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Namco Blames Wii for Arcade Closures

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the i-blame-canada dept.

Wii 198

milsoRgen noted a story about Namco Bandai is shuttering between 50 and 60 arcades in Japan and blaming the success of the Wii for the closures. "A lot of the types of games that people played at an arcade can now be done at home," said company spokesman Yuji Machida. To be fair they also blame the high cost of gasoline as well.

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I'm soooo sorry! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22360610)

But that is just to fucking bad...

Don't watch the grammys tomorrow night (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22360760)

Let's make sure the grammys gets the lowest ratings ever and bring the riaa to its knees. If you watch the grammys, you are supporting their racket of destroying our rights.

Re:Don't watch the grammys tomorrow night (2, Informative)

Nar Matteru (1099389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361146)

Let's make sure the grammys gets the lowest ratings ever and bring the riaa to its knees. If you watch the grammys, you are supporting their racket of destroying our rights.
Even though you are just an idiot troll, I still feel the need to correct you. Watching a show doesn't have any effect on its ratings at all. Unless, of course you have a Nielson box.

Re:Don't watch the grammys tomorrow night (1)

wakingrufus (904726) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361340)

I believe if you have cable, which channels you are watching are tracked through that. It might not factor into neilson ratings, but I'm sure the numbers are looked at. I did a quick google for more info on this, but i wasn't able to find anything conclusive.

Re:Don't watch the grammys tomorrow night (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362352)

I believe if you have cable, which channels you are watching are tracked through that.
I think that holds true only if you have a digital cable box.

Re:Don't watch the grammys tomorrow night (1)

Spleen (9387) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362442)

That data is flawed too. The box might be tuned to a specific channel at a specific time, but they don't know if the TV set itself is turned on.

Um... what? (3, Insightful)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360624)

I was unaware the Japanese incorporated high cost of gasoline into decisions to go to an arcade, given that their subway/train system doesn't suck there.

Re:Um... what? (5, Interesting)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362248)

And considering the high density population their urban centers are known for, one would think a nearby arcade wouldn't be to far away. I'm thinking the Wii might be playing a part in this, but if it is it's merely a blip in the grand scheme of things. As nothing really compares to a well designed arcade machine, no matter how much fun flailing your arms about is in the privacy in your own home.

I just wonder if it's become cost prohibitive to truly innovate (or differentiate yourself) in an arcade machine. Graphics are pretty good these days, I can't see any company willing to invest the money to make an arcade machine truly stand out compared to a GeForce 8xxx or PS3/Xbox. And if you can't win on the graphics front, you have to start doing novelty things like incorporating movement or force feedback, again increasing costs.

It's hard to say, as Japan is such a different beast than the U.S.

But I can say personally I quit going to the arcade when games were no longer 25 or even, 50 cents. I really don't care about paying for the newest hardware, as the newest hardware/graphics doesn't equal the greatest game play. I still play A.P.B. (that top down 2d cop game, where you pull people over and go through the donut shops), and that 2d sidescrollin' X-Men beat-em-up, when I can find them.... Simply because they are the most fun... IMHO

Arcades are for niggers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22360626)

the shit skin niggers can go fuck themselves

O RLY (4, Funny)

wampus (1932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360656)

They blamed me personally for not upselling birthday parties when they closed the one I worked at here in the US.

Re:O RLY (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22360734)

You probably didn't have enough flair either.

Arcades were still operating in Japan? (4, Interesting)

Zouden (232738) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360658)

They all closed here years ago. I think Playstation was blamed at the time, though many probably closed earlier and blamed the Genesis.

Re:Arcades were still operating in Japan? (2, Interesting)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360798)

Plenty of them around in Tokyo last time I was there (along with the ubiquitous pachinko parlors). I guess if you live in a shoebox sized apartment, you are going to relish all the city entertainment you can get though.

You have no idea... (5, Informative)

interactive_civilian (205158) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360876)

They really are everywhere in Japan. To the extent that, when I saw the summary say "shuttering between 50 and 60 arcades in Japan" my thought was, "Oh no, how will the other thousands and thousands of them survive?"

I wish I could come up with a real number of arcades open in Japan, but my google-fu is weak today. However, given my experiences there, 50-60 does not sound like a big number of closings...

Re:Arcades were still operating in Japan? (4, Interesting)

The Orange Mage (1057436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361326)

Arcades in America closed because almost all but the largest were terribly maintained and many games took more quarters than they were worth. Bad management and little retarded kids breaking in the buttons till they don't work anymore is what killed the Arcade in the U.S..

Re:Arcades were still operating in Japan? (1)

mikael (484) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361376)

Last time I saw the prices of the arcades in the UK, it was around 1 pound/2$ for every 30 seconds of play. For an afternoon's entertainment, it is obviously cheaper buying a console system

Re:Arcades were still operating in Japan? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361740)

That's obscene, I tried a game once which was I think $1 for a minute, and it was a complete waste of money. Most games at the time cost $0.25 per play and you could play until you lost your lives. That game you were paying for fuel, even if something wasn't actually happening.

Rarely was there a game in an arcade that was worth the cost. I think the 2 best ones I ever saw were the arcade version of Super Mario brothers, and vanguard. I can't recall if I ever saw the really old ones like centipede or space invaders because those were brilliant for the arcade as well.

It isn't cheaper than a console system for very long at that rate. If you're only going to play for a couple of afternoons a year tops, it probably is cheaper, but you also have to contend with the noise and the dirtiness. Perhaps arcades are more clean in other countries than the ones I remember here, but they were usually filthy.

We do still have 1 or 2 big ones left, but the majority of the arcade machines are in places like the greyhound station or any remaining bowling allies. 50-60 arcades is like running every single arcade out of business in the pacific northwest.

Re:Arcades were still operating in Japan? (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362336)

We do still have 1 or 2 big ones left, but the majority of the arcade machines are in places like the greyhound station or any remaining bowling allies.
That's true, and although it has been a while since I've passed through Portland (or Seattle). I would assume places like Wunderland are still open? Pay a cover and get unlimited play. I never enjoyed them as some game play would be broken due to the infinite lives. But those count for something. As well as kid joints like Chuck E. Cheese, they still have a selection of games. And family fun centers, those places with the go-karts, batting cages etc? And let's not forget movie theaters, they make a good chunk of income on those games... That's where I go to play Metal Slug, the local dollar theater, as all the fucking neon lights at the megaplex across the street threaten to give me seizures.

Re:Arcades were still operating in Japan? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361412)

THANK YOU. It's not consoles that killed the arcade, the American arcade *sucked*. In hospitable, uncomfortable and full of screaming children. Not just that, but the hardware was *terrible* and the best games weren't coming out in this country. It's embarassing that a game like Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 could even be popular in this country.

Re:Arcades were still operating in Japan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22362396)

With an username like that.. the bias is obvious.

Playing catch-up (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360678)

Same thing happened in the US when the NES came out. What comes around goes around. Or something.

Wii will survive (4, Funny)

erick99 (743982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360684)

"What are wii going to do?" said the Japanese arcade executive to his robot pet dog.

Re:Wii will survive (4, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360780)

Later that day, the same Namco executive was heard to say, "Wii will prevail!"

Re:Wii will survive (2, Funny)

OMNIpotusCOM (1230884) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361170)

I say good riddance. Maybe next time some little Asian kid won't come up and beat me at Tekken next time I've played 20 minutes straight on two quarters and am right at the boss. Maybe it's just me... they didn't let me back into that Chuck E Cheese again.

It's not just the wii, though (4, Informative)

jpfed (1095443) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360686)

Dance-pads, guitars, and guns have shown that people are willing to buy alternative input devices of many stripes, which had been a niche for arcades.

Re:It's not just the wii, though (1)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361980)

Dance-pads, guitars, and guns have shown that people are willing to buy alternative input devices of many stripes

This probably applies to the porn industry also.

Re:It's not just the wii, though (1)

Koiu Lpoi (632570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362016)

It's not just that. Arcade ports have been coming out for years. The Dreamcast was dubbed the "arcade at home", but what few arcades were still left didn't complain at all.

Re:It's not just the wii, though (2, Informative)

jalefkowit (101585) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362440)

Well, there are still some controllers [] you can only find in the arcade... (thank God).

Bring back pinball! (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22360690)

Arcades want to survive? Easy, bring back pinball. A real, physical pinball game, not the emulator kind made by GlobalVR.

Re:Bring back pinball! (2, Insightful)

ZorinLynx (31751) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361152)

I second that.

I don't know why pinball died. It's so much fun! It's physical and noisy and just *cool*.

Video games seem to sterile by comparison. An acquaintance collects and maintains old electromechanical pinball tables... Has about 20 of them in perfect operating condition. Tons of fun...

Bring back pinball, damnit.

Re:Bring back pinball! (1)

MurphyZero (717692) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361422)

Arcades that maximized their profit by elevating the playfield angle is part of the reason...3 balls instead of 5 was another. Touchy tilts. Poorly maintained and/or abused machines as well. I usually spent more of my arcade quarters on pinball than video games, but at some arcades it just wasn't worth it to play pinball. When it started to be all the arcades, I stopped playing them. The home machines were taking off as well.

Re:Bring back pinball! (1)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361534)

They did when the started hiding magnets in the table to help force a lose.

Re:Bring back pinball! (1)

siobHan (26220) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362104)

There are no hidden magnets. Only electromagnets are strong enough to affect the ball, and those are too big to "hide". Now, they are a *feature* of certain games - Addams Family is a classic example. And the game always tells you when they are on and why.


Pinball went nowhere (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361768) []

I have the PotC:DMC Pinball game. Much fun indeed.

Re:Bring back pinball! (1)

zotz (3951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361184)

I felt like playing one the other day myself.

all the best,


"Shuttering"? (0, Flamebait)

Fex303 (557896) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360698)

"Namco Bandai is shuttering between 50 and 60 arcades in Japan..."

Are they now?

I've gotta agree with Namco though, the fact that arcades had been on a downwards trend for at least ten years before the Wii was released just goes to show how incredibly successful Nintendo's console has been.

Re:"Shuttering"? (2, Informative)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360848) []

"To furnish or close with shutters: locked the doors and shuttered the windows."

Sometimes when businesses are closed, they do just that.

Re:"Shuttering"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22360854)

Yes, they are "shuttering" the arcades. If you knew anything about the English language, you would know that the word also means "to close down." But instead you felt the need to show your superior (albeit wrong) intellect by questioning the use of a word that was used completely properly. Good one, fex!

Re:"Shuttering"? (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361098)

Score another grammarian for Randall. []

Re:"Shuttering"? (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362450)

Ehh... what? The Wii hasn't even been around anywhere NEAR those 10 years, how the hell can you draw a correlation between a 10 year decline, and the success of a console that s still very young?

So... what? (1)

darkrowan (976992) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360704)

So they are just now noticing this in Japan. Something that has been happening in the US since, what, the 90s? Late 80s? Consoles beat Arcade, kinda like rock beats paper and nuclear weapons beat rock.

Japan is just now feeling this? I thought they were supposed to be ahead of the times technology wise than us.

Re:So... what? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360872)

Something that has been happening in the US since, what, the 90s? Late 80s?

Early eighties, I'd say, maybe even late seventies. I was a regular at several local arcades (yes, we had several back then) but once I got an Apple ][ and the family got a VCR I had less time for them. Yes, the PC games were crude compared to what the arcades offered, but they were more convenient and didn't cost quarters.

The original personal computers began taking share away from arcades decades ago. The small ones closed first: you hardly ever see them anymore. The really huge arcades are still surviving, although who knows how long that will last given the sophistication of modern consoles and PC games. Yes yes, I know that there's the "social" aspect to arcade play, but in the same way the Internet and home video took away from the movie theater, so will the advancing state-of-the-art in home gaming erode the arcade business.

Too bad, in a way. I had a great time in the early days playing the likes of Star Wars, Robotron, Joust ... and the fact that it cost hard-earned money did make the experience less trivial. Now I just click on an icon and away I go. Maybe I should put a coin acceptor on the side of my PC.

Re:So... what? (1)

zakezuke (229119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360926)

Japan is just now feeling this? I thought they were supposed to be ahead of the times technology wise than us.
Keep in mind that Japan like many old school countries have a high population density and space is at a premium. Entertaining at home tends to be impractical due to space concerns. But with broadband and lower cost small hardware make it possible to play at home as well or better than an arcade.

While I live in the states and haven't been to an arcade in 10 years, I have to admit I rather hope a few stay around and actually embrace netplay. While spendy in the long term, it would be nice to taste games for dollars before shelling out for a WII or the latest graphics card, and better yet get together with other players.

Re:So... what? (2, Informative)

ohtani (154270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361130)

Japan is not the US and the US is not Japan, and may have cultural differences helping it last longer. Though sometimes the two combine [] .

Re:So... what? (1)

tubapro12 (896596) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361968)

Not according to the BD region codes [] .

Re:So... what? (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361148)

[Lisa] Heh. This is too easy. Bart always picks rock.
[Bart] Good ol' rock. Nothing beats rock!
[Lisa] Paper!
[Bart] D'oh!

The market there was too saturated anyway. (0, Redundant)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360720)

To be honest, I doubt its the gasoline prices. Allot of arcades over in Japan are usually within walking distance of schools and residental areas. They are just freakishly expensive.

Take the Gundum Pod Game: []

If they made the games cheaper, I think arcades can last longer there. But I doubt it as most of these "pod" like machines are pricey as it is.

Re:The market there was too saturated anyway. (4, Informative)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360756)

To be honest, I doubt its the gasoline prices. Allot of arcades over in Japan are usually within walking distance of schools and residental areas. They are just freakishly expensive.

Take the Gundum Pod Game: []

The thing takes 500 Yen. Thats a little more than $4.50 a GAME. Oh and you can't just play it once, you have to play it multipal times to raise your skill so you can get better mechs. Sure it was networked and you could play with other people in pods, but games like this make the PS3 look like a worthy investment.

If they made the games cheaper, I think arcades can last longer there. But I doubt it as most of these "pod" like machines are pricey as it is.

PS - Missed a br:P

Re:The market there was too saturated anyway. (1)

donscarletti (569232) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361116)

but games like this make the PS3 look like a worthy investment.

Try playing Mobile Suit Gundam: Target In Sight (called Crossfire in North America) on the PS3 and you'll see why it's not a good investment. The graphics are abysmal, the animation is clunky (and not in the good robot way), the controls are unresponsive and the missions are repetitive, boring and frustrating. Combat is fairly arbitrary, you can't move fast enough to dodge so you end up just hoping that the bad dudes don't hit you (they usually don't). Tactically the game is uninteresting, there is no cover, the AI allies can't be controlled properly and the bad dudes don't do anything cleverer than walk up to you while firing. Basically you hold down the fire button and circle strafe round and round in a single direction or jetpack up to them and chop them. Nothing interesting at all. As for the jetpack, I had never imagined that the ability to fly would be so boring. There is nowhere to fly to, you just skip along the ground for a little while then land.

My sister seems incapable of knowing how pathetic it is, bought and seems to actually enjoy playing it, but I assure you all that she is wrong about that one. Anyhow, that pod game actually looks quite good, it's fast, dynamic and possibly tactical, all of the things that Target in Sight lacked. I generally like my PS3 a lot, but if you want gundam, keep to the arcades, it costs the same to play that game 150 times, and you'd never play TiS that much.

Re:The market there was too saturated anyway. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22361800)

Allot of arcades over in Japan are usually within walking distance of schools and residental areas.Allot of arcades over in Japan are usually within walking distance of schools and residental areas.

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

allot - verb - give or apportion (something) to someone as a share or task

"a lot" is two words. It isn't "alot" and it isn't "allot". It's like "no one"... don't write "noone".

They should take the RIAA/MPAA route... (0, Troll)

tbg58 (942837) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360732)

...and sue anyone who doesn't come to their arcades. In fact, they should lobby Congress, the Japanese Parliament, the UN, and the United Federation of Planets to make using the Wii illegal. Isn't the lawsuit/regulatory route the default choice for industry segments whose business models have failed to change with the times?

namco and Wii (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362040)

In fact, [Namco] should lobby Congress, the Japanese Parliament, the UN, and the United Federation of Planets to make using the Wii illegal.
I beg to differ [] .

Re:They should take the RIAA/MPAA route... (1)

SargentDU (1161355) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362296)

If they go the RIAA/MPAA route it is the ones that do come to their arcades that they should sue.

Spaceport blames the Atari 2600 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22360754)

And they were wrong too.

Good old days... (4, Insightful)

eNygma-x (1137037) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360790)

I was just thinking lastnight how much I missed the old days of arcades. People gathering around "World Heroes" or "SoulEdge" or better yet "Virtua Fighter" to test our skills. I still haven't beaten "S.T.U.N. runner" (I was so close.) And yes I do blame game consoles. Online game play makes things better.... but it still doesn't compare to walking into an arcade and feeling the tension of arcade battles. =)

Re:Good old days... (5, Funny)

operagost (62405) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361230)

The "old days" of "Virtua Fighter"? Try Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga, punk! Get off my lawn!

Re:Good old days... (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361548)

First move into the 90's, then move into the 21st century you beared road apple.

Re:Good old days... (1)

kc2keo (694222) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361346)

Yeah, I feel like a old man now (21yrs)... Used to go into arcades and saw all those intense battles. Used to bother parents to give me a bunch of quarters too.

Arcade closures in the US, too (4, Informative)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360882)

According to Play Meter magazine [] (the magazine for the arcade/amusement industry), the arcade industry took an even bigger dive in 2007 (from its long decline starting in 1984).

Family Entertainment Centers (FEC) locations were down 60% year-over-year. OUCH!

Re:Arcade closures in the US, too (1)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361952)

There's a time and place for these places. Where I live (Blacksburg, VA) there isn't a miniature golf place for probably 50 miles in any direction. I know that it is kind of a niche environment, but come on... someone open a puttputt. Some of us like miniature golf, or have kids who like miniature golf, etc. My 3 year old would enjoy a place like that, or would in a year or so, especially if it had skeeball and whatnot.

I dunno, I guess I know why the arcade part of them isn't working, but I swear, it'd be a business model that would work here. Even just on exclusivity alone.


For all those expressing shock.. (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360890)

You do realize you're on the internet right? I know it requires a couple extra clicks, but its not really that hard to find information on how gaming in North America is vastly different from that in places like Korea and Japan. In both countries youth are very much social gamers (and at least in Korea people are just way more social anyway).

Koreans have the PC Rooms, which shouldn't be in danger of being wiped out as computers have been available in the home for a long time now and if they were going to be replaced by that it would have likely happened. Japanese have long been in love with the arcade. The difference between the Wii and the playstation is that the Wii is more of a social platform than the rest. I'm sure the arcade will still have an appeal for larger groups, but if you're regularly spending time as a group with just 3 or 4 people the Wii is a good replacement here.

I got an itch between my legs, I'll blame it on.. (2, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360914)

Computer technology.... just like everyone else is doing....

From the RIAA to my hemorrhoids from sitting down all day.

technology in the computer industry is supposed to make things easier, cheaper and overall better.

So complain about it!

And while you are at it, complain how there is no more horse manure in the streets for the manure sweeps to earn a living by, because of cars.

Tamagotchi!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22360920)

"Namco Bandai, perhaps best known for its virtual pet toy Tamagotchi..."

WTF? Pac-Man, people!

Re:Tamagotchi!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22361382)

Pac-Man didn't involve Bandai.

this is asking for a mod down, but... (1)

C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360930)

Wii for the WIIn!!!

got it ? WIIn !

i'll go back to my cave now.

Clearly they learned nothing from RIAA (1)

causality (777677) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360932)

The obvious solution is to bribe^H^H^H^^H contribute to the campaign of enough politicians to get the Wii outlawed. Call it an "income circumvention device". Man, have Namco learned nothing? Are they that dense? Whenever your industry is threatened by new "consumer" technology, just abuse the law to protect your position in the market. Damn, this should be Business 101 in America; doesn't Japan want to be competitive in the global market?

kids have more money than ever (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 6 years ago | (#22360962)

and so do their parents. Arcades work well when the kids can't possibly hope to play video games any other way, so they hand over their money bit-by-bit, every week. But now a games console is not out of the financial reach of the average kid \ parent, and if you can afford to buy a console and play an unlimited amount for no further spending, why wouldn't you? It's the same as the death of hiring televisions, or why more people are paying a mortgage rather than rent. Repeatedly paying to use something but get nothing out at the end is a ridiculous arrangement to get yourself into, it only ever really suckers the people who can't afford to buy whatever it is outright from the start, and there's less of those people about. I also suspect that many parents would be happy to fork out the cost of a games console for the peace of mind that Little Jimmy is playing his video games in the living room than paying slightly less overall for him to go out on to an arcade on his own. (defined as 'without parental supervision')

I blame the calendar industry. (1)

howdoesth (1132949) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361030)

They aren't printing calendars that say 1988 anymore.

Passing the blame is great and all (1)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361064)

but it won't stop the customer base from shrinking.

I don't know any dedicated arcades anymore. In this area. they started closing down mid-90s, and the last one I remember, from the 6-7 that used to be around, closed 2 years back. I think Chuck E. Cheese has been down because of similiar woes, but since I haven't been there since many, many years -- don't take that as an informed opinion.

So that leaves what? The bowling alley, billiard places, theatres, and most other recreational centers usually have some games or maybe many -- but most of them old and shitty with your console two generations back being more powerful. The random bar may have something like Golden Tee of various years.

If you think about it, the biggest, most active "arcades" these days are casinos. And those slot machines draw people for the obvious reasons not remotely related to anything video gamish.

All the reasons disappeared: better graphics? Nope (even if yes, arcade owners have to pay through the nose to keep up, passing cost to customers). Home controls being clumsy for that game? New nope -- most of the time enough to be compelling. And social recreation with peers/friends? Dead too, with the internet joining players -- usually the neighborhood arcade is the more isolating experience now (since they're dead) than sitting at home playing a game.

In recreation, it's like all those (recreational) amusement parks that used to be around but started declining after WW2 and by the 1970s just completely crapped out. With all the modes of transportation and the new interstate highway system being built in the 1950s, people could easily travel to the best amusement parks in the region -- leaving all the local ones feeling quaint and not very worthwhile. The owners of the local joint just couldn't afford (or have the space) for the big rides and eventually all but the biggest parks just died. Today it's the big ones that survived or those travelling ones that need to pack it up after a week.

I know Japan is a different culture and different games like Pachinko Parlors... but I can't help but think this was a long time coming anywhere in the first world.

The best thing about the Wii... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361112) the Wii vs arcade fight, is that the Wii is so flexible. Ever since home computers became affordable, the arcade has lived off the fact that a bunch of large arcade machines just aren't practical to have at home. Well, the Wiimote is your one-stop tennis racket, baseball and bat, bowling ball, golf club, boxing glove, steering wheel, gun, fishing pole, joystick (e.g. rolling ball in SMG) and whatever else I don't remember at the moment. Sure it's nothing like a proper steering wheels with force feedback and pedals, but it's damn much better than mashing buttons. Jack of all trades, master of none but close enough.

Social Gaming (3, Insightful)

ddrichardson (869910) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361122)

Surprised they didn't mention on-line gaming really, maybe it's my age but I remember people queing up to play Street Fighter II. People still enjoy the challenge of another person, its just that they are doing it at home.

Don't spook the horses... (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361150)

A lot of the types of games that people played at an arcade can now be done at home

So basically, you have yet anothing industry built upon an obsolete business model (scarcity of high-quality video games), and choose to blame the concept that made your product worthless, rather than adapting to provide a better service (cheaper would help - When an hour in the arcade costs me as much as buying a new game, why would I ever pick the former?).

Don't worry, the buggy-whip manufacturers and the RIAA feel for you. The rest of look forward to you porting your greatest hits to the Wii.

casting bullame for corepirate nazi DOWnturn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22361176)

banks, homeowners, invisible 'enemies', etc.... on&on it gooes. let yOUR conscience be yOUR guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. there are still some choices. if they do not suit you, consider the likely results of continuing to follow the corepirate nazi hypenosys story LIEn, whereas anything of relevance is replaced almost instantly with pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking propaganda or 'celebrity' trivia 'foam'. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on yOUR brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.;_ylt=A0WTcVgednZHP2gB9wms0NUE [];_ylt=A9G_RngbRIVHsYAAfCas0NUE [] []

is it time to get real yet? A LOT of energy is being squandered in attempts to keep US in the dark. in the end (give or take a few 1000 years), the creators will prevail (world without end, etc...), as it has always been. the process of gaining yOUR release from the current hostage situation may not be what you might think it is. butt of course, most of US don't know, or care what a precarious/fatal situation we're in. for example; the insidious attempts by the felonious corepirate nazi execrable to block the suns' light, interfering with a requirement (sunlight) for us to stay healthy/alive. it's likely not good for yOUR health/memories 'else they'd be bragging about it? we're intending for the whoreabully deceptive (they'll do ANYTHING for a bit more monIE/power) felons to give up/fail even further, in attempting to control the 'weather', as well as a # of other things/events. []

dictator style micro management has never worked (for very long). it's an illness. tie that with life0cidal aggression & softwar gangster style bullying, & what do we have? a greed/fear/ego based recipe for disaster. meanwhile, you can help to stop the bleeding (loss of life & limb); []

the bleeding must be stopped before any healing can begin. jailing a couple of corepirate nazi hired goons would send a clear message to the rest of the world from US. any truthful look at the 'scorecard' would reveal that we are a society in decline/deep doo-doo, despite all of the scriptdead pr ?firm? generated drum beating & flag waving propaganda that we are constantly bombarded with. is it time to get real yet? please consider carefully ALL of yOUR other 'options'. the creators will prevail. as it has always been.

corepirate nazi execrable costs outweigh benefits
(Score:-)mynuts won, the king is a fink)
by ourselves on everyday 24/7

as there are no benefits, just more&more death/debt & disruption. fortunately there's an 'army' of light bringers, coming yOUR way. the little ones/innocents must/will be protected. after the big flash, ALL of yOUR imaginary 'borders' may blur a bit? for each of the creators' innocents harmed in any way, there is a debt that must/will be repaid by you/us, as the perpetrators/minions of unprecedented evile, will not be available. 'vote' with (what's left in) yOUR wallet, & by your behaviors. help bring an end to unprecedented evile's manifestation through yOUR owned felonious corepirate nazi glowbull warmongering execrable. some of US should consider ourselves somewhat fortunate to be among those scheduled to survive after the big flash/implementation of the creators' wwwildly popular planet/population rescue initiative/mandate. it's right in the manual, 'world without end', etc.... as we all ?know?, change is inevitable, & denying/ignoring gravity, logic, morality, etc..., is only possible, on a temporary basis. concern about the course of events that will occur should the life0cidal execrable fail to be intervened upon is in order. 'do not be dismayed' (also from the manual). however, it's ok/recommended, to not attempt to live under/accept, fauxking nazi felon greed/fear/ego based pr ?firm? scriptdead mindphuking hypenosys.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land."

meanwhile, the life0cidal philistines continue on their path of death, debt, & disruption for most of US. gov. bush denies health care for the little ones; []

whilst demanding/extorting billions to paint more targets on the bigger kids; []

& pretending that it isn't happening here; []
all is not lost/forgotten/forgiven

(yOUR elected) president al gore (deciding not to wait for the much anticipated 'lonesome al answers yOUR questions' interview here on /.) continues to attempt to shed some light on yOUR foibles. talk about reverse polarity; []

Re:casting bullame for corepirate nazi DOWnturn (0, Offtopic)

wampus (1932) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361240)


Re:casting bullame for corepirate nazi DOWnturn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22361904)

It's auto-generated by slashdot as a method of keeping down the trolls when the real trolls see the autogenerated crap they'll be less likely to troll in the story because they'll think it's already been trolled do you understand?

Its just price (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22362308)

as a student, I dont have 200 dollers I can spend on games, I have a fixed budget, Ill spend that budget on whats going to give me the most fun.

Back when games were 25c each in the US (or 5 cents at wounderland) 20 bucks would pay for a huge amount of play time, im talking all day long if I was good at some game.

Now with games showing up on ultra hard mode out of the box, and over 75cents to play each. you have priced me out of the market.

I think some of the arcade owners need to take a few econ classes, and pay for a support staff to keep the games in perfect working order. or at least train the money collecter guy to replace buttons that go bad.

You mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22361178)

I can play centipede at home??

Arcades can evolve (4, Interesting)

HalAtWork (926717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361202)

Arcades can evolve too. The market is there for people who want to rent out movie-theatre sized screens to play multiplayer games. How about an arcade that contains actual consoles where you just bring your memory cards or wiimotes (w/character data on) and just pay a cover charge and for drinks, or for a private room with friends (like billiards) all so you can play with a crowd on a giant screen? I'm sure parents would appreciate the break, and kids can be as loud as they want or game with their friends all night.
There is a giant rift between arcade games and their console counterparts because we cannot exchange character data between them or game on a console vs an arcade cabinet. If we allow this, then the popularity of the living room will also be interchangable with that of the public gaming outlets, and both can coexist and benefit from each other. Perhaps if you visit the arcades you can get the newest demos first, or the arcades can download them for you and burn them on disc and charge a token fee. Wii demos for full games could be distributed exclusively at arcades. There are many opportunities to increase the popularity of both at the same time.

Re:Arcades can evolve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22361436)

Arcades can evolve, but they had better be prepared to invest in the maintenance required for the games that they want to carry.

The latest and greatest light gun game is worthless if the gun falls out of calibration after just a few shots, especially for those games that have a light gun calibration routine before the main game starts. No sense in buying in to continue either, since the light gun's accuracy is already off the mark.

The latest and greatest in IR motion sensor games is worthless if the IR sensors have lag or don't respond. Those sensors do need to be cleaned periodically, even if they don't have to outright be replaced.

The latest and greatest dance simulator game is also worthless if the sensors are allowed to fail and eventually result in a poorly responsive or non-responsive pad. Same goes for anything rhythm-based that uses musical instrument type controls.. they have to be well-maintained or the game isn't worth playing just to fail out and lose a credit.

And so on. Yes, the newest technology arcade games are expensive, but for what some arcades are charging to play those new games, the maintenance needs to be just as good.

Re:Arcades can evolve (2, Interesting)

rpillala (583965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361792)

There used to be one of those in Laurel, MD called Galaxy Computing and they had to close their doors due to lack of customers. They had:

  • Big-screen TVs (two or three?) with consoles parked in front
  • 20 gaming PCs on a LAN
  • Deals with game studios to provide games at a much lower rate, and in some cases prelaunch
  • Advertising campaigns at local schools and whatnot
  • Group rates for things like birthday parties
  • lots of launch events - I saw the Baldur's Gate II launch event it was kind of sad
  • participation in national tournaments (I watched some guys play Red Alert II in a tournament - crazy!)
and still couldn't make a go of it. This was some years ago so the consoles were last-gen and the TVs were tubes. I'm not saying it can't work, I'm just saying that it's been tried and is being tried with hit-or-miss success. Go to [] for more info.

Re:Arcades can evolve (2, Interesting)

xenocide2 (231786) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361956)

Dave & Busters does the game and alcohol/food thing already, but they really pander to a more general audience than would play Soul Calibar 3 twice. For example, in Kansas City, they built one near the new NASCAR track, and the D&B has ridiculous amounts of redneck games. Turkey shooters, NASCAR racers etc. The problem appears to be that the people who try to cater to redneck fans have terrible ability or attention to quality, making the game's only attraction an initial familiarity.

As for turning arcades into game sales arenas, it's a bit difficult; only Nintendo has the business experience making both consoles and arcade cabinets, and they appear to have decided the arcade is dead to them. They'll license their characters, but none of their consoles are designed with integration in mind. For example, Sega pulled F-Zero and made an arcade counterpart to GX, with new levels, motion seats and game data imports (I've only seen one ever in person, at a Disney hotel of all places). The consoles are alive and well, while the arcades are languishing indeed. I imagine none of the three need the targeted advertising your proposal would allow. And the net is a better data distribution system than any physical place can be. But I can't imagine an arcade splurging for an internet connection to pull data off of XBox Live etc.

Re:Arcades can evolve (1)

ServerIrv (840609) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361978)

Mod Parent Up.

You would think that arcades could adapt to the changes. There are bars that have Guitar Hero nights to attract different crowds. Why would I want to play Guitar Hero at a bar? It provides a unique environment that cannot be replicated in my living room. I think that the proliferation of consoles at the home gives arcades an interesting advantage. Kids normally already know what games they like and just want a place to congregate to play with their friends. If you can make the place they play that much cooler, the arcade doesn't have to have expensive and/or exotic games. Instead of investing in expensive machines, simply invest in console game rooms with awesome sound and video and easy access to food and drinks. Allow people to either bring their games, or simply offer a lot of game options. Kids can bring their saved games and memory cards, and play them in a much cooler environment. Profit!

Re:Arcades can evolve (3, Funny)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362382)

Well, back in the BBS days I had about sixteen machines in my basement. I would bring a half dozen of the line servers down for the evening, and we'd play Duke Nukem 3D or Shadow Warrior into the wee hours of the night. It was intense. No online game can quite compare: hearing the guy across the room yell "Son of a bitch!" or "Goddammit!!!" and knowing it was that perfect sniper shot you had lined up ... well. "Satisfying" is an understatement.

One day I put a small TSR on one of the PCs that would let me send keystrokes to that machine. I would randomly fire the player's weapons for him, and if he happened to be, say, facing a wall at the time he'd blow himself up. This usually resulted in an anguished "What the FUCK!", with hilarity ensuing amongst the remaining players. Sometimes I could blow him up and take out a couple of nearby opponents as well. Eventually they cottoned on to me, and then it was me running for my life for the next couple of hours while they taught me a lesson I'd never forget.

I call BS (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361264)

I've been to a number of video arcades in Japan and they're more like gambling joints. They're more focused on pachinko, slots, artificial horse races, robot arm games, games that require extensive expertise and lot of money. They're focused on a different market than the Wii.

Movies blamed for death of Vaudeville (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361306)

VHS destroys Hollywood. Horseless carriage destroys buggywhip biz. Craigslist kills newspaper classifieds. Rise of city-states and domesticated livestock reduces esteem of hunters. And many more...

Who's to blame (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361432)

High gas prices... I guess that's one more thing to blame President Bush for.

I balme change, period. (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361434)

"... Namco Bandai is shuttering between 50 and 60 arcades in Japan and blaming the success of the Wii for the closures... To be fair they also blame the high cost of gasoline as well."

Boo-fucking-hoo. I say we ban AL change, for the good of all existing businesses! Just because I don't have a guarantee that I'll live to see tomorrow or be able to feed myself if I do, does not mean that arcade operators, music and movie companies, highly-paid sports figures, and business executives shouldn't be guaranteed a lifetime of support for their business model.

Won't somebody think of the businesses?!?

Solution (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361464)

Get better games into the arcades.

If they can play the exact same game at home, then you need to update your arcades to make it more attractive to potential customers. Don't blame the Wii. Blame yourself.

Why is nobody stating the obvious solution? (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361474)

Um... If their arcade is losing their audiance to the Wii, they why don't they make more Wii games?

Namco's a dedicated 3rd party, so what's preventing them from doing that?

Too Expensive (1)

bwalling (195998) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361476)

Arcades were better when the games were all a quarter. Slowly, they started making games that took two quarters, and now we're at a point where some games can cost $2, and there's a damned timer in it. Perhaps the arcades and the game makers have simply become too greedy and want too much profit. Maybe they should bring the cost per minute of game play down some.

Agreed. (1)

solios (53048) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362174)

A quarter a game - a game with three or four LIVES? Sweet deal.

A dollar or two to start playing, another dollar to KEEP playing, another dollar if you miss that goddamned checkpoint by a fortieth of a second? I don't care of Cruisin' USA has a nice huge sit-down cabinet. I'll play it on the N64 with a hell of a lot less of a monetary burn.

The cost-per-minute to play modern arcade games has put me off completely. I'll drop a few quarters on Q*Bert at the bar, but beyond that.... I really enjoy my Nintendo DS.

wii-arcade (1)

valentingalea (1039734) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361614)

Why don't they add Wii's to the arcades? :D

I call bull. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 6 years ago | (#22361752)

You can't play Tekken 6, VF5, and whatever game's hot these days on Wii.

Most games that show up in Japanese arcades are large, obtrusive machines of electronic entertainment. The Wii, as fun and intuative as it is, is a different form of entertainment.

Did it to themselves... (1)

binaryspiral (784263) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362156)

If the Japan arcade devolved anything like the arcades here in the states - it would be a blessing to put them out of their misery.

In the 80's and early 90's arcades were a place you could go drop some quarters into the latest cabinet games or pinball machines. The places were usually lit with neon and dim lights, had very little room to move around, and were packed with games.


we have brightly lit toddler magnets half full of broken down arcade games from the late 90's, and a slew of ticket spewing kiddy games a la Chucky Cheese.

Our local arcade is so dilapidated that they no longer even have a person working there... if a machine eats your coin, you're out of luck. Even the mall management won't take responsibility for the place. Yep, it's run by Namco..

Video Games? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362186)

Or are we hearing from the RIAA? Similar stories, both irrational.

Namco used to have a good arcade near me (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362342)

They would fix any game on the spot for you and I want quite a lot as well I toped going when they got rid of the pinball games. Now there is newer place that has broken down games and the people working there don't give a dam. Also there are trying to sell the pinball games at high prices for the condition that they are in.

There where also 2-3 other good arcades near me as well and the games that where on site where keep working and swapped form time to time They one give 10 free games on TZ and FH that was being swapped at a bowling alley. I did not time to fully play them out but I put $2-$4 a weak in to the games after that for a few yeas after that they they even had UMK3 wavenet at the same site and at the arcades in the same area. They also put good pinball games in to [] in Mt. Prospect. Now days they don't take care of the games. The fast food place dose not own the games and people that do used to be alot better but now days they seem to be big on there Golden Tee Golf games. []

Put Cutey Honey in Soul Calibur V! (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 6 years ago | (#22362462)

No, stop laughing, I'm serious! --well at least stop rolling on the floor. :(

It could get about three more people playing in the arcades, if Namco really wants that and not just more IP tightening. For one, the Cutie has tits and a weapon, which seems to be the baseline for girl inclusion in a Soul game. (I mean, her nude transformations would fit quite nicely with such wholesome liberally-covered characters as Ivy and Sophitia "I'm sorry!" Alexandra.) Secondly, Namco can spin it to attract the female crowd by calling the 70s anime character who can turn into pretty much anyone [] an example of the feminist ideal.

Lastly, if they're really feeling cash-strapped with the whole arcade thing, they can get Michiko Neya [] to do both Sophie and Honey. (She's already done both, so it's not entirely crazy...)

It's not like Namco--or, at least, Namco Bandai [] --hasn't heard of her. Bandai distributed the 2004 movie in the States.

I'm not (necessarily) saying this as a fan of Honey, I'm saying this as something that would make some sense--at least as much sense as Link...or Yoda...or Vader [] . While they'd certainly have to hobble her abilities to put her against the main fighters, and I'm not sure about any associated Honey royalties, how exclusive Aruze's rights to use Honey [] are, or even if she's popular enough to make a difference for Namco's wallet, it would still be fun to see her bouncing around in an arcade fighting game for once. It'd certainly make more sense than any anti-console whining.

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