Beeps, Boops, and Paddles? Oh My!

As the title implies, those are just a few of the retro-feelies UNIS’s Pong coffee table will fill your home with. Alas, it is not all retro here my friends. Oh, no. UNIS ripped the classic game right out of its ATARI cartridge skin then stretched, molded, and modernized it into a sweet piece of functional furniture.

Sure, it comes with a price tag of $3000 (plus tax and fees). Yes, that is a trip to Disney. But, I’m about to explain to you why you may want to send your piggy bank hurling to the ground. (Sorry Disney)

The Pong coffee table looks like other video game tables from afar, but upon closer inspection, there is a glaring difference… No video screen. Yep, underneath that crystal clear glass top, you’ll find two physical paddles, one cube shaped puck, and a LED score display/clock. With the classic black field contrasting to the white paddles and puck, it all really seems to jump right out at you. The monochromatic theme is beautifully incorporated throughout the entire body as well. Large stripes that follow the flow of the body bookend a massive PONG logo on both sides as an awesome nod to the original cartridge.

Underneath the fold-down tops that sit on each side are the controls. The two dials, which are perfectly reimagined with the ATARI logo on top, sit in the middle joined by two orange buttons for play and two white buttons for 1-player and 2-player. That’s right folks, single player. You can play against the table itself and ramp up the difficulty! As for the dials, they are free spinning so there’s no need to have to come to a full stop and getting the paddle stuck. According to some participants, and the UNIS team, they do take some getting used to but once you get the feel for it you’re good to go.

Along with the controls, you will hear every boop and beep as the puck bounces its way back and forth across the board. The LEDs that go around the boarder will light up at the exact spot the puck hits and will flash when you score. Winning a game displays a dancing rainbow of lights along the boarder as well, all the while your score is displayed on the field. Need a sweet soundtrack to go along with your gaming session? UNIS has you covered there as well! They installed a bluetooth speaker that from what we’ve heard is pretty loud. Streaming music got your battery feeling a little run down? They got your back yet again with a USB charging port in the table.

Credit: Atari Pong Tutorials – Youtube

With no video screen, you’re probably wondering how it all works. The table actually houses a very serious, very mechanical, rail and pulley system. Riding along the rails are magnets that react to the player, the paddles, and the puck. The entire system runs like a well oiled machine and you can definitely tell by how smoothly everything glides around the table.

All of these bells and whistles may make the table sound like you need to put an extension on your house just to have a spot for it. You may even be calling your contractor right now. Relax. Hang up the phone. We said “coffee table”, remember? At roughly 4ft long, 2 1/2ft wide, and a mere 1 1/2ft tall it measures up to most ordinary coffee tables.

The only place that this beauty might not fit… is in your budget. But thats okay. Its a big investment. Maybe that trip to Disney is higher on the list and that piggy bank is looking good still in one piece. Or, maybe you’re getting ready to open another tab and purchase one for yourself. Either way, UNIS’s Pong coffee table is one of the most impressive analog games and feats modern engineering we have ever seen.

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Can’t see past the price tag? Fear not. UNIS also created a larger coinop arcade and a cocktail version (complete with cupholders). So keep an eye out in your local arcade/bar for your chance to play! Check them out here!

 


About the Author

Matt Johnson
I'm father to three girls, the other-half to my better-half, and the proud owner of rescued pitbull/good boy named Alphie. My nerd-love for video games old and new is only matched by love of all things tech!