Here in a nutshell are the six principal reasons to choose to upgrade an old classic game to a modern multicade (each reason is discussed in detail below):
- Modern multicade printed circuit board technology, versus antiquated original technology.
- Modern arcade switching power supply, versus original potentially damaging inline power supply.
- Modern JAMMA wiring harness with plug-and-play benefits, versus original pre-JAMMA wiring.
- Re-sale value of a modern multicade with multiple games in one cabinet, versus the lower value of only one game in one cabinet.
- Select multicade games to fit a theme, versus no selection.
- Plentiful new multicade components, versus obsolete classic components.
I hope the information in this article will be helpful in your game decision making process. And, if not helpful, at least interesting. Because, there is info here that I doubt you will find anywhere else.
Depending on your situation, here are some ways this info can be of service:
- When you are deciding between purchasing a classic game or a multicade.
- When you own a working classic game, and are deciding whether to upgrade it to a multicade.
- When you own a non-working classic game, and are deciding whether to have it repaired or upgraded to a multicade.
- When you are just curious, and want to know an insider's thoughts about classic games versus modern multicades.
Why You Should Upgrade Your Classic Arcade Video Game To A Multicade:
1. Modern multicade printed circuit board technology, versus antiquated original technology.
The difference in the circuit boards is the #1 reason in favor of a multicade upgrade. Because, there are multiple plug-in chips, plus their sockets, on old classic game circuit boards. While, there are none on modern circuit boards.
The Ms. Pac-Man circuit board, pictured middle and left, requires a mother board, 2 daughter boards, a ribbon cable, a satelite board, and dozens of plug-in chips and their sockets, all of which are subject to continuous degradation. That is a lot of stuff, that can and will go bad, just to play one simple game.
In comparison, a modern multicade circuit board has one (small circuit board), none, none, none, and none. But, plays dozens of games, not just one. By the way, a modern circuit board is the little guy on the right in the photo. Need I say more about antiquated technology?
What is the problem with plug-in chips and their sockets? The answer is something over which you nor I have any control - oxidation. In other words, the legs of the chips and their sockets are continuously being degradated by the oxygen in the air. Degradation happens whether the game is being played or not. And, whether the game has been stored for years or not.
The result of oxidation is inferior electrical contact between the chip legs and their sockets. And often, the result is completely oxidized and broken legs. These old circuit boards are a service technician's nightmare. In fact, most technicians either will not or do not know how to service the old classic problematic circuit boards.
If you own a classic game machine with an original circuit board, it is just a short matter of time before your game will fail. It is a given.
Is there any reason to not upgrade, and keep the original circuit board? Yes, but only two. One, if you are a collector of all original classic games. And two, if you plan to try setting a Guinness World Record playing your classic game. Then, you will be required to have all original equipment.
2. Modern arcade switching power supply, versus original potentially damaging inline power supply.
The original power supply for classic games are described as "inline" because they do not have an internal circuit breaker. Thus, if a component in the inline power supply shorts, the surge goes directly to the circuit board. Such a surge will likely render the circuit board worthless.
Whereas, the power supply for modern arcade games is called a switching power supply because it contains an internal circuit breaker. Thus, in the event of a short, the modern power supply will switch off. And, there is no surge to damage the circuit board.
Only a modern switching power supply, such as the one in the photo, is used to power a modern multicade circuit board. In the case of a multicade upgrade, the old inline power supply is removed from the game cabinet and discarded.
3. Modern JAMMA wiring harness with plug-and-play benefits, versus original pre-JAMMA wiring.
The JAMMA industry standard was introduced in 1984. Thus, the wiring for all of the classic games is pre-JAMMA. Pre-JAMMA means that the circuit board wiring harness pin-out is different from one game maker to another. And very often, the pin-out is different from one game to another, even though the games' maker may be the same.
Once JAMMA came along, all game circuit boards featured the same pin-out, regardless of the game maker. This meant that an individual with a JAMMA wired game cabinet could plug-and-play hundreds, if not thousands, of JAMMA game circuit boards in the one cabinet.
The number of JAMMA games that can be played using a specific cabinet will be limited by the orientation of the monitor (horizontal or vertical) and the required game controls being available.
Since the multicade circuit board is a JAMMA board, a multicade upgrade opens the door to JAMMA plug-and-play opportunities. Simply buy the JAMMA game board of your choice, plug it into your cabinet's JAMMA wiring harness edge connector, and start playing.
This is a photo of a new JAMMA wiring harness, such as we use in all of our custom built multicades and multicade upgrades.
4. Re-sale value of a modern multicade with multiple games in one cabinet, versus the lower value of only one game in one cabinet.
It should go without saying, but I will say it anyway. A classic game cabinet with multiple games is worth more than a cabinet with only one game.
Hence, an upgraded classic multicade has greater re-sale value, and is a better investment than a typical one game classic cabinet. Except, for one major caveat. Sloppy upgrade workmanship will decrease the value of any classic cabinet, no matter how many games it plays.
5. Select multicade games to fit a theme, versus no selection.
The modern multicade is games list modifiable. This means that you can easily set your multicade to play only one game, or a group of games, or all of the games.
6. Plentiful new multicade components, versus obsolete classic components.
In 2011, the classic arcade video game, Galaga, turned thirty years old. And, so did all of its electronic components. There are no new Galaga printed circuit boards or power supplies. There is only the thirty year old original equipment. And, that equipment is not only just plain old, it is also technologically obsolete
If you own a classic game, you will always be vulnerable in terms of finding service and replacement parts for your game.
On the other hand, all of the modern JAMMA multicade components are in plentiful supply. And, the multicade components are simple to replace. In fact, whenever multicade service is required, it is usually just handled through the mail.
For many years, I have witnessed first hand the performance of the old classic games side by side with the modern multicades. Basically, I have come to the conclusion that it is real close to a disservice to sell an old classic game rather than a modern multicade.
The old classic games are just too problematic and too undependable for ownership by the lay person buying a game for their home gameroom. I do not need all the service headaches. And, the buyer certainly does not need all the performance headaches that come with classic game ownership.
So, if you are planning to buy a classic game from me, or have me repair your non-working classic game, expect that I will first be inviting you to read this page.
Send me an email if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org