I’ve been pondering for a while since threads opened up asking how the arcades or particular fighting games went down the crapper. I really like the question posed, but it turns into a defend your game thread when it shouldn’t be so. I think I have a theory but curious if I am missing something that I didn’t think of that contributed to this. I would appreciate other people’s opnion.
Back when arcades first developed anything that was in the arcade was way better then anything the home consoles could touch. Thing was the boards were made for the particular arcade boards there was no standard so the arcade boards were constantly being inproved cause each board was made for each arcade game.
In 1985 that started to change with the introduction of the JAMMA standard where all that was needed was to swap PC board in and out of a arcade cabinet. This was revolutionary, but did start a trend.
In 1988 Capcom made the CPS-1 board when introduced the idea of playing multiple games on a single board by swapping out the games. Thus saving in costs. After this the arcades saw many types come forth that are similar like the Neo Geo MVS but this saw a significant reduction in updating of graphics due to the use of arcade owners using the same board.
When the 5th generation of home game systems came around (PSX, Saturn, N64) the home market had almost caught up graphics wise to the arcade games. None of the major manufactures wanted to switch to a different board unitl Capcom developed the CPS-3 board and brought out Red Earth (which many know nothing of). It didn’t become news worthy unitl Capcom brought out the arcade game Street Fighter III New Generation.
The sales of Street Fighter 3 didn’t take off like expected because many arcade owners were hesistant to buy an entire new arcade system when new Marvel vs. & the Alpha series games were coming out for the CPS2 board and the arcade owners didn’t see any reason to spend more money when it looked like the players were happy to play the cheaper games.
Starting in 1999 the 6th generation of home game systems came out with the Dreamcast. The Dreamcast was easily powerful enough to reproduce graphics identical to it’s arcade counterparts and many players slowly turned away from the market to play the same game at home for a one time price. Capcom quickly ported their fighting games to the new system and sales were disappointing initally because of the looming threat of the Playstation 2 coming out.
In 2000 the Playstation 2 came out and quickly crushed the Dreamcast in sales causing Sega to give up support on the Dreamcast. Sony on the other hand (in the U.S.) deeply frowned upon older 2d games and didn’t like to support them. Since the newest version of Street Fighter III (3rd Strike) came out in 1999, Sony would not put it on their new system until 2004 (in a compilaiton).
Capcom seeing none of the game produced on the CPS-3 board produced the sales it wanted rethought it’s fighting game market and started to produce their new games on the new Naomi system which was based off the Dreamcast system. In doing this the fighting game market conceded that the home market had caught up to the arcade market in graphics and they were now banking that the players would not mind that the arcades are no longer superior to the home market. During this same time Tekken, the biggest 3d fighting game in America was making it’s newer games on the Namco system 256 board which was based off the Playstation 2 system.
During the time of the 6th generation, people slowly left the arcade scene seeing no difference in playing the games at home. Capcom saw the fighting game market as dead and stopped supporting it in 2004 after Capcom Fighting Jam was released on the system 256 board. To many at the time this signified the end of the arcade era.