The evolution of video games is an intriguing one, to say the least. When Space Invaders debuted in 1978, thus marking the beginning of the Golden Age of arcades, the boxy cabinet units, each capable of accommodating only a single game, had existed for around seven years already. This era of gaming would be relatively short-lived. Atari, Inc. was broken up in 1984, and the following year, the groundbreaking Nintendo Entertainment System home console was launched in North America, greatly affecting the way we consumed our games.
In recent years, however, there’s been a huge shift in nostalgia for retro games; inexplicably giant cabinets that can play Frogger, Pac-Man, or Donkey Kong. And despite being able to access all of these games on our computers and/or smartphones, we’ve never lost the emotional connection to playing them with a joystick. While this modern era has seen the old-school cabinet systems continue to evolve — to where there are now units equipped with effortlessly storing hundreds of different games — the boxy cabinets still haven’t changed much, taking up around just as much room as they did back in 1978.
JodinskyLab, fronted by Jody Del Bianco, is a design studio known for taking nostalgic devices and transforming them for a new era. Now, it’s taken the idea of a mundane arcade cabinet and given it a design-forward appeal that can double as a beautiful piece of furniture as well. Able to accommodate two players, the cabinet stands nearly 6ft tall and is around 2ft in both depth and width, yet takes up a smaller footprint. It’s built from multilayer birch wood 30mm thick, features a 24” LCD screen, and utilizes RetroPie software capable of emulating games from over 60 different consoles both new and retro.
The unit has also been designed with the idea of installing separate consoles as well, allowing it to serve as a fully-functioning video game unit. You can learn more about JodinskyLab’s arcade cabinet on its website.