Arcade1Up’s appeal has been straightforward from the start, giving you an arcade machine with authentic look and feel at three-quarters the size of a traditional rig, making it more suitable for home use. However, that means, you’ll still need a good amount of space to accommodate an arcade cabinet. If you don’t have the room but still want a dedicated machine to play those classic old-school games, the outfit’s got you covered with the Arcade1Up Pac-Man Couchcade.
No, it’s not a miniature arcade machine. Instead, it combines a small console that you plug into the TV and a wireless arcade stick that you can use to button-mash your way through the included arcade titles. You know, just like playing on a PS4 with an arcade joystick control pad. So why not just buy a fight stick and use it on your existing console, where you can play way more games? We’re not sure, but fans of dedicated game systems will probably find the appeal.
The Arcade1Up Pac-Man Couchcade consists of a small game console that plugs directly into the TV via HDMI and an arcade control deck with a large joystick in the middle and three action buttons on the right side. Yes, it’s only for single player, so you won’t be doing any versus games on this thing. The control deck pairs with the console via a 2.4Ghz wireless connection, so you can park yourself in any part of the room without having to be limited with wires, while a plush bean bag at the bottom of the deck makes it comfortable to use, whether you set it down on your lap, the coffee table, or right on the couch.
It comes with 10 of Bandai Namco’s retro games onboard. Naturally, you get Pac-Man, along with its Pac-Mania sequel, as well as New Rally-X, Galaxian, Galaga, Galaga 88, Dig Dug, Dig Dug II, Rolling Thunder II, and Mappy, so it’s a veritable smorgasboard of early 80s arcade classics.
The Arcade1Up Pac-Man Couchcade dresses up the control deck in Pac-Man graphics, with logos and character images on the deck itself and the bean bag printed with the in-game maze with Pac-Man, the ghosts, and a whole lot of pellets to chomp on. It comes with a carrying handle, so you can easily tow it when moving from one part of the room to another, while four AAA batteries keep its electronics running.
So yeah, you get to play arcade games on arcade controls without having to stand in front of a cabinet, instead plopping down on the couch like you do when you play on your Xbox Series X or PS5. Is that an attractive proposition? Not for everyone, we’re guessing, as most folks would rather just buy an arcade stick controller and use it with their existing consoles, since you can find many retro games available as part of collections on those consoles anyway. Still, we have a feeling this thing will have its own set of fans who enjoy booting up straight into their favorite game of Pac-Man.
The Arcade1Up Pac-Man Couchcade is available now, priced at $179.99.