DIY Arcade Coffee Table – DINGO SYSTEM!

I’d always wanted to have my very own arcade machine in my home. Unfortunately, they don’t look the best and would have to live in the man-cave, garage, or shed. After over a decade of dreaming, I set about building my own DIY Arcade Machine that could live happily in ANY living room.

Right This Minute - Arcade Coffee Table

US TV Show – Right This Minute – Arcade Coffee Table

After months designing, testing, re-designing, and almost giving up, I FINALLY came up with a DIY Coffee Table Arcade Machine that not only looked like a stylish and practical furniture piece but also secretly functioned as a super arcade machine. Now I was able to play all my favourites any time of day in the classic cocktail arcade style that I remembered them best.

Fast forward a few months from the build completion, I made a video that sort of went viral. I thought that was pretty cool. However, I was even more humbled, and well, rather stoked that it was picked up by the host of the US TV show, Right This Minute. He loved the table so much that he wanted to put it on his show. He even mentioned that he “…would buy one”. Happy days! Unfortunately, it’s a long way to send a table from an apartment in Australia across the Pacific, then the US; but the thought was nice.

Since the show was aired, I’ve made a few more for family and friends and have added a few cool features. The system now has 20 Consoles and has the option for PS3 style controllers to be used simultaneously with the 8-Button built-in controllers. The coolest feature (I think) is it also comes with a DUAL SCREEN option. You can play in the classic cocktail style OR hook it up to the living room television. There’s a playing style to cover everyone’s needs – choose to sit back and be snug into your couch using the PS3 controllers viewing the TV, or sit upright using the built-in arcade style controllers and view the large 32″ table monitor… or a combination simultaneously.

Dual screen Arcade Coffee Table

Dual Controllers + Dual Screen in Action

I’m really proud of making this build and as the host mentions, “[I’m] NOT A PROFESSIONAL!“. Just a regular guy who finally got off his butt and followed through with a silly little dream. Another proud moment was that the table was largely built on the front step of my small apartment using limited tools and a great deal of improvisation. I recommend having a really supportive girlfriend and awesome neighbours.

The build started with a vision, which led to some sketchy drawings, followed by some crude maths. I then reverse engineered and pretty much filled in the blanks. I can’t tell you how many times I had to re-start or redo things; much of the first build was trial and error. It was a game of millimetres and angles but I was ecstatic when it all came together. Fitting a 32″ monitor into a small space which also had to house two large wooden controllers with protruding joysticks and buttons was no easy feat. It would have been relatively easy to build a cocktail style arcade machine, but I was determined to build a coffee table that looked, felt, and functioned every bit a coffee table but had a little secret. That meant NO joysticks or buttons popping out the top or sides; they would have to be hidden in what appears to be regular sliding drawers.

I don’t have any professional experience in woodwork or electronics, but learned a lot from this experience. It just goes to show that if you put your mind to something, you really can achieve anything. One of the most rewarding aspects is that it’s been almost a year since I built my first table and I still play it almost every day. Long live the inner child!

I’ve since made a website which has a heap of pictures and other videos of the table in action. Feel free to check it out. Currently, the table is not for sale and I’m not ready to build these things for others at this point. Perhaps one day I’ll have my own workshop and time to build these fun projects on a larger scale. Just happy with what I have created and refined. It’s really just for a bit of fun. Check out the video below and thanks for reading, viewing, and sharing.