Not sure if this will be of interest to many, but I just got back from a vacation in Mexico City and was surprised at what I found.
Not only were there several arcades in the area I was staying in (Zona Rosa/Insurgentes/Chapultepec/Balderas) but they were dominated by fighting games.
At the arcade closest to our hotel, which was right off the Insurgentes metro stop, there were about 15 cabinets for fighting games. The game of choice was the KoF series. At least seven cabinets were different KoF flavors, going back to '97! The rest were the usual capcom fighters, including an old school Champion Edition. DDR style games seem to be popular, too.
Tokens were 2 pesos and the exchange rate is about 10.7 pesos to the dollar. So each game cost 18 - 19 cents.
Why all the arcades? I got a couple clues.
First, internet cafes are everywhere, and really cheap - like 6 - 8 pesos per hour. My guess is not many residents have in-home internet, or the quality is poor. No in-home internet = no online multiplay competition.
Second, I checked prices on console gear there and it’s pretty pricey. I didn’t look in the poorer sections of town (we were in a mid-to-upper class area) but basically prices were about 20 - 30% more across the board. So fork over $80 US for one console game (after the cost of the console, of course) or pay 2 pesos for instant action. That’s sort of the proposition there. And this is in a place where you can buy a nice leather coat for a hundred bucks. In other words, 80 bucks there is a lot more for most of those folks than it is for most people here.
Anyway, we had lots to see and do so I didn’t spend much time in the arcades but it was cool happening upon a scene I never would have thought existed.