You should pick the cabinet style you wanna go with, and specify what hardware your planning on using… Dreamcast ? or Naomi ? Mame ?
Most American style cabinets are made from MDF and lumber, you can purchase plans from the Mame room guy, or use a model from Google sketch up, modify it for yourself and get measurements and work from there…
There are also “modern” japanese style cabinets like the Noir and Vewlix, both are awesome in my opinion. Donovan Myers site lists his costs and stuff.
Assuming you have a console and a tv, and a hackable controller and all you really need to do is build your cabinet, then your cost could be as low as 200.00 USD.
If you’re looking for a cab to play MVC2 on and want to use the actual arcade version your best bet would be to buy a used cabinet. You should be able to search craigslist and find a working JAMMA cab in your area. This will probably set you back anywhere from $150 to $700.
You may want to see if anyone has a cabinet with a NAOMI unit in it already… examples would be MVC2 cabs themselves or Capcom vs SNK cabs.
Assuming you don’t find a cab with a NAOMI unit in it your going to need 3 items to get your cab ready to play MVC2
You will need the NAOMI system iteself… this will set you back around $100, You’ll also need a I/O converter to convert the NAOMI to JAMMA standard. The most desired of these is the Capcom I/O… you may be able to find a NAOMI bundled with this unit… if not it will cost around $80-120 itself.
The third thing you’ll need is the MVC2 cart… this will run you about $200
Back to the cab, the reason I recommend buying a used cabinet is simply because a used cab is almost always going to cost you less than a new monitor, and if you’re planning on running the actual arcade game your going to need the cab, the monitor, the power supply, and a JAMMA harness… all these items would be included in a used cab and save you a lot of trouble
-As far as the cabinet goes, your best best is going to be your local craigslist, you can also try eBay and search by distance. On craigslist you’ll probably have to search through a lot of listings for “xbox 360 arcade” etc… but search through a few pages and you should come across a few deals.
-For the NAOMI system you have 3 basic options I know of. One is eBay where you’ll pay around $250 for a NAOMI with I/O, the second is looking around on the Arcade Otaku trading forum (I’d link it but I think you have to be registered to see the trading forum)… you’ll probably save a bit of money there but about 75% of the users there are in the UK so shipping might kill some of the deals. The third option is yahoo japan auctions… ??? ??? - Yahoo???
You can get some great bargains there but you’ll have to use translation tools and then use a bid agent like celga.com
For example I bought my NAOMI and Capcom I/O for 9,000yen (about $100)… I paid about $35 in fees to celga and then had it shipped along with 2 games for about $40…
-As for the game itself it typically goes for about $150-200 on YJA and around $200-250 on eBay so those would be about even after fees. One bonus about buying on YJA though is you can pick up some other NAOMI games super cheap… Guilty Gear X and Capcom VS SNK will run about $20 each and Rival Schools 2 will run you about $40
The first item is for the first MVC… its on a CPS2 board which is an earlier cart system than the NAOMI so it’s not what your looking for
the second item is a NAOMI I/O… its the sega version though which isn’t as desired as the capcom version
this is a picture of my NAOMI setup P1000861 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
the silver box is the Capcom I/O and its sitting on top of the main NAOMI unit
the cart in the system is my Capcom VS SNK cart
As far as making your own cabinet, this is a possibility, however the monitor is still going to be the Achilles heel of any savings… The NAOMI can output VGA 640x480… so you could seek out a used large computer monitor (CRT) instead of going for a CGA or TRI-SYNC arcade monitor.
I have seen NAOMI units running on LCD monitors over the VGA cable but you’d have to make sure the LCD was capable of showing a PC style 640x480 signal…
You’d also need a power supply. You can find one for around $30 from most arcade suppliers and a JAMMA harness which will run you about $15
You’d then need to attach the power lines to the power supply, hook up the control lines to whatever buttons you use, and hook up your coin unit.
If you’re using a VGA monitor instead of an arcade monitor you could skip hooking up the R/G/B/S/G wires on the harness as you’ll be hooking the NAOMI directly to the VGA port on the NAOMI
It’s fairly easy to switch carts, you just unscrew the 4 screws, pop out the cart, put the new one in and screw it down
I’ve tried doing it without the screws and have gotten communication errors, so always screw it in.
As for my avatar, its from an old comic book Jim Mahfood did