Bespoke Arcades

Month: November 2011

Choosing Buttons For Your Arcade Cabinet

Button 101 – Which buttons are right for me?

A little while ago on our blog, we tackled the issue of choosing joysticks for your custom arcade cabinet. Just like choosing your joystick setup, choosing which buttons to use is one question which we can’t help you with until we find out your particular preferences. With this in mind, we thought we’d provide a simple guide to help you choose between the range of buttons which we offer for our arcade machines.

Happ / Suzo:

Using a microswitch, these buttons have a real authentic feel; making a familiar and reassuring click when pushed. Back in the day, all manufacturers of note used these butttons due to their solid feel and durability. Virtually every arcade machine released for the European market came with these as standard. Happ/Suzo arcade buttons have retained their popularity due to their quality and the memories of older gamers who yearn for that authentic feel. Coming in a wide range of colours, we use these as standard on all of our products. If you would prefer another type then please do not hesitate to ask and we’d be happy to accomodate you. We offer several alternatives, just keep reading to find out more.

happ suzo arcade buttons


We offer Sanwa as an alternative to Happ/Suzo. Historically more popular in Japan, Sanwa buttons are preferred by some as they are more responsive; making them the button of choice for fighting game enthusiasts. Sanwa buttons are based on the microswitch format. They come in 2 different sizes and a plethora of colours. All new commercial arcade machines use these as standard and we are happy supply them, it just depends on you. Our MD Phil Patsias is a big fan “particularly when playing new games”.

sanwa arcade buttons

Leaf Switches:

leaf switch for arcade machineLeaf switches are an alternative to the microswitch options which we examined above. The main differences are the feel and the sound (leaf switches don’t make the click as microswitches do). Although the leaf design is widely perceived to be a better feeling button, popularity has decreased over recent years due to the fragile nature of the buttons which often caused dead button syndrome. Repetitive use over time causes the mechanism beneath the button to get out of alignment. This is notoriously difficult to fix and can often require a replacement. If you are an ardent fan of leaf switches, we can now use the modern-day equivalent which accurately replicates the feel and operation of these niche buttons. The only difference is that these new versions are 100% reliable and won’t degrade over time. We are happy to offer them to clients as an additional option should they be desired.

Other buttons:

Although the main types of buttons which we sell are listed above, if you have any specific requirement or would like to customise the layout and size of your buttons and controller (e.g left handed), please do not hesitate to ask – we can even source illuminated buttons! For this and numerous other options on how to fully customise every aspect of your arcade machine, why not check out our arcade machine options section?

We hope that you have found this article useful…. HAPPY GAMING

‘2012-White’ Synergy Cocktail Arcade Cabinet

Here at Bespoke Arcades, we are constantly striving to improve and develop our products. With this in mind, we have made several modifications to the Synergy – so much so that it feels like a whole new product! The “2012-White” comes with upgraded memory and processor power plus a number of tweaks which we feel have improved an already stand-out product. With a large number of cheap imitations appearing in the last 12 months, we thought we’d take the time to break down why our Synergy is in a different league to any other cocktail arcade machine which is currently available on the market….

Here’s 5 Reasons why Synergy is the best cocktail / tabletop arcade machine on the market today:

1 – Our unique double player panel:
cocktail arcade machine control panel
The Synergy cocktail arcade machine is the ONLY sit down arcade to offer full 2 player side-by-side action as well as the usual end-to-end format. All our competitors have only end-to-end controls SO YOU CANNOT PLAY SIMULTANEOUSLY AGAINST EACH OTHER!

With our competitors, you only have a vertically-oriented screen, therefore games that naturally play horizontally (the majority of games) all have to be squashed vertically which seriously detracts from the experience as it is nothing like an original arcade. We are the only company in the UK allowed to do this as we own the design registration which prevents other manufacturers from copying us.

Suzo Happ logo2 – Every part which we use is of the highest quality:

* Our joysticks and buttons are made by Happ-Suzo which is the industry standard. All other manufacturers use cheap parts imported from China.

* All Synergy arcade cabinets use a very special wide view angle screen which delivers perfect viewing at any angle up to 179°. All other competitors make their cabinets lower to the ground so a standard monitor can be used. We don’t feel like that is a compromise that we are prepared to make.

bose audio
*****Ours is the only one out of our competitors with no screen distortion. BEWARE OF MACHINES WITHOUT THIS AS GAMEPLAY IS SEVERLY AFFECTED!*****

* The Synergy comes with great internal speakers made by Logitech or BOSE depending upon requirements.

* Our edging is imported from the US. We have tried many other companies but this is the only one which has passed the quality test for our products.

* Even the glass in the Synergy is also a cut above the rest – it’s made by Preedy Glass, glass table-top makers by appointment to the Royal Family.
sanwa logo

* Over the years we have refined the machine by permanently upgrading components to reduce noise levels for a more pleasurable user experience. Our super-quiet fans ensure no distractions from the vital task at hand.

3 – Unparalleled standard of finish:

The Synergy is constructed by hand before going to the painters for a hand finish.
cabinet edging
All this is done in the UK. No pre-fabricated parts are used. Due to the fact that it is hand finished, the option is there to do anything. We can produce a Synergy in any colour or finish such as wood veneer, graffiti or other extreme finishes such as fur. We could even make one in solid gold if you have the funds. We have recently delivered this white iPod edition Synergy (pictured) to a customer and we liked the result so much that we’ve decided to launch the “2012-White”. The quality has to be seen to be believed which is why we invite all prospective clients to come and visit us or one of the many locations which sell our products. Pictures really can’t do justice to the exceptional finish quality which has to be seen to be believed.

4 – Full customization:Synergy tabletop arcade machine iPod edition

We are the only company in the world to offer a genuine full customisation service. With the Synergy you are only limited by your imagination. Just ask and we’ll make it happen. Popular options include smoked / tinted / sandblasted glass, specific control panel layouts (e.g. left-handed, trackball & spinner), PC upgrade, speaker upgrade, the option to connect to your TV via HDMI and PS3 & XBOX 360 connectivity.

We can even change the height and shape if you have something specific in mind – whatever you ask for, we’ll do!

5 – Games:

We are the only company to provide legal game packs. Legendary titles such as Street Fighter 2, PacMan, Space Invaders, Paperboy and Bubble Bobble are all included as standard. All other companies use illegal game-boards and games. We are in the process of designing a whole new front-end to run our 100% legitimate game-packs complete with a new interface and new-look graphics. We are very excited about this development; it’s a totally new interface that no one else in the world can replicate. This will launch in 2012 and will feature as standard on all of our 2012 models.

6 – Celebrity Plaudits and Reputation:Harrods logo

With many world-famous clients coming back for further machines, our client list reads like a who’s who of global celebrity; many of whom have publicly endorsed our products. Our reputation has been further enhanced thanks to our on-going relationship with some of the most exclusive stores in the world such as Harrods in Knightsbridge.

Thai Floods Cause Global Hard Drive Shortage

pc hard driveWe start this week with the terrible news of severe flooding in Thailand, particularly in Bangkok and the 7 surrounding industrial estates. Thailand supplies up to 40% of the hard drives in the world with manufacturers such as Samsung, Acer, Toshiba and Western Digital all being forced to abandon their factories and wait for the water levels to recede.

Initial estimates put the delay at several months with companies aiming to begin to pump water out of their flooded premises on Nov 10. After draining the water, clean-up work is estimated to take about a month with another three to four months needed to repair damaged machinery.

These factories don’t expect to resume operations and production until well into 2012 – we are looking at almost 6 months of down time in producing hard drives from the region.
an aerial view showing flooded honda car factory in Thailand
All of this turmoil has already had a major effect on hard drive prices due to shortages. Our supplier has tripled the price, with major retailers such as Currys / PC World restricting purchases to one per customer. This situation is only due to worsen as the holiday season approaches and demand increases. PCs and laptops will be more expensive this Christmas, that’s for sure!

How will this impact your purchase of an arcade cabinet from Bespoke Arcades?

Let us just start by saying that our hearts go out to the victims of this disaster – one of many to hit the region in 2011. At the moment, we undertake to absorb all inflated costs ourselves without passing them on to customers.

Our Play system is unaffected, but we may be forced to supply a smaller hard drive for now (for our Media and Elite systems – this will have no impact on game-play), with a promise to send on either an external or internal hard drive as soon as the crisis subsides. WE GUARANTEE TO DELIVER AT LEAST THE SIZE ADVERTISED.

We will review our policy in the New Year, but for now – that’s our word…. Happy Gaming!!

Preview: 3 New Fighting Games for the Evo

Ever since we were commisioned by Warner Bros to make a range of arcade machines to promote Mortal Kombat 9 we’ve been hooked on that, but we’re starting to get really excited by the prospect of getting our hands on some of the up-coming releases slated to drop over the next few months. So without further ado and in no particular order, here’s our most anticipated fighting games of this winter:

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom III:
ultimate marvel vs capcom 3
Another splice of 2 massive franchises, another huge release. Marvel vs Capcom III was released recently and has been enjoying good sales. The ‘ultimate’ version will feature every epic character from the original blockbuster alongside 12 new fighters, 8 over-the-top new stages, enhanced gameplay and more surprises to be announced.

We’re loving MvC3 and can’t wait for this to drop at some point this month….

This is guaranteed to be a Christmas smash!

The King of Fighters XIII:
This is the latest installment of The King of Fighters fighting game series developed and published by SNK Playmore. Set after the events from The King of Fighters XI, it is also the conclusion of Ash Crimson’s story arc which started in The King of Fighters 2003.

Despite being released for Japanese arcades over a year ago, ports for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will be released in Europe this winter. The new version will include more content to the original version such as new characters, stages and game modes.

We are huge fans of the original Neo-Geo games which SNK made and are eagerly anticipating this release… It’s been pushed back more times than Gran Turismo 5!

Streetfighter X Tekken
Streetfighter X Tekken:

What more do you want from a fighting game?! Ever wondered how Kazuya would fare against Ryu? Now’s your chance to find out!

Although not released yet, we were lucky enough to be asked to demonstrate a beta version which we previewed at the recent MCM Expo. Running on a debug console attached to our Evo Elite arcade cabinet, this was extremely popular and had eveyone drooling.

Here at Bespoke Arcades, we LOVE fighting games!! Most days we stay at the workshop well after business hours and play each other on a whole host of classic fighting games from the old such as “Street Fighter II” and “Garou: Mark of the Wolves” on our office Neo Geo – right up to the latest next-gen releases.

Mostly we’re chomping at the bit at the prospect of being able to play these exciting next-gen releases on one of our Evo arcade cabinets which has full PS3 or XBOX360 compatibility (Media and Elite as standard).

Until next time….. HAPPY GAMING!!