It used to be that if you wanted to waste some time at work, you fired up Minesweeper, Solitaire, or my personal favorite, SkiFree. Boy have times changed. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet and the efforts of the Internet Archive, time wasting just got a whole hell of a lot more fun. Now when you have some spare time to kill -- or even when you don't -- you can head over to the Internet Arcade and relive 900 classic arcade games right within your browser.
The wily programming nerds at Google are all about Easter eggs, and if you type "Atari Breakout" into Google's image search, you'll spy the latest one. This isn't just a random flashback to an old school arcade game, it's also a shout out to the 1976 title's 37th anniversary, though the timing is a little curious. Breakout (PDF) originally debuted in April, so if someone knows the significance of today's date specifically, feel free to enlighten us in comments section below.
It's getting tougher and tougher to find an arcade these days, and that's just fine. Who wants to lug around a pocket full of quarters only to find out that those classics you grew up with have been replaced by holographic gimmicks and expensive 3D displays, anyway? A better way to get all nostalgic is to bring the arcade to you, which is what you can do with the Stealth tabletop from Australia-based Arcade Tables.
Le Roi est mort, vive le Roi! Actually, the former King Kong record holder isn't dead, but he has been dethroned by Hank Chien, a 35-year-old doctor from Queens, New York, according to Twin Galaxies.
Chien scored 1,068,000 points in less than three hours, enough to reclaim the high score after losing the title of King of Kong to Billy Mitchell, who himself was ousted by Steve Wiebe.
"Although I was excited to reclaim [the high score], nothing beats the first time," Chien said in an interview with Twin Galaxies, the self-proclaimed world authority on player rankings, gaming statistics, and championship tournaments. "Of course it was harder this time, however I have gotten better since last time so relatively speaking it was a bit easier."
If any of these names sound familiar, then you probably watched the 2007 documentary "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters." The flick follows Wiebe as he tries to get the high score in Donkey Kong, while also illuminating viewers on the whole culture of arcade games and Twin Galaxies.
For now at least, Chien can celebrate his achievement, but he knows it probably long last long.
"I know that the current score still has much room for improvement, so it is likely that this back and forth will continue for a while longer," Chien said.
All then attention right now is on Microsoft's revamped Xbox 360 console, which sports a sleek new design and runs both cooler and quieter. So can we also expect a redesigned Xbox 360 Arcade?
Word on the Web is that Microsoft is readying a new Xbox 360 Slim Arcade bundle that will up the storage ante to 4GB. It's not clear how that additional storage will be added, only that it won't be in the form of a hard drive. That leaves two options - increasing the embedded 512MB to 4GB, or supplementing it with a USB key.
The rumor mill also reports a small price drop could be forthcoming. New models might ship for $189 instead of $199, which isn't a whole lot of ducats, but still enticing considering the additional storage.
A while ago we wrote about setting up a MAME machine, which allows you to play faithfully emulated old arcade games on your computer. In an aside to that article, we mentioned that a similar program exists for the other arcade staple—pinball machines. Some pinball fans have written in, asking for more information, and because we love all arcade technology equally here at Maximum PC, we decided to do a quick writeup on how to get started playing classic pinball machines with Visual Pinball and PinMAME.
Read on to find out how to play your favorite pinball classics for free!
If you were born in the 70s or 80s, chances are good that a big part of your childhood was spent wasting quarters at the local arcade, or in front of the Pac-Man machine at your local pizza place. Sure, games have become a lot more complex since then, but the old titles had a lot of charm, and in some cases a level of skill and patience-rewarding challenge that hasn’t been matched since.
Sadly, the arcade is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Now that PCs and game consoles have become so powerful, the only way for arcades to compete has been to offer games with enormous, complicated controls, which end up costing a dollar or more per play. And besides, that’s only if you happen to live next to one of the very few remaining full-sized arcades. For most people, the closest thing they’ve got to an arcade is the worn-out Initial D machine at their local multiplex.
But you can bring the classic arcade experience back to life, in your own house. With a MAME arcade machine, you and your friends can play your favorite old games, on the authentic controls they were made for. In this article, we’re going to show you, step-by-step and with a lot of pictures, exactly how to build the custom arcade machine you’ve always dreamed about using old PC parts. We’re going to describe how we built our MAME cabinet, but we’re also going to describe all the choices we made along the way, including cabinet style, monitor and controls, so you can put together a machine that’s just right for you.