them to be carried by one or two people.

On the other hand, real arcades are extremely heavy and not easy to move. Weighing around 400 pounds, you will need a truck or a trailer to lift them inside the truck and bring them down. Unfortunately, while they may have some wheels, pushing them is not easy.

Cost Comparison

For a standard cabinet, Arcade 1Up charges $299, $200 for countercades, and $499 for head-to-head cabinets, according to the company’s website. Depending on the merchant and the games you select, the prices can vary greatly, so be sure to look around before purchasing.

On the other hand, new real arcade machines cost between free (will need a lot of work) and $20,000 (for a new top-of-the-line modern arcade game). Some of these machines still have games and artwork that are very popular. For $600 to $800, you can buy a multicade machine that has dozens or even hundreds of old games in one machine and is close to the size of a real arcade.

Game Selection

Selecting and switching between games on Arcade1Up is easy. You only need to hold down the single-player button, and a menu will pop up. Additionally, mod kits are available that allow you to add games to your Arcade1Up machine. Real arcades typically only include one game, although they can be modded with a PC to include almost any game you like. Be aware that it can get pretty technical.


Arcade1Up Maintenance

Arcade1Up machines, like cars, houses, and other objects, require minimal maintenance to ensure they’re functioning effectively. On the other hand, maintenance on arcade machines can be frightening or, at the very least, overwhelming for inexperienced gamers. Usually, the insides of these cabinets are clogged with links, PCB sheets, and segments that pose a danger due to high voltages. Ensure that the machine is well dusted from time to time and that no water finds its way into the high voltage components. It is also wise to be around whenever children play to prevent them from breaking the joysticks and controls.

Real Arcade Maintenance

Clean the cabinet’s exterior with a gentle general-purpose cleaner; do not use commercial glass cleaners unless the game’s manufacturer specifies otherwise. Using paper towels to clean Plexi Glass will scratch it; therefore, avoid doing so at all costs. Instead, use a soft cloth, like a microfiber towel, to clean the game so that there are no marks or scratches left. All cabinet fans and vents should be cleaned of any dust accumulation. Before replacing any vents or fans, check to see if they function correctly.