Arcade parts in retail stores?


#1

How would you feel if a national retailer started selling Sanwa and other arcade parts in store?


#2

like a boss


#3

probably BROKE…lol. the only reason i don’t buy as much right now (and i still have almost 40 buttons with no stick project) is that i have to wait to get my buttons…


#4

So to clarify, the retailer I work for is looking to come up with ways to make them stand out from the pack. The more support there is, the more likely I can get it to happen.


#5

i don’t know if the arcade stick modding community is big enough to make it worth while for a retailer to have. If all of us were in one city you could probably open up a store…a superstore…lol.


#6

There is a reason why Radio Shack hardly sells electronic components. I’ll still to supporting Focus Attack.


#7

That’d be great. If I wanted to get some work done and didn’t have all the parts on hand, an alternative to wait + pay for shipping would be pretty sweet.


#8

We want to make gaming enjoyable for the hardcore and casual gamers, so we want to bring the joys of fighting and classic games with these kind of accessories. We are looking into hold big tournaments and giving away big prizes to promote the upcoming changes to our stores. All the feedback is greatly appreciated.


#9

It would be cool, but my wallet would be empty! :stuck_out_tongue:


#10

all the store cares about is that your wallet is empty AFTER you leave the store…if too many people come in with empty wallets they’d probably post a goon at the door to shake you down before you come in.


#11

I prefer buying things at a store than online. If this becomes a real thing, and is located in the Los Angeles area, then I’ll be a regular customer.


#12

Some shops like Video Games New York in NYC sell Sanwa and Seimitsu parts. But honestly, I don’t care either way. I buy both in person and online.


#13

as awesome as this sounds, i personally do not think it is a good idea. Japanese buttons dont break very easily and a lot of people who have sticks have already upgraded them to full japs if they werent already (im just basing this off of madcatz trying to sell their excess sticks)

you also miss out on the crowd that will look for cheaper prices and just combine shipping. Unless the stores prices makes for a strong reason to go for convenience, the store will probably not see much coming out of selling buttons and sticks.

now if you can get cheap pcb’s out (so people dont have to look around for pads to hack) then that a awesome possibility (not really, but i’d love it)


#14

I don’t see it working very well for a few reasons. Unless there is a huge modding/building community in a major metropolitan area, you’ll just have inventory sitting around collecting dust(especially when you consider just how many types of buttons, colors, brands, sizes you’d need to stock). You’d also need to beat online prices to make it worthwhile(hard to do when you need to charge sales tax). I mean, what good would it do me if I could go down to best buy and get white 30mm seimitsu buttons, when for my project I want blue 30mm screw in sanwas? I’d just end up ordering online.

As it is there’s only a handful of online retailers, and they have the benefit of being able to store everything in one location without needing retail staff there. Like someone else mentioned, even Radio Shack has relegated their electronic components in their stores to what is basically a large tacklebox. If they can’t generate enough retail sales to give general(and parts that are more useful to the general public) electronic components more than 4 sq ft of retail space, I don’t see how arcade components would work out in the long run.


#15

There has already been disappear of national chains of record stores, electronics (Circuit City), books (Borders with B & N following in a few years), toy stores (Kay-Bee is gone and Toys 'R Us is evolving, too) and eventually most remaining home video outlets. There are no guarantees that anything standing now will exist 10-20 years from now. Heck’s, K-Mart (for the most part), Sears (to a lesser degree), and many other big chains are gone or going extinct. Word on the street is that Target is in trouble and Meijer may not be doing much better. Even Wal-Mart could fade like Sears and K-Mart have, too.

Some things will never go away like gas stations and groceries… The rest – who knows???

It’s the way things are evolving. It’s easier (and probably cheaper) to maintain product in a warehouse and then ship out according to customer needs. Less retail space to pay for, smaller armies of workers whose salaries have to be paid. That’s the way Amazon.com works.

I don’t honestly think enough people will order parts month-to-month if they’re just generic Sanwa or Seimitsu… Most of us have those parts and quite frankly a lot us only buy 3-4 times a year tops new joysticks and buttons. It’s an expensive hobby and you always want to make sure that what you’re ordering fulfills the needs of a mod project or new joystick box. I don’t honestly think small orders are worth it… $65 or more is probably good amount to shoot for before shipping. (ALWAYS use Insured EMS Air on large orders from Akihabarashop!)

LizardLick and Akihabarashop exist primarily because they’re among the last arcade parts businesses manned by crazy guys who actually make Internet sales work for them! The mod scene is still relatively new in the US, and may not even be that much older in Asia, too. I know LizardLick doesn’t do only new arcade parts sales. That business also does restoration of period arcade cabinets as well as supplying multi-game PCB’s and hardware set-ups for people who mainly want the way older retro videogames from the late 1970s and early 1980s. Of course, most SRK-ers are primarily interested in the arcade period AFTER 1991 if you get what I mean… :slight_smile:

Akihabarashop does its own other side, too, but also offers Japanese/Asian exclusives and limited edition products that are hard if not impossible to get in the US… So they carve out a side niche to survive as well.

This whole arcade stick modding/creation will be a fad for most people… Most players will be happy with two joysticks, tops, and even the more rabid collectors/modders will probably never collect anywhere near 100 different arcade sticks! I think even the 12 or so I’ve got is an insane number!


#16

Walmart is not going anywhere. They are still expanding and there profit numbers are still great. I see your still putting a lot of opinion out there as always George. I hope for your sake your time is not wasted. I’m really not trying to talk shit its just, I feel you don’t have the general consensus of tech talk when you put this info out there. You jump to a lot of conclusions of how everyone here thinks maybe not this post but I see it often, but I could be wrong.


#17

Unless you’re selling to actual arcades, you’re not going to be making much money.

Now, how many arcades are still open…


#18

Off-topic: Please put some punctuation in your rants to make them semi-readable.

On-topic: It would be cool, but I don’t see it being successful; there’s just not enough demand. If you stock all the various types (and colors) of buttons you’d have to keep a large inventory, and if not you’ll miss a lot of opportunity from people wanting colors to match their art. Maybe you could make it work with keeping just a few of the most popular options. (Black? It seems perpetually out of stock. Clear for LED mods.)


#19

Rosser,

I’ve been around long enough to see many companies come and go. At last count, probably at least 8-10 notable console manufacturers have come and gone. Many, many times that amount in software developers…
I’m old enough to remember owning the Odyssey 2 when it was new. I also had an Atari 2600 (never loved it – lousy system even back then!) and an Atari 800 computer for a long time.

The things Odyssey and Atari had was that they were both innovators and made some of the earliest home consoles in the market. Atari made the longest-lasting cartridge system with something we could call a joystick. (Not a very good joystick, though!) Odyssey had unique innovations in its second-generation system, Odyssey 2: a speech module when there was no spoken word available on other console games – and a built-in keyboard that enabled players to create new playing field environments, register names in games, program the system with a very basic programming cartridge, and play early console RPG’s. It also had analog joysticks – well before the PS1 and N64. Another thing common to both Atari and Odyssey is that they are long gone. They had their brief hey-day and made some cash but both perished or were mortally wounded by the Video Game Crash of late '82/early '83 and never came back as strong companies.

Coleco came and went very quickly. 3DO never sold a million consoles. Most other consoles never broke above 250,000 systems. Even Sega’s no longer in the console business.

A game crash like 1983 could happen again, and we’re probably long overdue for a correction there. I’m surprised the game industry has grown as much as it has since the mid-1990s… BUT things have definitely changed. There’s no arcade scene in most of the Americas and Europe. Arcades used to drive a substantial part of game AND console sales. (Nintendo sold many SFC/SNES consoles because people wanted to play Street Fighter II in their homes!) Besides losing Sega as a console player in the early 2000’s, Nintendo’s no longer the industry leader and frankly can’t keep up technologically with its competitors.

The Wii is effectively dead despite selling 65million systems based on a gimmick control mechanism (that isn’t as accurate or useful for many players as standard pads) and a revamped GameCube model; this added up to a system many hardcore game players hated and/or avoided. Lack of HD support has become a significant factor, too. GameCube controller sales were high for Wii for a while because many people hated the Wii remote and nunchuk. The Wii games were just too derivative (went back to the old Nintendo standards recycled for over 20 years and didn’t really do much new) and most played like bad beta-level technology demonstrators. Really, it’s a party game system but how many of those players buy many games to begin with??? Only Nintendo provided consistent software support. There’s just no decent third party support for it, and even the hardcore Nintendo fans are starting to see the reality. You can’t have a console without GOOD committed third party companies, and even if you SELL 65million consoles, fans may not want to come back for the next console round after they see your third party support is shit.

(Frankly, I doubt selling official add-on peripherals was ever a good move for systems and their manufacturers. Nintendo’s constant Wii-remote add-ons sure didn’t help that system. I think both the Kinnect and PlayStation Move are bad moves in the long run, too. People hate getting soaked by gimmicks. Standard remote controller pads with rechargeable batteries already cost twice as much as the last generation controllers! The games for these have generally been crappy, too. Sega’s add-ons for the Genesis helped ruin its reputation, so much that many people passed on the Saturn without taking a good look. The failure of that excellent system undermined the too-good-for-its-time Dreamcast quite a bit.)

Console prices are much, much higher this round of systems and nobody’s approached the PS2 sales level (135million+) remotely. I doubt any system will do that this generation. It’s a next-to-impossible sales goal to achieve twice in a row. The current consoles are just too expensive for this point of time in their lifespans. Last generation systems were at $150 or less brand-new at this point in time, and started $100 cheaper to begin with! The 360 and PS3 are Porsche systems when perhaps they should have been designed as Mustangs. (The Wii is the Ford Pinto of this generation; it sold well but ultimately crashed and burn. Might end being Nintendo’s late Genesis 32X/Saturn.)

Another thing is that most software companies rarely last even 5 years now. Very few companies have a solid two decades of existence (offhand, I can only think of three to four game software companies besides big-name companies that started as arcade game manufacturers – EA, Activision, Square-Enix) – the others have died or been absorbed by other bigger companies. We’re seeing entire game developer teams and companies given the pink slip after ONE game failure! Even Midway almost didn’t survive the axe after back-to-back sales failures of games including installments of Mortal Kombat.

It’s definitely a mixed picture for the videogame industry. Sales figures get reported but they don’t tell the entire story. LOTS of people have lost their jobs this cycle in the game industry. Sustained employment is definitely a lot less certain. Perhaps the highest historical job losses and terminations in the industry despite ads pushing younger people to become game developers and software engineers. (Companies want cheaper, younger new blood. People that will settle for a lot less than their predecessors.)

The arcade parts sellers and mod services have definitely made good money these past two years… It’s still early to call it sustained business. Most of these companies are small for good reasons. I’m still thinking the joystick boom is along the terms of a prolonged fad… Most fads and movements fade within months. Fighting games are definitely still not as big as they were in the 1990s… We’ll see if the dedicated fanbase is enough to keep quality mass-production joysticks rolling off the production line outside of Asian demand. Arcade parts are still sold for games other than fighters, for sure. Lots of personal retrocades and people needing parts to fix old arcade game cabinets.

Frankly, I do think the niche companies and individuals like you will be around for a while. As long there are people who provide unique quality services and parts that Hori, Sanwa, Mad Catz, and Seimitsu don’t make – and you have enough regular customers – you’ll do okay. Just don’t think that anybody should be making this their main job.


#20

George,
I was not really talking about the subject matter and more or less, I was trying to get your goat. because I feel you type so damn much and have so much opinion in everything I feel it is exhausting, but as for this article I probably agree with you. I too have been around for a long time but I don’t feel I need to convey that in detail. Sorry I just seeing your replies turns my stomach I try to be nice