I first discovered Love Hultén, Swedish maker of wonderfully whimsical and retro-styled video-game consoles, in 2013. At the time, his website was as rudimentary as they come, with a few cryptic photos of handmade wooden gaming systems, a contact form and not much else.
I told him we dug his stuff, and inquired as to whether our readers could purchase his creations.
“Most of my pieces can be cloned or reproduced for the right price,” he responded. “But I rather take custom specified preorders. I like to keep the customer close in the process, by weekly mail contact for example. That way I can customize objects for personal needs, and every piece gets unique somehow.”
Somewhere between now and then, things changed. Because while Hultén still takes custom orders, he also has a shop of elegant, home-improving arcade machines available for order, not to mention a dizzying list of museum and gallery exhibitions, press coverage and at least one appearance on the Tonight Show.
His latest creation is OriginX, a “handcrafted wooden tribute and a delicate homage to the Pong cabinet” that mounts to a wall. The console is housed in walnut, with a school bus-yellow facade and aluminum control panel.
But while the silhouette accurately replicates its forebear (see below), the functions surpass it by some distance: the OriginX can store over 10,000 classic-game emulators, which users can download online and then transfer to the unit via USB.
You'll be playing those games on a 19" 4:3 LCD screen, which Hultén has retrofitted with a custom distortion filter to mimic the look and feel of classic monitors. The system comes preloaded with MAME software, though you can also add the JAMMA board of your choice to expand the gaming options (retro-gaming novices: there's what the hell that means).
OriginX is now available for preorder, with just 50 units available. It will ship in August.
And if you'd like to contract Hultén for a custom project, he still very much offers that service as well. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org.