For people who don’t know what MAME is, it’s an arcade emulator created for Microsoft Windows in 1997. In short, what it did was allow any PC owner to play all those classic arcade games. video games of the past, right on your computer.
After MAME became really big for the PC, arcade cabinet manufacturers decided that it would be a good financial idea to use the MAME emulator on real arcade cabinets. Of course, no matter how fun gaming was on the computer, it was a million times better on a gaming cabinet. There was no comparison when it came to playing the game the way it was initially intended. Playing Double Dragon on PC just couldn’t compete with it.
It really was the perfect idea. You can store thousands of games, if needed, in a single cabinet. The sheer convenience plus the ability to save a huge amount of money was too much for players to say no to.
The real advantage of MAME arcade machines is that you don’t need the newest and most expensive technology to create one. The internal computer doesn’t have to be the best, because most of the older arcade games just didn’t require that much memory.
Now for the purists out there. I am referring to those who have been collecting arcade machines since they hit the mainstream, MAME arcade machines are seen as second class. For die-hard purists, owning the original machine with its original artwork, buttons, joystick is the only Way to collect arcade games.
Do you have a point? Absolutely, they do! No matter how cool a MAME machine is, there’s still no substitute for the feeling you get when you see a dock full of old arcade games. The MAME machine just can’t compete with that site.
However, one thing is for sure: MAME arcade machines are here to stay and are an important part of this business/hobby.