When it comes to the debate as to whether or not arcades are affected by consoles, I personally believe that the argument is straightforward. If arcades were not affected at all by consoles then arcade-to-console ports would have zero effect on sales and people would still still be headed to arcades like it was 1982. That’s why I believe that the more games that provide an experience exclusive to arcades is important and that goes beyond making billions of racing games.
Capcom has recently mentioned this issue, first citing how differences between arcades and consoles is negligible and that there is a lack of sales inducing games. At the same time they are happy with how pimping out Street Fighter IV in arcades worked for console sales, which they have previously stated would have not helped the arcade industry in the US, despite numerous stories we saw of lines of people waiting to play the game at the few locations that purchased the game.
Another issue I have with their statement is that when it comes down to differences between games on the consoles and the arcade, it’s not just about graphics – they themselves added more content to SFIV for consoles and this seems to be very common with all of the arcade-to-console releases for a while now. In the case of SFIV for the console, an arcade stick was released to bridge the gap and to top it off for this example, it is not like SFIV sat in arcades for a long time before the console version hit the streets and players, who are more savvy then they might get credit for, knew about that not long after the announcement was made for the game coming to arcades. If Capcom is going to complain about the difference between arcades and consoles being a problem and they are sincere about it, then why not set about to solving the problem by designing their own arcade games to provide a more than neglible difference from the consoles? Since they are planning a console release in the future anyways, make the console players pay for development costs instead of arcade operators and throw in technology on the arcade that surpasses what a console can do which does not have to be terribly expensive. The tech inside of consoles is always lagging behind the PC as it is so take advantage of that when possible, I say. I know that the issue does get a little more complicated than that and we have discussed it before but I get tired of hearing excuses instead of solutions to the problems of the arcade inudstry from the likes of Capcom who obviously is far more worried about their console sales than arcades anyways.
[Capcom article at GameBizBlog.com] [Discuss on the Forum]