Retro gaming has taken a similar path to that of vinyl records, from being the norm to being forgotten only to rise again as a retro trend. Because of this growing trend, there are many companies - especially those with a history and longstanding presence in the industry - that have dusted their dormant game libraries off, and adding them to mini consoles and allowing people to play games from the good ol' days on their modern screens. Whether it's through playing on the PlayStation Classic, Nintendo Classic Mini, C64 or the Sega Classic Mini, the craze for old games dating back to the '80s and '90s has infected everyone.
The latest one to hit the consumer market is the new Capcom Home Arcade, a console that doesn't just bring back the games from the arcade era but also uses the overall design to hit you in the nostalgia. Served as a device to be connected to your favourite screen, equipped with two Sanwa sticks and all the buttons that have always distinguished old-school arcades, this new Capcom console is preparing to enter our living rooms.
Let's start with what this new Capcom Home Arcade contains, as the product boasts a library containing 16 pre-installed cult-classic video games. The titles are housed within a rather massive plastic case, which is a single base in the shape of the "CAPCOM" logo, on which both the Sanwa sticks and the buttons are positioned. The feel of both the sticks and the buttons is really nice, and the clicks and fluid movements feel great, making for a really engaging and very solid experience.
Undoubtedly, the first aspect to catch one's eye when looking at that platform would, in this case, be the excellent materials with which the product was built. The materials are solid and one can easily tell that a lot of care has gone into creating the Capcom Home Arcade. In the end, however, it also sets you back £199.99 / €229.99.
At the back of the device, you'll find an AC port, a USB port and an HDMI port, with which players can connect to the TV. However, its design (which is excessively cumbersome and not very functional, especially if your intention is to keep it attached to the TV) takes up too much space and it's not even possible to rest it on your knees since it's also quite heavy and bulky. Looking at the console's size, aesthetics and look, we cannot say that it's a minimalist retro-gaming platform, but it will certainly appeal to collectors looking to turn their living rooms into a museum where they can show off their passion for video games.
Just like the old arcades, Capcom Home Arcade allows two players to both compete and cooperate in the various games inside it, such as Final Fight, Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Edition and Mega Man: The Power Battle - to name a few. We will say that the game library seems a little bleak. It's not that the selection of games present within isn't enough, but other retro consoles before it have released with 30-40 pre-installed games and in comparison, the new Capcom console seems to pale. Given the presence of the USB port, we thought that - also in light of its significant price - the company would update its stock in the near future, however, Koch Media has not been able to provide us with details about that, except that updates are planned for the various pieces of software already pre-installed (which can also be downloaded via WiFi directly from the device), but we hope so ardently.
However, even if the selection is small, the games included are good, with some classics present that we hadn't played since we were kids (you can see the full line-up right here). Added value is offered by the option of enjoying them in a glorious 1080p resolution via HDMI, which makes the experience truly enjoyable even on the most modern screens. Another interesting aspect is the presence of a series of in-game display modes that allow you to adapt the experience to your own needs, even if you prefer a more pixeled style (which is also the one we'd recommend if you're playing on a PC monitor or on a TV at a closer distance).
Finally, to make Capcom Home Arcade more compelling is the presence of online rankings, which is undoubtedly a highly appreciated feature, and one that's very useful for keeping track of records already reached and those still worth challenging.
Although that device is built with quality materials and offers a nice nostalgic feeling from many points of view, the price compared to what it offers in terms of content cooled our enthusiasm a bit. The prospect of spending £200 for 16 games - even if those 16 games are housed in a product defined by excellent workmanship - will make it unfeasible for the pockets of many. Despite the idea being good, it's a hard sell, unless you're a retro enthusiast with deep pockets who wants to show off this eye-catching yet slightly cumbersome piece of gaming technology.