The Stylish Home Arcade: Surface Tension Arcade Coffee Tables

The Stylish Home Arcade: Surface Tension Arcade Coffee Tables

Gregory Han
Oct 22, 2008

We still mourn the death of the arcade...as much as we love our consoles, there was something magical about strolling up to that cabinet to play game du jour, whether it was SF2, Rampart, or Ring King. And how about those awesome sit-down barcade style cabinets, usually Ms. Pacman or Centipede? They were perfect to play a game or two and then easily transform into a place to eat, drink and be merry at. All is not lost, my old retro-loving friends! Furniture designers Surface Tension has modernized the same idea into some stylish furniture...with a few additional modern technological additions.

Available in three wood finishes, the Surface Tension Arcade Coffee Tables reveal a pull-out arcade joystick feature that is sure to please any gamer, while also offering the ability to hide it away for your non-gaming guests. The machine is packed with the following features that will convert you living room or den into the place to be (without the bowling alley or bar setting we remember finding these type of sit-down cabinets at):

  • 2 sets of controls
  • 2 x 4-button player interface
  • 1up and 2up start buttons
  • Happ® trackball illuminated translucent blue
  • Sanwa joysticks, easily selectable between 4 and 8 way
  • Intuitive game selection interface
  • Pause and volume controls
  • Compatible with MAME™

A complete list of games for the system is listed here.

The system was also designed to work as an audio extension of an iTunes streaming music setup, using an Airport Express and offering online browsing on its built-in screen via Firefox. How so? With an integrated Shuttle PC system within its handsome finish (Dual core CPU, 2GB RAM, 160GB HDD, Windows XP Pro). All this cool tech comes at a premium though, having us wonder if the DIY route is a better choice: £2999 ($4845 US). Yikes...at that cost, we'd rather get a PS3, a DWR coffee table and some external joysticks and pocket the rest for additional games. We're cheap (poor) like that.

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