Welcome to Die: Arcade1Up’s E3 2021 Lineup Features X-Men ’92, TMNT, Ms. Pac-Man, and More

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By Thomas Wilde on June 14th, 2021


The revival of the 1991 Simpsons arcade game has gotten a lot of press this week, but Arcade1Up came out swinging at this year’s E3.

Besides The Simpsons, Arcade1Up will greet the back half of the year with big arcade compilations from Namco and Capcom, standalone machines for the Konami X-Men arcade game and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time, and the public debut of its Infinity Game Table, which it successfully Kickstarted at the end of last year.

Like previous Arcade1Up cabinets, its new wave of machines are 3/4-scale stand-up cabinets, which ship disassembled with LCD monitor panels. The cabinets also come with light-up marquees and deck protectors, and are equipped with wi-fi to allow separate units of the same cabinet to play games with or against one another.

According to Arcade1Up CTO Davin Sufer, the cabinets’ games run via both proprietary and licensed emulators, using electronics developed in-house via system-on-chip hardware.

The Street Fighter II Big Blue Arcade Machine (left) is meant to help celebrate SF2‘s 30th anniversary, and comes with the Championship Edition, Hyper Fighting, and Super Turbo editions of the game. Once again, World Warrior is left out in the cold, ostracized for its handcuff glitch.

In addition, the cabinet will ship with nine other ’90s-era Capcom arcade classics: all three Darkstalkers games, Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, Saturday Night Slam Masters, Eco Fighters, Knights of the Round, Capcom Sports Club, and Muscle Bomber Duo. (In retrospect, this explains why Knights and Darkstalkers weren’t on Capcom Arcade Stadium earlier this year.)

The Big Blue Arcade Machine is meant as a “centerpiece” addition to the line, and is the largest Arcade1Up cabinet yet, standing 67.5 inches tall, which is almost 10″ over the other cabinets in the line. It’s planned to open for pre-order on July 1st.

The other new compilation is a Namco-themed “Class of 1981” cabinet, meant to celebrate Ms. Pac-Man‘s 40th anniversary. (The original Pac-Man hit 40 in May of last year.) It also comes with Galaga, Dig Dug, Mappy, Rally X, Galaxian, Rolling Thunder, Rompers, Tower of Druaga, King and Balloon, Dig Dug II, and Galaga ’88. Its pre-order dates have yet to be announced.

The X-Men arcade cabinet features the original 1992 Konami beat-’em-up. It’s become infamous on the Internet for being the game with Magneto’s hilariously botched “Welcome to die!” voice clip, but it’s a solid brawler in its own right. Like The Simpsons, X-Men 1992 was an arcade exclusive for years, until it was ported to the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 digital storefronts in 2010. It was subsequently removed in 2013.

X-Men 1992 is based on the events and characters in the 1989 cartoon Pryde of the X-Men, which was the pilot for an animated series that, due to some behind-the-scenes shenanigans, didn’t end up being made into a series. Unlike the later 1992 show on Fox, Pryde draws specifically on the ’80s X-Men roster for its character design and the team’s lineup, featuring Nightcrawler, Dazzler, and Colossus rather than Rogue, Gambit, and Beast.

Arcade1Up’s X-Men cabinet, strangely, will also ship with Data East’s Captain America and the Avengers and The Avengers in Galactic Storm installed on the same cabinet. Pre-orders for X-Men will open on July 15th.

Conversely, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cabinet only features the original 1991 arcade version of Turtles in Time, with enough room at the machine for 4 players, as well as the ability to recruit more for co-op via the machine’s built-in wi-fi.

Turtles in Time, based on the 1987 TMNT animated series, is one of the most accessible games in this wave, having received some surprisingly faithful console ports over the years. However, short of dragging your Super Nintendo out of the closet, the most readily available version of Turtles in Time is Ubisoft’s 2009 3D remake, Re-Shelled, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Preorders for the Arcade1Up cabinet open on July 1st.

Finally, Arcade1Up’s Infinity Game Machine is a small table which serves as an interactive board for tabletop games. It’s water-resistant, touch-controlled, comes with wi-fi, and has removable legs in case you want to actually use it as a table.

The Infinity Game Machine comes out of the box with Monopoly, Battleship, Sorry, Connect 4, Scrabble, and Operation, with several more planned for its retail release. More board games, including an assortment of indies, will reportedly be made available via direct download for an additional fee.

Arcade1Up has been in business for three years, and claims to have sold over 2 million of its custom cabinets, via licensing deals with “9 out of the 10 top publishers in the retro landscape.” (The 10th, presumably, being Nintendo.) Its parent company, Tastemakers, is a Miami-based LLC which also markets several dozen other product lines, such as Hatchimals.

While final prices for this new wave of arcade machines hadn’t been established at the time of my virtual E3 meeting with Arcade1Up, they’re planned to retail for between $299 and $599.


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