Earlier this week, I ran through the massive list of new exA-Arcadia titles unveiled at JAEPO 2019. (And believe me, that 3,500-word article was a doozy.) Seeing all those new game announcements, for many of us, was a strong reminder that exA really was poised to be a dominant force in coin-op. However, yet another important—and potentially overlooked—detail was revealed at the show: the first official images of the hardware itself.
Even though exA-Arcadia has always seemed perfect in concept, I think some observers opted to file their thoughts under “Cautiously Optimistic” until they saw some physical hardware. Fortunately for those folks—and every other exA fan out there—we now know it looks like this:
The unit pictured above is the special edition Strania EX-themed model. As you can tell, exA-Arcadia is more or less a modified PC with standard USB and VGA ports. (And for those who remember, exA also promised full JAMMA support and a new I/O board with advanced performance.) The little red and blue pegs, though, are of particular interest. Those are four game cartridges plugged into system—which, of course, can be swapped out any time. I’d almost compare the hardware to the Nintendo Switch in its elegance.
And below is a size comparison between exA-Arcadia and cartridges from two past coin-op hardware systems, NAOMI and STV. It’s crazy how compact technology has become.
Something else of note is that exA-Arcadia is, in fact, a Windows-based platform, as made evident by this screenshot I nabbed from the JAEPO 2019 Twitch stream. I just kinda found that worthy of mention. Additionally, we get a little sneak-peak at the game selection screen.
Now, only one question remains: What are the specs? From what we’ve been told, exA-Arcadia surpasses current home console tech, although that claim obviously hasn’t been proven yet. (Record states it's "easily on par with the PS4 and Xbox One.") However, one quote from the original Arcade Heroes article last year might ease players’ worries about performance: “We have input lag from a hardware perspective down to a minimum where it is not noticeable by even pro players.”
It doesn’t give us numbers, but I mean…it’s something. Given how close we are to release, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. I’m very certain exA will announce the specs at some point. Heck, my only real concern is that some of the lower-budget indie titles won’t take full advantage of the advanced tech. (And that, boys and girls, is but a minor qualm.)
Although this was a super tiny article, I’m glad we can put a face to the exA name, so to speak. We know it’s real; we know it’s awesome; and we can’t wait to play. But in the meantime, if you curious to see what games are coming to exA, check out my aforementioned article on the subject. Other than that…well, I guess we’re finished. I’m, uh…not used to this kind of brevity.
Please send help.