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 Post subject: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 4:09 pm 



Joined: 04 Jul 2010
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Normally these discussions have been about arcades always having the best versions of games, but since 2000 the industry changed, developers quit, went console only or released their titles in japan while the US (and global) died out. Then we saw the rise in a number of titles that either got superior ports, exclusive home releases of just in general console gaming catching up and surpassing everything that arcades had to offer while their list of acceptable genres died off to the public.

I'd like to see what everyone's thought are on the playing field on the differences and where both sides of the gaming industry stand from each other today. One thing I can say though is when we 80's-90's folk couldn't find anything good anymore, we obviously had our shift to home content that did us more favors then even the amusement industry could ever realize being that we controlled what content we could access to, not to mention how much and how often we could play it.

Main points of topic discussion are:

Difference in demographics and acceptable genres per platform
Consumerism vs Operator/Distributor
Content access
Platform cross compatibility
Areas on freedom of explorability and character development vs timed level design
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Last edited by headlesshobbs on Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:47 pm 


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With PC gaming being bigger and more accessible than ever, exclusives are the only reason to buy a console these days. As for arcades, they might as wel be considered dead, but the odd barcade or lightgun setup is still fun when you can find one.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:19 pm 



Joined: 04 Jul 2010
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Barcades are.... well they're something I had a hope for when they were starting the trend and I was hoping for a true revival of the scene. Turns out that all they do is decorate the place with old classics and more popular titles rather then get anything that's newer and more modernized. Besides Stern Pinball, I think Raw Thrills only ever threw them a bone on Killer Queen and Tipsy Raccoons in scant locations, only capitalizing on the retro phenomenon, yet Japan and all the tourist spots get the good stuff (while prohibitively expensive however)

Also because of this, barcades are a pretty limp effort in comparison to what I experience in real arcades of the late 80's where there would be so many rare titles you'll never find any place. Of course I really can't say much on that considering they're all hiding in some collector's basement, not open to the general public. Only Galloping Ghost and such similar places would have that covered.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 10:12 pm 


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I'm pretty biased, as I resided in Japan for what I would consider the Arcade's last hoorah. I used to go home through Shibuya, and there was 7 - 8 arcades there, with decent competition for fighting games and of course some shooters and all kinds of other shit. Now, basically none. A few remnants remain but to say they are a shadow of their former selves is a vast undestatement.

Having said that, you'd think that being such a fan of alcohol that I am I'd be down the street (literally walking distance) all the time at Emporium, playing some classics for a quarter. My local has only 10-15 cabs, but the quality of titles on rotation is usually good (Super Contra, a Pac Man or two, Asteroids, etc.) but I've found in the states, the cabs are in piss poor shape and the difficulties raised in some cases. Basically, not worth it rather than a quick novelty, sadly.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2020 11:35 pm 



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I would have expected japan to be the stronghold in all this but covid did it's damage. Even more so because of how much newer games had been tied into revenue sharing. This gets me to worry that NESICA and Sega's ALL-NET might be on the fringes and I'd hate to see the games based on those network systems pulled.

Dev's did a great job of covering the home player over the years with all the Taito ports and such. If that were to become the only option, I don't see adapting as anything to be difficult long as there's still rollback and additional content like I've been reading about on many titles.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 12:00 am 


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I'm happy with the barcade we have downtown here. It has done good. Always a couple good cabs inthe 30 there. Played R-Type, Bubble Bobble, Hang-On, Raiden, Ghost 'n Goblins, Ms Pac-Man. And now they have a Street Fighter II Champion Edition one.

We regularly go there, it's one of our very favourite bars to hang out at. It's a 2 min walk from my place and I sometimes go by myself late afternoon/early evening and get a pint and play
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:40 am 



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So how do we feel about those changes in the industry and the games in general post 00's and beyond?

We still have these places that intend to bring gaming back to the public, but the majority of what I've been seeing (besides barcades) are chains like Dave & Busters, or the tourist locations where everything is either redemption and crane machines. What we used to have for our interests isn't there and they obviously don't put in the kind of games that suit our audience. Go look at Arcade Heroes and check the release lists to the US/UK where you'll see that for the most part the industry has moved on without giving to the so called hardcore gamers as there isn't any money to be made from them.

Fighting games and shmups are clearly out of the question these days and Eugene Jarvis hasn't really been impressing me all that much in spite of what he was made famous for even though Raw Thrills is doing well. Nex Machina was cancelled and the only exciting things they got are licensed racing and shooting games with the hose cannons kids seem to go crazy on.

I took another major note on the changes we've had in four decades and I tend to think that videogaming in the arcades has been somewhat more of a phase then I'd have realized. Amusements did clearly exist prior to even the first videogame and where pinball and skeeball were hugely popular, the crash of the 00's was enough to bring a majority of what was familiar to that era back in a form that's been evolved rather majorly. Most of these locations that rely on tourism focus on the attraction elements then core gamers and considering how covid has been beating on japan recently, I tend to believe they could see a possible recovery in this direction as well if they go that way.

I'm trying to get this thread back "On Topic" as opposed to following nostalgia trends is because the amusement industry clearly doesn't tend to stand with the interests of the audience that made it big once our generations became part of the scene. True gaming as opposed to what they give us and what the future holds in store where I could see it all split right down the middle. If a reference to that is needed, I'll toss up Injustice console vs the D&B's release as a good example. Hardcore gaming vs the most casual level of consumerism imaginable and this is being done to an industry we all cut our teeth on.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:55 am 


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It's still incredible how huge Street Fighter II was. To the point that it became its own genre somehow. The Neo-Geo practically survived off it alone. Has there been anything that big since Pong or Super Mario Brothers? Maybe Space Invaders and the shmup genre? Rhythm games?

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because the amusement industry clearly doesn't tend to stand with the interests of the audience that made it big once our generations became part of the scene. True gaming as opposed to what they give us


This is viewing the failure of arcades as a supply side problem, rather than a collapse in demand from being rendered obsolete problem.

When arcade games could provide something you couldn't get at home with your Atari 2600 or NES, they had a reason to exist. Come the SNES/MegaDrive era, they began to be less so. These days AAA games have budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars, you would have to be insane to put that money into an arcade game just to be able to compete and lose. (And thus the confluence of why rhythm games lived on in Japan - something with special hardware you can't get at home combined with software that's ludicrously cheap to develop.) Ports of multi-platform stuff is all that makes sense for them to do economically.

What it would take to get me to go somewhere out of my way to play arcade games as they exist now: They would have to cost me $0 to play. So, that means the provider would have to pay for my transportation, a nice -$30 or so net income a day for them. I don't think that's a good business model. Oh, and I'd quickly get bored of their limited selection and stop going.

What it would take to get me to go somewhere out of my way to play arcade games in exchange for money out of my wallet, as they could exist in the world of imagination: They would have to jam a spike into my brain and send me to a magical Matrix world or something. That's... really all that's left.

I would rather play a hundred games of skee-ball than what reality is offering on this front. Arcades were a special sometimes thing when I was a kid, that's all.

Quote:
Amusements did clearly exist prior to even the first videogame


There was a phase where I watched a bunch of yootoob videos on the topic of old mechanical games. Sega's stuff, mechanical Duck Hunt...

They kind of remind me of Tiger LCD games, in a sort of way. In how rigid and simple they tend to be.


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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:09 am 



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I also played that Shoot the Bear game and it really dumbfounded me as to how this stuff was even popular at the time.

Ares (Avoiding the Puddle) had a pretty nice summery when he talked about his time working at one of the biggest arcade chains during the high point and he said the main reasons arcades died was "because nobody was playing them". I didn't see this comment as shocking because outside of every mall location or any area mean to run these places, I would always see an empty cabinet, no matter what type of game it was. People were just dead set on not either wanting to spend any money, or they had something at home that interests them. Also one of the bigger main issues was how specific games you look for are like finding a needle in a haystack. The operator and area distributor really wanted you to play what they think earns them money, but if you wanted Nam, you're @#$% out of luck! Plus all the games they cover and advertised in gaming mags... 90% of everything they covered, you'll be lucky if you ever had a chance to play them once!

I argued the need for arcade and game locators for years, but we never had systems for that in place and anything that gets posted is outdated or the place is closed. This makes me think on how being on the consumer side we at least get to control our shit since the money guys would feel it's better off running a business and making money.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:20 pm 



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A bit off topic, but I think Sony/Microsoft or Nintendo could make coffee shops with arcade machines in them.

Kind of like a Starbucks arcade. They killed the arcades and never did anything to replace them with anything. I personally miss arcade gaming and whilst in the USA and Australia where homes are huge and you can fit 3 steering wheels and flight simulator, in the UK you just can't do that.

I'd love to see some machines that push the boundaries of AAA graphics in a 10 minute ride. We have little reason to go out these days and socialize.

The scene is only dead because those in power don't want to invest. The PS5/Xbox X is more than powerful to run the show.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:20 pm 


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It's been discussed here before - many times - but the kind of culture that would drive the modern arcade is still around. It's just all online. Kids that might have been playing Samurai Spirits in 1993 are playing Fortnite today.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 7:56 pm 


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headlesshobbs wrote:
I would have expected japan to be the stronghold in all this but covid did it's damage. Even more so because of how much newer games had been tied into revenue sharing. This gets me to worry that NESICA and Sega's ALL-NET might be on the fringes and I'd hate to see the games based on those network systems pulled.

Dev's did a great job of covering the home player over the years with all the Taito ports and such. If that were to become the only option, I don't see adapting as anything to be difficult long as there's still rollback and additional content like I've been reading about on many titles.


They were done long before that... at least in terms of what most people here consider arcade games. There's a few holdouts around Tokyo, but it's been a shadow of it's former self for many years now. I think the closing of Shibuya Kaikan was the writing on the wall.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:16 pm 


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So many roadblocks for on location core gaming these days. What can be done?

One problem is regulations for amusement machines. It's a hassle to get machines into compliance. I have no idea how we can get this patchwork of local laws changed. The laws are outdated and based on an arcade business that no longer exists. If games are going to be a quarter in America, we need a tax break.

There's the economics problem. The value of coins has decreased due to inflation. There's no reasonable established value for a game. In the United States, a quarter for a game is far too cheap for operators to make profit, pay for proper maintenance, and invest in new machines. Cover charges and alcohol sales seem to be the most popular answer right now, but cover charges discourage frequent visits. The answer should be the "dollar" coin, but will gamers pay that much?

I'm a huge fan of pinball and I love the rebirth of the industry (if they can just hold on with this pandemic!). It's not what it was, but new pinball tables are the only games I loved to "go out" and play (before this pandemic); new silverball tables still excite me like they did decades ago. From what I've seen, pinball has made a successful transition to one dollar/quid/euro games. I expect to pay a dollar. Can video games follow? I have my doubts. Pinball is a unique experience. New pinball tables are full of toys and gimmicks--and I love it. Also, new tables feel fresh; while, new video games often struggle to have individual character. I have no idea how new core video games can build value. (Ironic that on-site pinball machines have outlasted the video game, isn't it?)

I have been out to "cover charge" arcades/barcades all over America and the competition on classic titles is pathetic. There's almost nobody to play with (unless you brought your friends). In co-op, my partner (if there is one) is usually credit spamming; I can barely hear the game sounds effects over the sad repeating refrain of their avatar's death sound. In fighting games, people rarely step up and most quit after one game: shaking their heads with a sheepish smile. I don't know how new games can attract enough people to make things interesting.

How do you get core gamers to come out and play? Multiplatform games with cross platform online play could work, but does that mean shoving an Xbox or Playstation into a cab? Most people would just play online at home.

I know I'm not saying anything new; just throwing the issues out for discussion.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2020 11:23 pm 



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headlesshobbs wrote:
WelshMegalodon wrote:
With PC gaming being bigger and more accessible than ever, exclusives are the only reason to buy a console these days.

I don't find this to be true for me whatsoever. For me it breaks down like this:

Console: Insert disc, wait +/-3 hours to copy over (might have to hit "OK" on a 'small' ~120gb update even if the game has only been out for like 8 hours), hit X to start game.

PC: Double, quadruple, quintuple? check your system meets the minimum requirements. Purchase, download game, spend a couple hours googling the correct video setting, curse out game for not playing at 400 FPS at 8,000,000 x 32,000,000 pixels. Take out 2nd mortgage on house. Visit preferred online computer hardware vendor and drop a couple thousand on the newest and greatest video card setup (soon to be outdated and loose half it's value in 3-4 months when the new model comes out), wait a couple days to a week+ for it to arrive. Install said video card, then curse out the power supply for no longer being strong enough for the new power hungry video card, take out 3rd mortgage and repeat steps 4-8. Oh, and make sure to spend a couple hours bitching on Discord or where ever about how the game wasn't 'optimized' properly before it was released... lol


I'm exaggerating and making fun with the above of course, but this is actually exactly at the core of why I don't want to own a high-end gaming PC, not even remotely. I want something that is pretty much plug and play for the entire duration of it's lifecycle (last two generations of Xbox and Playstation have been around 7 years each), where I can play every AAA game released (I've never, ever, wanted to play any game that wasn't available on a console) in that time period without having to upgrade anything or mess with any settings.

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To the OP question about arcades, I'm actually wondering who was actually highly involved with Arcade life... and if this entire topic might be kinda a really, really, slim section of the population (and definitely a bit older).

I ask because the heyday/golden era of Arcades was supposed to be late 70's to 1983 or something like that, right? Then it was supposed to have had a revival starting around/with SSFII in 1993? ...but who was actually involved in that later period either? I like to believe that I lived in the 'mecca' of quintessential suburban life (lived right between New York City and Philadelphia, in THE most densely populated suburbia in the entire USA), and grew up in the 80's and 90's. Arcades were never, ever, a thing here, nor for anybody I knew in the entire tri-state area. They were a fluke (albeit cool) rare-ish thing you might see in a room in a mall with them (where you parents might drop you off at the mall for a movie with friends once every other week, maybe once a month - i.e. not often), go to a birthday party at Chucky Cheese, or go to the boardwalk in Wildwood (New Jersey shore, no, not that shore fyi). Not really a thing anybody did, or even have availability to do since there weren't arcades around us. There were however nearly always one or two old crappy cabs in nearly every restaurant waiting area while we waited to be seated with our parents on Friday go-out-night dinner, but those were always so jacked-up they barely count.

So who was actually into these? All my reminiscence is about the few times we actually had free rein for a like 2-hour paid period at a birthday party or whatever. You have to remember in the 80's if you were a 16-year old working you were making $3.xx/hour so $0.25 per game wasn't too affordable (especially when we all sucked, due to lack of places to practice... even if we had the money). Hell, me and my brothers used to get $2.00 per week allowance... think it topped out at like $5 in the early 90's... I sure wasn't spending all of that for like ~30 minutes total time in an arcade before I ran out of money. By the time I was in my 20's I was certainly at a bar or club and not at an arcade (if I could even find an arcade).

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To bring this back full circle to today: you aren't getting me out of my house, with my comfy couch, 65" TV, snacks and alcohol at the ready, and pretty much every single console ever made from NES to PS4/XBO (haven't found a PS5 to buy yet...). So I don't know what sort of arcade-like place would get me out of my house - especially if I had to pay per session.

Even if the experience at this new arcade was as 'drastically' different than is is today on a super-high-end PC vs. a measly PS4 Pro/PS5 (like the arcade versions of yesteryear trumped the console versions for years and years), that difference probably wouldn't be great enough to get me moving either (and TBH I'm SUPER happy with PS4/XBO graphics, couldn't care if they were just a bit better).

Closest thing which also got me moving was the Microsoft demo place in NYC which was supposed to be amazing and super high-tech... but hour+ drive each way just to play video games, traffic into the city, paying $40+ for parking didn't exactly make me want to go.

Second to that is barcades, where there's alcohol at least, but I'm not much for bars regardless so again, not super psyched to go to a place like that anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:21 am 



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WelshMegalodon wrote:
It's been discussed here before - many times - but the kind of culture that would drive the modern arcade is still around. It's just all online. Kids that might have been playing Samurai Spirits in 1993 are playing Fortnite today.


I'm not sure if Fortnite's a thing with the 80's crowd. That's like asking someone to go from Diablo to Runescape.

Dochartaigh wrote:
Console: Insert disc, wait +/-3 hours to copy over (might have to hit "OK" on a 'small' ~120gb update even if the game has only been out for like 8 hours), hit X to start game.


LOL!! Newer consoles right? :lol:

Quote:
To the OP question about arcades, I'm actually wondering who was actually highly involved with Arcade life... and if this entire topic might be kinda a really, really, slim section of the population (and definitely a bit older).


I've been in this scene four decades and running, unfortunately I never was part of the city life and very lucky the two towns near me had a cab or three between every grocery, laundry mat, shopping stores, etc. The early 80's made everyone want to have something around, so I wasn't in short supply but you don't get the really good stuff without going to some heavy populated area where living within city limits nets you 1-2 arcades per mall and several dedicated locations to cover everything. There's more dead space then city life in the states, so depending on your residence, you may only get the more popular titles and miss out on the best games.

The closest "small" city location near me had a mall arcade in the early 80's that closed out for the longest time until after SF2 became popular and we finally got it back. Otherwise I'd go by this skate arena that had a really nice collection on the side and even got my hands on Xenophobe considering how rare it was.


Edit:

May as well ask is System 16 really done doing updates with that site?? This really sucks we don't have info any of the new system listings when we have the current fighting games out there, including DOA returning to the scene.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 1:55 am 



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I'm still wondering what the mindset was of most people when we got to the end of the 00's. Global VR didn't do a thing to keep the industry afloat, developers were porting their titles to PS3/360/Wii, kiddie machines were the established money maker of the bigger places that still remained in operation and youtube replaced the majority of it's "arcade" search results with shit channels like Clawkicker and Plushtimewins. I think this put most dead set on the fact that arcades really do suck and what came home was the real deal.

Arcade Heroes recently brought up the remake of Gimmick and many posts were asking when this game comes home. It truly runs counter with what EXA was trying to achieve in getting exclusive content on the scene, because this shows that folks just won't be willing to support the arcades in any case unless the number of cabinets in the wild are enough to have games almost always available.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2021 7:38 pm 


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Why do you think it's a supply issue and not an obsolescence issue? The evidence seems overwhelming for it.

Even if the perfect arcade existed at the local mall, with every game ever made in its library, from masterpieces like Custer's Revenge to Summon Night 5, it's 30 minutes of time and $15 tax overhead just getting there and back. I could get in a car crash, or lose my data card with my Summon Night savefile and crucial Custer's Revenge high scores on it, or get lice or a disease or something.


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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:10 pm 



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I guess I wish there was a happy middle like 80s home computers. Things like the MSX where you could jam the cartridge in and play. Or the other way around like the Dreamcast where you could use it as a general purpose computer. We seem to have zeroed-in on the worst possible technology (IBM PC compatibles? really?)

That being said I'm glad the market is moving towards general purpose computing. It's more ethical.


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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:03 pm 


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BryanM wrote:
Why do you think it's a supply issue and not an obsolescence issue? The evidence seems overwhelming for it.

Even if the perfect arcade existed at the local mall, with every game ever made in its library, from masterpieces like Custer's Revenge to Summon Night 5, it's 30 minutes of time and $15 tax overhead just getting there and back. I could get in a car crash, or lose my data card with my Summon Night savefile and crucial Custer's Revenge high scores on it, or get lice or a disease or something.


I dunno, we've got an arcade club maybe 20 miles from me, and I've spent a good six hours a time there. Paying the cover charge for everything set to free play is literally a childhood dream come true.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:57 pm 



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I'd love to take a trip to Galloping Ghost at some point.

Sad that we can't do the daily fee for any newer games as operators would be hell bent on charging $1-3 per credit to make their investments back. Of course I had this idea where if you're doing the all day play setup, you should be able to make do with console/cabinet combo hybrids as we have a ton of games ported 2-3 generations back and many of the fighting games are better off being console based. It would be far too expensive and a headache trying to get dedicated cabinets as japan screwed us pretty hard in that department.

I've always wanted to see ways that console game centers can be combined with arcades and using whatever that shares between the two would make it possible.
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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 4:57 am 



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Even though I grew up in the heyday ( 80s ) of the arcade, I remember being partial to whatever console I had back then. I took pride in my consoles. It was either a Nintendo or Sega. Nowadays, arcades in the States aren't really a thing, so this comparison doesn't make much sense in today's age. I mean, there are places like Ghost Arcade in Chicago that Ive been to twice, but these kind of places are few. I will say though, that in the old days, consoles were obviously superior graphically. Now console ports are normally the "superior"" version. Battle Garegga for instance is a more recent example. Unless you're a hardcore pcb collector , why would anyone buy the crazy priced pcb version when there's an amazing M2 definitive version on PS4?


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 Post subject: Re: Where's your thoughts on arcades vs consoles/PC today?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2021 8:45 am 



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It's all about dem "purists"

Even EXA is trying to make a point on that with the games that are already out.
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