One fact of gaming life these days is online multiplayer. All three consoles push it to their own degrees (with the Wii lacking behind the others in quality by far) and many PC games support it to. There are a few games in the arcade which support online play as well although they tend to work differently than in the console market (as arcades focus mostly on prize winning tournaments). Either way there is one aspect that arcades still have – the audience that can be provided when a game is played. It’s one thing to beat some anonoymous person over the internet in SFIV and it’s a completely different thing to do it live (whether people are there to watch or not, although it is better when you are playing for an audience). That’s the gist of an article posted on Exclaim! Canada in discussing online play on SFIV versus the kind of thing we saw in arcades back in the 90’s. It sounds like the writer doesn’t have or know of any arcades in his area there and I do not know if any arcades in Canada imported SFIV or not but the overall message of online multiplayer vs. audience is one I can relate to. I’ve played (and still play) a number of games online but victory in those games has never been as sweet as I have felt when having a group of people watch me rock at Star Wars Trilogy Arcade or Crisis Zone like I did a few years ago when weekends would roll around. That is a big appeal for fighters as well since they are made to be competitive and it can be fun to watch two good players battle it out for that final victory.
For the full article, click here.