As a kid exploring the country, I always wished I could have found viking coins, a rusty sword, or a rare Sega arcade cabinet.
Ok, that last part isn’t true, in fact, I never even knew stuff like this could just randomly turn up in the countryside. Cutting-edge arcade cabinets from the ’90s don’t usually crop up while walking the dog!
If they did, I’d never get anything done!
As far as historical finds goes, this one blows Sutton Hoo out of the water. Found abandoned in the middle of a Northern Irish field, this Sega R360 gyroscope-inspired cabinet looks as though it’s certainly seen better days.
I thought it was a prop from a Star Wars film when I first saw it, but then I realised that it was something much better!
In a field close to County Antrim, fellow retro-gaming enthusiast Lee Peters spotted the sorry-looking cabinet and took a closer inspection. Having spent many happy years playing on R360s during his childhood, it’s fair to say that he made the find of his life!
Rare Sega Arcade Cabinet Is The Ultimate Find Of 2021
It might not look like much in its current state above, but this rare Sega arcade cabinet was revolutionary back in the 90s. Imagine stepping into the first-ever immersive cabinet that could rotate 360 degrees.
It didn’t even matter that you couldn’t actually go upside down, this thing made it feel as though gamers were actually pilots exploring space!
But why is the R360 such a rare Sega arcade cabinet, and why is this find such a big deal?
Only 200 of these units made it to production, probably fewer. And that’s not 200 in the U.K, that’s 200 for the whole world! These cabinets started out in Japan in 1990 and ended up being shipped across the world after they proved a huge success.
The main problem was the cost. Groundbreaking commercial successes tend to have a meaty price tag, and the R360 was no exception. This machine cost five-times more than other Sega machines of the time, but it still garnered praise from gamers and critics alike along with commercial success in the industry.
What Games Did The R360 Ship With?
Take a minute to check out what this rare Sega arcade cabinet looked like back in its heyday. It’s just like the gunner chairs that Luke and Han use in the Millennium Falcon!
These cabinets had two games; ‘G-LOC: Air Battle’ which resembled After Burner, one of the best Master System games, and ‘Wing War’, which was a cabinet exclusive.
Unfortunately, I don’t know whether this cabinet will be capable of playing either of these titles anymore, but there’s no reason why gamers couldn’t pretend… Larpers do it all the time!
Where Could This Rare Sega Arcade Cabinet Have Come From?
The jury’s still out as to a definitive answer, though the word in the field is that this R360 may have come from an Ulster arcade after it closed down. Doing a bit of Sherlock work, it’s possible it could have been moved to a shed in a farmers field and just left there.
How many people have room for a 2,000lb arcade cabinet in their house? Most garages would be too small too!
Yes, it looks like this cabinet stood disused while the shed disintegrated around it, leaving Sega’s pride and joy exposed to the will of the elements.
And it looks like the element’s will was pretty rough!
If only the previous owner had known how expensive and rare this thing was. They could have been charging nerds from all over the country £1 to have a go for the past 20-odd-years!
Like a UFO in the middle of a busy car park, seeing an arcade cabinet popular in 1990’s Japan in an Irish field looks so bizarre. These cabinets rarely left SegaWorld arcades, so how it ended up in Northern Ireland is a mystery…
The R360 looks pretty haggard, but Lee Peters maintains he will return with a large van and take the cabinet away. He has vowed to return it to its former glory, and who knows, maybe he will. With some welding, electrics, and a good clean, this thing could be playing Wing War before we know it!
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Seb Santabarbara has bought every Nintendo console that has ever been released in his 31 years on Planet Earth. His favourite game franchise is Zelda, and he’s patiently waiting for Banjo-Kazooie to come back to the fold. When he’s not playing games, he’s travelling the world in his self-converted camper van.