I'm a big fan of Arcade1Up's arcade cabinets, pricey and limited though they may be. The new Star Wars machine, for example, plays just three games but sells for $400. Even when they're on sale, like Rampage currently is for $200, you're still getting only four games -- and a cabinet that's three-quarter scale, not full-size.
Recently I spotted something that, on paper at least, sounds a lot better: The Legends Ultimate Home Arcade. It comes with 350 games -- a mix of arcade and console titles -- packed into a full-size cabinet, one that's much more versatile and expandable. It's currently listed as a preorder item at Walmart, where it's priced at $600, but Sam's Club has the Legends Ultimate for $500 -- and it'll be priced at $449.98 this Saturday, as shown on page 12 of this ad. (No Sam's Club membership? Sign up here.)
This Special Edition version of the cabinet comes with a few extras, including Bandai Namco Arcade Blast (a dongle that adds Dig Dug, Galaga, Pac-Man and seven other games) and a three-month subscription to AtGames' ArcadeNet -- a subscription service that streams oodles of additional games (mostly from older consoles). There's also something called Bring Your Own Game, which has the potential to greatly expand what you can do with the system.
As for the 350 games already included in the cabinet, you can find the complete list here. There are some notable titles, to be sure, including Asteroids, Fix-It Felix, Jr., Karate Champ and Missile Command, but also some notable omissions: No Donkey Kong, no Punch-Out, no Rampage or Mortal Kombat.
The cabinet includes controls for two players, who won't be quite so crowded together as on Arcade1Up's smaller machines. Those controls consist of a joystick, six buttons and a spin-wheel, though there's only a single trackball. Weirdly, I can't find a mention of screen size anywhere.
For $450, you're getting a lot more arcade cabinet than anything currently offered by Arcade1Up. I haven't tried the Legends Ultimate myself, but the couple dozen Sam's Club user reviews are overwhelmingly positive. (Rumor has it many stores have a machine up and running, so you may be able to go check one out for yourself -- and perhaps even buy now and get a price match on Saturday?)
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