Space Invaders Arcade Machine

The first Space Invaders arcade machine was first released to the Japanese public in 1978, no one was suspecting this would herald a new age of gaming, consequently affirming the foundations of a mainstream medium which we all love today (besides which you wouldn’t be reading this right now 🙂 You will be delighted to hear you too can play variants of your favourite Space Invaders arcade machine on any of the cabinets below.

 Bespoke Arcades Premium Machines

Synergy

synergy arcade machine in white and black

Ultimate tabletop arcade with full screen 2-pl side-by-side and end-to-end arcade gaming. Looks great in any living space or foyer.

From £1995

Apex

Best compact stand-up arcade with classic square 20″ screen and full 2-pl arcade action.  Fits snuggly anywhere you see fit.

From £1995

Evo

Finest larger stand-up arcade with 28″ wide screen giving the best of classic and modern gaming. The true arcade king of any room. 

From £2595

Nu-Gen

Leading modern-style arcade with 32″ widescreen used by the finest fight game franchises in the world. A true arcade wonder.

From £3795

Space Invaders arcade machine creator Tomohiro Nishikado

Space Invaders was developed by Tomohiro Nishikado who was born in March 1944 in Osaka, Japan and consequently graduated from Tokyo Denki University in 1968 with a degree in engineering.

Prior to developing Space Invaders, he previously produced 10 games. However he’s also credited for a few later games which are firm favourites. Such as Chase HQ II (Special Criminal Investigation), Darius II and Darius Twin.

He eventually left Taito in 1996 to start his own company but has since returned to Taito in an advisory capacity

Why aliens for Space Invaders arcade machine?

Originally the aliens were going to be planes- but they were hard to animate with the limited hardware. Then human soldiers, however it wasn’t deemed proper the player shoots soldiers, finally aliens marched forth in their place.

Meanwhile Star Wars was in full flow along with other films such as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Star Trek The Original Motion Picture, one might as well jump on the bandwagon. Games at the time prior to Space Invaders generally consisted of various iterations of Pong so this was a much needed breath of fresh air. Although Mr Nishikado states: “I wasn’t influenced by any social phenomenon or issues, my aim was purely to create a game that was interesting and fun to play.

The 100 Yen Myth

To say the Space Invaders arcade game was a hit is certainly an understatement. Imagine a single arcade game which was to cause a 100 yen coin shortage due to its popularity. However, despite it’s mega hit status- i’m sorry to say- this is a myth. Without a doubt it’s just not possible to be true. But it only served to make Space Invaders more popular so the urban legend was never debunked by Taito. 

Think about it- the arcade owners would take the coins to the bank- simple as that and the coinage would go back into circulation. According to Japanese residents there was no noticeable change during the Space Invaders invasion of ’78.

Click here for the original article- its a great read:

The First Killer App?

Like Sonic The Hedgehog on the Megadrive, Tekken on the Playstation and Street Fighter II on the Super Nintendo- for the Atari VCS Space Invaders was that killer app spurring sales to quadruple.

Space Invaders was incidentally also the first ever official licensing for an arcade game on a home console. For the first time ever- an arcade title could be played in the comfort of your own home. Over 2 million units were sold in the first year of release.

Space Invaders was moreover one of the seminal titles which propelled the arcade machine from the bars and arcade venues to the department store and more mainstream locale. With games like Pac-Man soon to follow, this pastime was markedly picked up by a more mature audience. The average person began to take notice, changing the arcade game from beyond a novelty into a serious global industry. 

That is to say people actually stood in line for hours to patiently wait to have a game. And people watched other people play, perhaps a precursor to the massive LAN parties and multi million dollar competitions we see today driven by blockbuster titles such as Fortnite and Starcraft.

 GT Arcade Commercial-Grade Machines

GT Coffee Table Arcade Machine

The arcade machine which fits in any living space. It’s low and fully functional with a choice of games. All made by us in the U.K

From £995

GT Cocktail Arcade Table

This is a full size cocktail- style arcade machine with timeless design and is perfect for a spare corner in your living space.

From £995

GT 3-Sided Cocktail Arcade Table

The 3-sided version of our cocktail. The most affordable solution for allowing you to play the best console games from yesteryear.  

From £1395

GT Stand-Up Arcade Machine

A fully fledged upright arcade machine which is versatile choice for any arcade enthusiast. Tailor made to your liking.

From £995

Interesting Space Invaders Arcade Machine Facts

Even though a Space invaders arcade machine wasn’t the first shooting game with Space War coming out years earlier in 1961- it’s definitely the most cloned with over 100 variants in production.

An owner of one of these Space Invaders arcade machines could pay off the initial cost within a month which made it a no-brainer.

Space Invaders was the first Arcade Game to employ a high score leaderboard, a staple of any arcade game thereafter.

The first youth corrupting game?

With a new craze catching teenagers’ pocket money, parents and the public cooked up a storm. The Japanese Parents Teacher Association cited the game as promoting truancy. 

On North American shores, a new condition was identified called “Space Invaders Elbow”. Here in Britain- Labour MP George Foulkes deemed Space Invaders “deviant” with addictive properties. 

Conservative MP jumped to Space Invaders’ defence saying it was “Innocent and harmless pleasure” as he played it at the time. I guess nothing changes- the same argument rages now, although it’s hard to imagine the few pixels causing such an uproar compared to today’s high fidelity loot box ridden carnage.

The game was also seen by some as an invasion of Japanese culture upon the US audience. With Americans priding themselves on being the best and in conjunction with the automotive market’s sales and production of Japanese cars on Western shores, the Japanese economic growth was threatening. 

The new age of the consoles is coming

The VCS release of Space Invaders was to prop up the home console sales until the crash of ’83 thanks to a dearth of bad or uninteresting games and consumers simply lost faith (the final straw being the unplayable and landfilled E.T. The Extra Terrestrial). 

This was until the Nintendo Entertainment System came out to bring a new era of home consoles which has perpetuated ever since. This cemented the Japanese as the nation which created the best arcade games which also threatened the American identity.

A Space Invaders arcade machine and Popular culture- when does a game cross boundaries?

The aliens are so iconic, they are as well known as the Coca Cola brand and as such are used in mainstream and subversive media alike.A

Don’t Be A Space Invader

As used by Highways England to warn drivers to keep back. This works on a lot of levels aside from the obvious text.

Invader

A guerilla artist who creates a Space Invaders alien mosaic in various cities in the world.

MOMA

The Museum Of Modern Art is to include a Space Invaders arcade machine as part of its permanent collection.

Guinness

The Guinness World Of Records entitled the most popular game of all time thanks to its artistic merit and technological advancements.

Heinz Invaders

Heinz released a series of Space Invaders themed foods. We bet they taste out of this world!

The most obscure Space Invaders arcade machines.

There have been over 100 different versions of Space Invaders, making it Taito’s most profitable piece of Intellectual Property to date earning the company millions from not only games but also from merchandise. But here’s a look at the lesser known Space Invaders games.

Space Invaders Arcade Machine Beat Attacker

Space Invaders The Beat Attacker

Marking the 30th anniversary of Space Invaders- one to three players can partake in shooting aliens by stomping on big buttons on the floor to fire a bullet up the massive screen. There were only around 500 machines made

Space Invaders Arcade Machine Frenzy

Space Invaders Frenzy

Primarily another redemption game but it can be played without spewing tickets. Imagine Space Invaders on a big screen with a fixed light gun and a twisted take on the Space Invaders we know and love. It certainly has the wow factor and screen size to draw people in

Space Invaders Arcade Get Even

Space Invaders Get Even

This is a relatively inexpensive title costing 500 points on the Wii where you take the role of an invading force and as the title says- you get even! Good fun- quite a departure from the usual gameplay but is a good take on a beloved franchise.

Space Invaders Arcade Virtual Collection

Space Invaders Virtual Collection

This is a relatively inexpensive title costing 500 points on the Wii where you take the role of an invading force and as the title says- you get even! Good fun- quite a departure from the usual gameplay but is a good take on a beloved franchise.

Space Invaders Arcade Pepsi

Pepsi Invaders (Coke-Wins)

This is a strange one- Coca Cola commissioned a special version of the game for executives where they couldn’t lose. Apparently only 125 are in existence. Instead of the usual aliens, players shoot lines spelling Pepsi. This would be the first instance of advertising used in video games.

Space Invaders Arcade x Pac-man

Space Invaders X Pac-Man

This game was only available for approximately 1 month on Japan’s NTT DoComo service. This was also made to celebrate Namco’s 50th birthday as well as Pac-Man’s 25th. This game is a crossover which featured the games’ characters in the other games.

Space Invaders Arcade Pinball

Space Invaders Pinball

This is a relatively inexpensive title costing 500 points on the Wii where you take the role of an invading force and as the title says- you get even! Good fun- quite a departure from the usual gameplay but is a good take on a beloved franchise.

Space Invaders Arcade world war

Space Invaders World War

This is also somewhat of a curiosity. This was a Flash-based worldwide multiplayer title created as a competition between countries to see which would get the high score. The game was live for just over a year and was created as a 30 year anniversary of Taito’s most well known IP.

Space Invaders Arcade vs arkanoid

Arkanoid vs Space Invaders

This game was only available for approximately 1 month on Japan’s NTT DoComo service. This was also made to celebrate Namco’s 50th birthday as well as Pac-Man’s 25th. This game is a crossover which featured the games’ characters in the other games.