Very interesting read. I think the biggest point in the fall of popularity of arcades is the increase in technology of modern consoles and pc's. In the old days of the spectrum and commodore 64 people would spend money on the coin-op because it was so much better than the home computer. The same cannot be said today.
I rarely go to arcades these days but they were part of my teenage years and it became a social thing to talk about the latest fighting games and moves. Dimly lit, smoky dungeons with chewing gum on the floor are all part of teenagers life cycle.
I've noticed no REAL discernable increase in the quality of graphics on an arcade game for ages. The last one I was wowed by was House Of The Dead 2. I like the novelty ones now, like the dune buggy game and topskater etc. Things you cant get at home!
Yeah, I agree GG, that's the only thing an arcade can really offer over the home environment...hydraullic cabinets and the like. The graphics offered by modern consoles and top end PC's can match, if not better the arcade graphics. Home versions of the same game also tend to offer extra gameplay modes as well.
The cabinet thing is a big plus for arcade games, as especially in say racing or flight sim games a moving cabinet improves the experience no end! Playing even Outrun or Afterburner on a full size arcade cab today is still an impressive experience. I guess it's games such as fighting games (where there is no flashy cabinet) that work better at home. These games are complex in the moves you can perform on them so they take some time (and money) to learn on the arcade. At home you get the same experience, if not a better experience with 5.1 sound, bigger screen, a choice of control devices. You also get as long as you like to learn all the moves and as mentioned above perhaps a story mode to enhance the 1 Player version of the game.
I feel that arcades will offer more and more driving, flying, skiing etc type games with their flashy cabinets and less and less of your traditional say platform and fighting games.
My friend is an arcade technician at a pretty good arcade.
Racing games, Dance Dance Revolution, etc.??? Sometimes $60 a day. Mortal Kombat 2? $10 a week.
I prefer the arcade machine over the home version, as long as the arcade was where that game started. Like, the other day at a used game store, I played the arcade cabinet of Marvel VS Capcom(the original). I liked that better than the home versions, even though the DC, for example came damn damn close, and you could get right next to perfection with MAME on a PC, etc.
True though, arcades have to continue becoming inovative.