A variety of Software and Emulators allow you to play a huge number of arcade, console and PC games on a computer. Software is used as a foundation on a home arcade machine will generally consists of an emulator(s) to run software (called roms) on a computer and a front-end to provide a menu system to allow players to select from a list of games. Recently, the desire for multiple uses of an arcade cabinet and/or enhancing the game-playing experience have brought about the use of additional software, perhaps to play a PC game, allow use of the cabinet as a jukebox, or for lighting and configuration enhancements.
Software has gone through great leaps and bounds since the inception of this hobby. As an example, in the late 90's, a common route many people were choosing was PC2Jamma. Typically, MAME was used as a game emulator, ArcadeOS as the front-end, and DOS as the operating system, since this allowed the use of real arcade monitors. Since then, hardware has been developed to make using an arcade monitor from other operating systems simple, and more complex front-ends and emulators have been developed to utilize PC hardware better.
Arcade, Console and Computer Emulators
- Arcade Emulators
- Game Consoles
- Handheld Consoles
- Home Computers
- Computer Components
- Other Emulation
Front-Ends & Menu Systems
Jukebox, Music and Multimedia
Emulators require ROM image files to work. The ROM files contain game data such as program code, grahics and sound. Be aware that many ROM images contain copyrighted material. See this Wikipedia section for more information about the legal status of ROM images. Note that it is not allowed to post ROM image requests on the BYOAC forum. Many other arcade hobby related sites follow this rule too.
If you have a PC powering your cabinet, you might as well try a few other games to play on it.