New Arcade Driving Cabinet Keeps Gamers From Getting Thirsty
We all know why video game arcades are disappearing. Inexpensive home gaming hardware has outpaced arcade tech for years. Nevertheless, I still love the arcade. There are many game genres that still play best on a genuine arcade cabinet. Driving games are a great example. I don't know about you, but I don't drive my car with a joypad or a cheap plastic steering wheel. When the virtual rubber meets the virtual road, I want a sit down arcade cabinet that can take what a real-live driver can dish out.
Dream Arcades makes a number of at-home arcade cabinets. The Octane 120 is their newest model for your driving game favorites, and we've got a sneak peek of the final production model. Included is a home theater PC , HD video projector, and a 122” screen so you can project your games at life size. You get a 5.1 sound system, 200 licensed games, and PS3 compatibility for under $7000 (a price close what you might put into a real car!). Clearly we're looking at something for hardcore gamers, so it's a good thing that the components are arcade quality to take the punishment that hardcore gamers can dish out.
So now let's look at the only feature that anyone is going to talk about... the dashboard-mounted beer tapper. The Octane 120 is equipped with a pair of beer taps. A big one at the rear of the cabinet for onlookers to share, and then a personal tapper aimed at the pinter clutched in your drink holder. That's right... Dream Arcade has read enough frat guys' diaries to suddenly make every 21 year old gamer dude's dream come true.
The company does name a few non-alcoholic beverages out there that come in kegs, but c'mon... this is all about having a couple beers and a Need For Speed. Dream Arcades also points out that they don't advocate drinking and driving (do they really even need to say that?), and that the Octane 120 can actually help show how alcohol impairs driving skills while gaming. Uh huh. I don't see any problems with having a couple beers with your buddies while playing video games. On the other hand, putting the tapper right on the dash is just asking for a write-in campaign from Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
I'd like to know how adaptable the controllers are. Is there a clever way to get the Wii's MarioKart to work on the Octane? Or how about some of the cool driving games from the days of the Dreamcast or Saturn? I guess that through emulation on the PC you can play just about any old game with a steering wheel (Fire Truck anyone?). You know me – I won't be happy until I play Atari 2600 Indy 500 on this thing. How about other old Atari paddle games on the Octane? Warlords and Pong would suddenly be way more badass than ever.
The ability to play driving games projected at life-size with life-like controllers is really appealing. Even though I'm not much of a drinker, I can appreciate the fun of having a built in dispenser for a keg. I just fear the wave of negative press that might come with this. Does anyone really think that there's some social danger from what is essentially a tricked-out high school driving simulator with a beer tapper?
Dream Arcades website
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