Namco have had to shut down shit loads of their arcades as a result of the dying arcade scene and they’ve blamed the Nintendo Wii.
“A lot of the types of games that people played at an arcade can now be done at home,” said company spokesman Yuji Machida, who added that the vast amount of money being spent by Japanese consumers on Wii consoles and software is likely to be behind the falling rates of money spent at arcades.
Let’s blame the Wii for poverty, famine, Kumi Koda’s career decline and Amy Winehouse’s crack habit whilst we’re at it. Namco are having a right old laugh! The arcade scene has been slowly declining for over a decade. Ever since consoles were able to run games near arcade perfect, people have been spending less money in arcades. It kick started with the PlayStation and the Sega Saturn, and then came to a head with the Dreamcast. Now THAT system right there was an arcade killer if there ever was one. Sega, Capcom and SNK ported their arcade classics to that system like their lives depended on it, and Namco also graced the system with Soul Calibur: a game that may as well have not released in arcades at all. It also didn’t help that Tekken 4 and Soul Calibur II were crap games that got ignored in arcades, Soul Calibur III never got an arcade release until it had been out on the PS2 for several months, Namco wasted money on Mario Kart Arcade GP 2 and that they spent shit loads of money on some super-duper high definition Tekken 6 cabinet. Wii didn’t kill Namco’s arcades, Namco killed Namco’s arcades.
Seriously though, consoles in general killed arcades. They’ve been offering an arcade style experience to gamers for years. But with consoles now becoming a lot more powerful, offering online play and it being expensive to trick an arcade machine out with powerful hardware – there’s little incentive for developers to release games into arcades anymore. I wouldn’t say the arcade scene is completely dead, but it’s definitely on life support. A real shame, because I have many fond memories of heading to my local arcade after school with a bunch of friends, not only for the gaming factor but the social aspect too.
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