Pushing Your Buttons
While these days in the home our console controllers have just a ton of buttons on them. Back when arcades were the king and the main way people experienced video games the button layout of arcades was actually very simple. As the years progressed arcade games would get more and more complex and would require more buttons in order to make the games work properly.
These days when you are building a home arcade machine. It is highly likely that you will go for that six button, Street Fighter II style layout of arcade buttons. As this pretty much covers you for the majority of arcade games that have been released over the years. Although sometimes if you have your home arcade machine focused on just 80’s games then you many want to go for a more basic three button layout on your cabinet.
Looking back we can see how the button layout on arcade machines has changed over the years.
1 and 2 Button Games
When we look back at games like Space Invaders and Donkey Kong they would just need the one button to let you shoot or jump. This was the case for many arcade games in the early 80’s and truth be told for more than a few as the 80’s drew to an end. For many of these classic old school games, a joystick and just one button were more than enough.
Two button games started to get really popular when games would be made where you would need a character to both jump and have some kind of attack. Arcades would most of the time come in two ways when it came to two button machines. You would have your arcade machines that would have the two buttons side by side, but you would also have some arcade machines that would have the buttons in slightly different positions.
3 and 4 Button Games
There are some arcade games that do offer a three button arcade cabinet, but these are really far more uncommon than the two button games. Most of the time these three button arcade cabinets were Jamma cabinets where an arcade could easily swap one game out with another and having that extra button covered them in case a future game would need a third button. As far as four button arcade cabinets go we are talking about gaming juggernauts SNK. Their arcade machines made great use of their 4 button system something that they would use as long as they made arcade machines!
The 6 Button Layout
These days thanks to Street Fighter most home arcades will have that six button layout with three buttons on top and three at the bottom. Having a six button layout on your arcade machine makes it so you can play all of the fighting games no matter who they are from. And while the button layout may be a little different at least you are able to play them and execute all of the moves.
Konami & Midway
We already talked about how SNK liked to use the same button layout, but other studios would also like to use the same button layout on multiple machines. Konami would also do this for many of their arcade cabinets. For example their side scrolling beat em up games like Ninja Turtles, Simpsons, Buck O Hare and so on all use that same staggered two button layout.
Midway created an interesting five button lay out that they would use for their Mortal Kombat game. Although when Mortal Kombat 3 was released a 6th button was added. Midway would also use this same button layout for a few of their other games such as WWF Wrestlemania, War Gods and even when Mortal Kombat went 3D with Mortal Kombat 4.
Customise Your Home Arcade Button Layout
Here at DIY Arcade we have a tremendous selection of arcade buttons for you guys to make your home arcade machine fit your style. We have your standard buttons in a variety of colours to fit your cabinet, but if you want to spice things up then check out our cool illuminated buttons. And if you want to really make your machine pop then try out our chrome plated illuminated buttons!