Japanese arcade preview from AOU 2006

Posted Feb 20th 2006 9:30PM by Dan ChoiFiled under:The next generation of arcade games--that will appear in actual arcade cabinets--is looking great, but the chances of seeing the best titles outside of Japan appear to be growing dimmer by the (AOU) year.While it's certainly feasible for updates like Soul Calibur III Arcade Edition and After Burner Climax to make it to Western amusement establishments later this year, other upcoming releases present some cost-prohibitive requirements, such as the enclosed playing environment with two 100-inch screens for House of the Dead 4 Special and the HD flat screens and multiple networked kiosk arrangement for Virtua Fighter 5. (Who will support VF.TV in the States?)There may not be much foreign demand for the snappier play of a Japanese-centric port like Half-Life 2 Survivor (especially in nations where FPS titles are more accepted by the gaming public), but convincing the arcade owners of America to take on "$50,000 deluxe four-player units" will surely become an intense study of risk management going forward. If the GameWorks, ESPN Zones, and other bar- or restaurant-arcade hybrids that are popular today can place these units in the realm of their pricier ride-like attractions, however, there may be hope yet for a few of these more expensive investments to make it outside of Japan.

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