I did a few forum searches and didn’t get any hits. Sorry if this has been posted/discussed already (if so, link appreciated).
Has anyone been seriously considering alternatives to arcades?
I know some players around here go to a cyber/net cafe which features a rather large plasma screen TV and is hooked up to a console system. Apparently with a membership you’re charged an hourly fee for usage of the TV, and they let you hook whatever system/game and custom arcade sticks you want to it. I’m sure the service is meant specifically for the TV usage, but the players certainly are allowed to do with it as they will.
As said, this idea isn’t mine. Some players already do this on a regular basis and it seems to work rather well.
Personally I think it’s a great idea.
Net cafe’s usually already offer lan party/tournament services for other competitive video game genre’s. The difference of support for 2D and 3D fighters would only be a few minor equipment add-ons.
Though, I think it might be more successful if the cafe actually intended to offer this service as though it were an arcade – including supplying all necessary equipment and featuring promotional offers. And of course, more successful if it was a widespread practice.
Net cafe’s are already successful independantly, and the additional cost and risk of adding console support would be minimal.
Better yet, if arcades were to start adding this same/similar service.
One might question why you’d pay anything for that service when you can get the same thing at home. Well, not everyone has a gigantic plasma screen TV in their home (I’m talking HUGE), or multiple custom made sticks that work for multiple systems and all versions of all the latest games. If arcades or net cafe’s were to actually intend to provide and promote this service, it’d stand to reason that they’d also intend to provide the full service and not half ass it.
Additionally, it wouldn’t be intended to take the place of home play, but rather take the place of dying arcade play, and part of the purpose of arcade play is for casuals between random people, rather than pre-arranged matches. EG. being able to show up whenever you want and play against random people, as apposed to a pre-arranged date with people you know.
Of course, there’s more to arcades than just that, such as being accessible during regular hours on weekdays and weekends (as apposed to home life which isn’t always accessible). The purpose of an arcade or net cafe with console support would be to emulate the 2D and 3D fighting game arcade experience, not the home experience.
For arcades, the cost of said equipment is vastly cheaper than purchasing an arcade cabinet, which is even more apparent when multiple games are supported by the same equipment (making the equipment a one time only purchase for universal use between games). This is obvious to anyone who purchases their own consoles and has ever seen the price of a brand new cabinet.
Arcades are already losing money and slowly dying out, or at least their support for fighters certainly is. I would think that any potential viable and/or profitable alternative would be something to seriously consider, even if it’s just an add-on rather than a total conversion.
This would help on the cost of keeping the arcade alive. Many arcades can’t afford games or can’t justify the risk of purchasing a game that may turn out bad. I would think it’d actually generate a profit.
I don’t know of the legality of any of this, though… Perhaps legality issues are why arcades haven’t started supporting consoles after all these years?
Does anyone know if arcades can legally support consoles and charge for that service?
Can anyone think of other alternatives?