Cosmotrons, as many of you already know, is a title I’ve spoken about on numerous occasions. Developed by Arcadeaholics, the game is a sort of four-player, competitive spin on vector graphics classics like Gravitar and Space Duel. At the time of announcement and even now, Cosmotrons felt truly unique—in everything from the gameplay to the display and even to the control scheme. It was certainly interesting to see a modern release pay homage to vector-based titles, and certainly a nice change of pace from all the pixel art we see these days.
One thing that was also quite interesting about Cosmotrons was its “Delux-O-Tron” cabinet. In a huge throwback to 70’s arcade gaming, Arcadeaholics housed their first game in a fiberglass cabinet. Computer Space is definitely one of
the most notable fiberglass arcade games, but the material was also used here and there for titles like Space Race. Even so, fiberglass has never been a predominant material in arcade cabinet production. With the Delux-O-Tron, Arcadeaholics not only paid impeccable homage to classic 70’s cabinets, but also improved upon the concept in vast measures. Plus, you gotta admit that the design made a pretty big statement.
Now, however, Arcadeaholics is bringing something a little more conventional to the table. In partnership with Virtual Pinball (VP Cabs) Cosmotrons is receiving a brand-new, even more cost-effective cabinet. For those not in the loop, VP Cabs is a company known for their numerous video pinball units. Though I can't say anything about the quality of their software, I do like their cabinet designs, with some mirroring traditional pinball tables and some more closely resembling an upright video game.
This particular "Cosmo-Cab" was unveiled at the VP Cabs booth during Pinball Expo 2018, and boy howdy, is it something. Like the Delux-O-Tron before it, this standard cabinet features a glorious 40-inch 4K Ultra-HD monitor and four-player support. What makes the new cab stand out, though, is its much, much more familiar design. The conventional material allows for a slick marquee, clean side-art, and fun control panel art. While the fiberglass was certainly neat, this is what I’m used to. I really, really like this. (Big thanks to Arcade Heroes for making these Pinball Expo publicly available, by the way.)
Though the standard cabinet doesn’t really seem much smaller, I imagine it just “gels” better in packed locations. If you’ve got a whole bunch of games side-by-side, you might as well get a boxier cabinet that fits right in with the rest of your inventory, as opposed to a curvy fiberglass-lookin’ guy. Either way, I’m pretty sure the real appeal lies in the price tag. The new cabinet retails at a very attractive $4,995, which is considerably more cost-effective than games from the “big boys” like Raw Thrills, Namco, and Sega. (Goodness knows that those dudes climb up to $10,000 or more.)
While I don’t know the exact price of the Delux-O-Tron variant, I know this new cabinet is cheaper, and that’s always a good thing. Even better, the new design isn’t limiting in any way. As you could probably tell by that photo above, operators can still purchase a suite of optional goodies like cupholders, dollar bill acceptors, and spectator monitors. It’s all there, and it’s all good. Since the software in both cabinets is identical, the choice really is left to personal preference. And by golly, I love the standard cabinet.
Maybe this is purely arbitrary, but I find myself much more allured by this Cosmo-Cab. There’s something inherently appealing to that age-old arcade cabinet form-factor. Don’t get me wrong; the fiberglass cabinet was bold and beautiful in its own right. It’s just that, for whatever reason, I happen to really like this new look. I see this cabinet, and I say, “Yep, that is, in fact, a piece of arcade equipment.” It’s so good.
Additionally, I feel like this might end up being the option more operators go with in the long-run. The Delux-O-Tron is just that: a deluxe model. The new cabinet is more cost-effective, more familiar in design. And believe me: there’s something to be said for familiarity. The larger, panel-shaped marquee is more prominent. The shape is more instantly recognizable. Maybe I’m a little crazy, but I think this new design will do an even better job of attracting casual players. The standard cabinet is easily identifiable as a coin-operated video game.
Aside from my usual industry-spanning commentary babble, I really do like the new cabinet—100 percent arbitrarily, too! It’s just so, so GOOD. I wish I could put to words how much I dig the look. Like Skycurser or Killer Queen, it’s the kind of aesthetic that simply “fits” in an arcade. But I guess I’ll leave it at that.
I hope you enjoyed today’s article. What do you think of the new cabinet? As I’ve said a million times already, I’m positively head over heels.
Anyway, I’m out. Here's a fun picture from the Cosmotrons Facebook page:
Cosmo-Shane is a guy who knows how to have fun.