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Games Entertainment

Sony In Deal For Networked Arcade Games 110

Ggggeo writes: "I saw this story at Yahoo! about Sony in a deal with Sega and Namco about networked arcade games. Not just local networked games, but wide area networked games you can play in one arcade against other players in other arcades far, far, away. The article also mentions DoCoMo (in regard to bringing iPhone content to your TV through a PlayStation.) Basically it will be a pumped-up version of the home PlayStation with lots of additions and enhancements (cameras, monitors, and high speed networks among others)."
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Sony In Deal For Networked Arcade Games

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  • After reading "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson, I've just been waiting for a widely used real-time, virtual arena where individuals can actually interact in ways other than murdering one another with railguns. I could really see something like this coming out of a networked arcade. It's got big, expensive, custom hardware, cashing pouring in, and just the kind of people who would throw their money at really cool, but presently uneconomical eye candy. Arcades are a great place for murdering others, but I think all this hardware has potential for even more. If you think about it, we can't really even talk to each other in these games without disabling movement (since you need hands to steer).

    I'd love to see an environment that actually is a world... a place where people can actually talk with each other by talking, or even smiling, and frowning, and gesturing, instead of typing. Arcades are just the place to get into this type of technology. Think about it. The nice thing about having public terminals is that lots of people are using the same gear and they're all paying to use it at different times. Because of this, the hardware can be way more expensive and therefore way cooler. What I'm wondering is whether anyone realizes the potential for an actual world, with actual people, rather than just musclebound, guntoting automatons. Imagine stepping into a booth, putting on a headset, and opening your eyes to an artifical, yet somehow real digital world, where you can actually meet people on the other side of the world, rather than just passing back and forth colorless messages in a terminal window...
  • by tang ( 179356 )
    At the arcade near me they have all the standalone typical arcade games. Then in one corner they have around 20 PCs. You rent them for a certain amount of time and can play online games against people on the internet, not just at the same arcade.
    It's kind of neat, they are really nice PC's with 21 inch monitors. If I didn't have a PC I might be tempted, however all the games are just standard stuff you can buy over the counter. Counter Strike seems to be the most popular there.
  • Hm. Interesting point.

    Let's get into character.


  • by VelitesJ ( 318184 ) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @06:19AM (#414337)
    Arcades in LAN / WAN. What a marvellous idea.. Except not..

    Most people owning a computer nowadays have more processing power than the common arcade machines - the only advantage the Arcade still has is the fancy stuff, like a steering wheel and huge monitors, surround sound etc. The only reason I'd want to pay up 10 Norwegian Kroner (a little more than a dollar) to play in a WAN would be to see the face of the person I have beaten, right after I have beaten him..

    It's all psychology. In short: I don't think it's very satisfying to win a game of Ferrari racing, and leave the Arcade machine thinking "Oh boy, did I cream that BllDg guy somewhere in Kansas City".

    Point: It's completely irrelevant that the technology exists.. If I want to play long-distance-network, I might as well use the internet - in which case I can play for a week for the same prize it costs me to play two games in the arcade.

    Give me the internet any day.

  • I frequent some "adult arcades" now and then like ESPNZone and Dave & Buster's and you are right. It isn't so much the game itself but the controllers and the huge screens you can use to play.

    It is pretty fun to strap on a pair of fake skis or jump into an F-1 car and race your buddy who is right next to you. May be even cooler to race someone else from around the world and see their reactions as they play on a live video feed!!
  • Think of it as another market for the big MMORPGs like EverQuest or Ultima Online, or the upcoming Anarchy Online. You drop your into the slot, enter your username and password, and play anywhere. Probably could load several MMORPGs on a box, and you could choose what to play. . .

    Question is, could it be a moneymaker ???

  • Not in the slightest!

    Granted you are correct and home systems can rival the arcade for game content and selection, but the one place that home systems fall way short is on interaction with other human beings. Going to the arcade gives you a chance to compete against other people who love the game just as much as you do. There is probably someone at the arcade that is better than you at any game at any given time. You can't get that level of competition at home.

    Not only are pretty much limited to the people that you know when playing at home, and let me tell you playing the same fighting game time and again against the same person with no penalty when you loose get real boring real quick, but the arcade offers a little extra excitement because you know when you loose your money is gone. At home you paid for it, you own it, and the only thing that you loose playing is time.

    Now with all this in mind I must say that I think that the idea of playing a networked game in an arcade seems like a brain dead idea. Obviously someone said to them selves, "Well it works with home games, let's take it back to the arcade!" What they are failing to realize is that eliminates more than half of the reason to even go spend money at the arcade - THE PEOPLE!
  • How will teenagers play arcade video games in the future? Giggling away with friends or alone in a networked world, battling anonymous foes in foreign cities, miles away, communicating only through blinking screens?

    This is a trifle bleak and shortsighted. PC gamers with bandwidth to spare are already using Voice over IP products such as Roger Wilco to make WAN gaming more personal. I can envisage video conferencing technology making the arcade equivalent really very sociable.

    There's a Namco arcade racing game (I forget the name) wherein a picture of taken of your face before the race begins, and that picture hovers above your car, so that in 2-8 player games you can see which of your friends you've just overtaken (or been overtaken by). It's a very simple idea, which adds to the pleasure of the game immensely. Imagine little ideas like this in a WAN context.

    The real problem with WAN gaming, both in arcades and in the home, is this: who wants to play against arbitary strangers? You either want to play against people who are already your friends (I've never seen a lobby system that makes this easy), or in some sort of cup or leage that matches you against people whos skill level is similar to yours. This is a problem I haven't seen dealt with yet (although I don't frequent die-hard Quake communities, where things might be more organised -- but those communities demand your life and soul...).

  • No matter how advanced the games get, an arcade is still one of the top spots to hang after hours away from the 'rents. Half the kids in any arcade aren't even playing, they're watching, cheering, smoking crack, what have you. Anything to get out of the house.
  • Didn't anyone ever play MK3 with Midway's WaveNet service? It was about $2 a play, and I only knew of about a half dozen arcades that had it. All the ones I know of are in Chicago, where Midway is based and tests their products. It could be that it never got out of testing, but it worked pretty well. The only thing missing was real time voice chat for trash talking your remote opponent. Golden Tee and others upload scores on a nightly basis as well.. I also saw some driving game recently (Rush 2012?) that let's you enter an account name and PIN to save your progress/unlocking of tracks/etc to a master database, accessible from any other location. This is definitely cool stuff, but I honestly don't see why it's necessary. Playing MK3 against someone in another arcade was a great novelty, but in reality I'd rather pay half the price and play a friend of mine, who I can talk trash to and make fune of when I w00p his arse. LAN games (ala Battletech, D&D, etc.) can definitely add a lot to the experience, but I don't see a real need for WAN gaming at this point.. unless they start making massively multiplayer arcade games.
  • You mean all those hacks like Miyamoto? Nearly all of the games I've played lately that made me think "wow, this is an interesting new idea" or that someone had to take brave step to make the game at all have been japanese: Sega Bass Fishing, Prop Cycle (one of my all-time favourites), Jet Grind Radio, 18 wheeler racing, and others. They are pretty imaginative things.

    In their heyday in the early 80's Atari and Williams produced some pretty funky things, but from (say) 1987 onwards, the US contribution to arcade games is pretty average at best.

    I think something you are missing is that japanese manufacturing also has a terrific attention to detail that is (in my experience) missing from american goods. I always felt that US-made products don't feel right compared to either japanese or european-made ones.

    In gaming terms, it's the little details that make the difference. Good examples of this for me are the Super Taxi Driver PC game, which copies every element of Crazy Taxi yet somehow manages to be an unbelievably dull game, or the myriad Elite/Frontier derivatives that despite snazzier graphics and more 'stuff', don't feel as good or as engrossing as the original - attention to details.
  • Actually, networked games usually don't require that much bandwith at all, a modem could do, but they do require a low latency.
  • That was soooo months ago... catch up with the geek culture, sheesh...
  • Hello!

    I'm working on networked arcade-style games myself.
    An interesting point is that those games can only work with a minimal lag. When you're playing around the world, you get close to the physical limits. Imagine two gamers on opposite points of the earth. A signal would travel 21k kilometers. Double that - you want a response. That alone gives you a minimum lag of 42k/330k = ~0.13 seconds. Speed of light.
    Of course the real problem for me are modem dialups. They usually give you a lag of 0.5 s.
  • Maybe I've been out of the arcade scene for too long, but best I remember a video arcade was about as good a place to meet women as a CS department as a Tech school.

    True. in my times it was like this: if you actually managed to dig up a girl somewhere else, you went to the video arcade with her and showed off. and all she had to do was to marvel at your gaming skills and show everybody else to whom she belonged.
  • Anybody knows weither they would be welcomed on Abilene (Internet 2) ? That would be a great occasion to showoff the promesses of ultra-fast internet to the masses. Picture higres video streams used to merge two or three arcades room togheter, into one large room - spanning continents.

    I could race my brother, who moved to Cambride last year, and prove for once that I still kick is ass - and nag him about it with realtime eye contact - that's the good part.

    I can see projects like Disney's "Virtual-World" comming back. (mechwarrior acarde games, played at 10$ a pop). Except now they would be cooler, cheaper to produce, and actualy novel.

  • Just a side note, but 'docomo', when pronounced, sounds just like 'dokomo', which in japanese means 'anywhere'. Don't know why they used Co instead of Ko, but then I don't know what DoCoMo stands for, explicitly, either.
  • Alright, it just hurts me to see so many people discussing arcades as a thing of the past. Granted they are not as prevelant as before, because manufacturers have been steadily increasing prices of the units to the point that its not uncommon for non-deluxe games to cost 75 cents a time to play, and that is just ridiculous.

    There are many reasons why arcades (hopefully) will not die out. As mentioned by several people, its a social experience, they get to show off in front of their comrades and even more importantly strangers. They are a place to hang out that just about anyone can afford to go to and have some fun.

    That latter point is important. MANY people go to the arcade for instant gratification. An arcade machine is not the same experience as my home gaming setup, never will be. Being able to walk between classes to the Kentucky Arcade (I go to UK), and chill with people I know, talk to the cool owner, kick some ass before my next class, can not be matched by going home to my home theater monitor, Dreamcast, and Soul Caliber, no matter how good that is in its own environment.

    Support your local arcade!

  • by brianvan ( 42539 ) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @07:33AM (#414352)
    Actually, there's a substantial amount of kids nowadays that have never really hung out in a real arcade... many municipal governments in the US have fought long and hard to make arcades... aka juvenile delinquent hangouts, as they saw them... a non-existent part of the landscape. Hence, there is no local arcade anymore, no place to really hang out and play all kinds of games.

    Before you argue with me, an arcade is NOT:

    1. a movie theater
    2. an indoor amusement park that's rather large and is not easily accessible by foot for most people (some lucky kids have these nearby, but it's like the movie theaters now... you gotta drive a distance to get to one)
    3. a deli or small shop with less than 3 arcade machines
    4. anyplace that charges admission
    5. a local-area tourist attraction or highway rest stop

    Not to say you can't get your game on in those places, but in general, those are NOT hangouts for the purposes of playing arcade games. Specifically, a lot of those places are faraway for most kids, not easily accessible, expensive, and generally unsuitable for hanging out with the guys (or girls). You could hangout there, for whatever reason, but it's not like an arcade. It's not the same atmosphere.

    I really wish that didn't happen, but there were too many pedophiles, drug dealers, thugs packin heat and knives, and all other kinds of seedy elements gathering there after a while to ruin it for everyone. I mean, it's not that it got bad at most arcades... but it was excuse enough for the cops to harrass the places. And since they got to be too much trouble to run, people stopped running them. I can personally think of 4 or 5 arcades in walking distance from my house that went belly-up when I was growing up. Hell, I had an amusement park in my town that got knocked down a few years before I was born (to make condos, no less) for the exact same reasons.

    Video game consoles just replaced arcades... it's not that they made them extinct. They were already becoming extinct.

    For proof, there's a lot of coin-op companies getting out of the business (or already out). Williams, the grand-pinball company, is one of them. It's sad, really.
  • oh no, let's go a step further.. Take Dactyl - that VR game from way back, update it's graphics and processor and then have death matches. Ok, so the parent groups would freak at the kids having a Virtual Reality Death match arena in town (Special! AXE night! or Shotguns only night!) but this is the direction. If we have to suffer with big overzealous games then make them cool. VR is possible so let's do it.
  • For the last -hmm- 10 years I haven't seen any point in a console game, PC's are better in just about every way. The only way console games SEEM better is in the drawing speed, and that's because they are running at a resolution that would make any PC gammer sick.

    BUT--it's possible to do some things in arcades that are way outside what the typical home user can do.

    I have yet to see a PC or console that can--

    place pictures of all your teammates on monitors with full motion vidio and sound (Hell, how about just the sound??? Most games use pre-recorded hotkeys)!

    Allow for specialized control systems. Hell, you can't even play Tempest on a PC like you could in the arcade, and that game is decades old now.

    Run ANY games without a fairly significant initial investment.

    Support extravagant hardware such as gigantic monitors and powerful sound systems without, again, a large ammount of $ up front.

    Arcades are also a place to socialize, a place to meet others, many have a fantastic atmosphere and food and lack the extreme m/f ratio of a lan party.

    They just need to evolve a little...
  • Well, for those who never saw a real arcade, you can kind of get the idea by watching this video [].

    Yes, those were the good ol' days. Now I can't stand more than 30 seconds on modern games without knowing 300 secret moves.


  • All your bandwidth are belong to us.
  • Being a teenager I should know. Hell i love arcades and maybve I'll explain.

    1. The arcade controls I like. Better than what I would use at home. Besides I love the point and shoot games.
    2. I don't own every system. There are games in there that I don't have are can't have because I don't own the system.
    3. I get to show off infront of my friends. 'Nuff said
    4. Multiplayer games work so much better because everyone has their own screen and no fighting over the better conroller

    Is this enough reasons?

  • by doctor_oktagon ( 157579 ) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @05:52AM (#414358)
    Anything that gets Sega doing its great software, instead of its ridiculous hardware is a good idea. Hopefully they won`t be working with MS, so it`ll be MS vs sony/sega/namco/etc.

    Well considering Sega already worked with MS to provide a copy of WinCE for the dreamcast, this hardly seems a solid viewpoint.

    As to the Dreamcast being "ridiculous" hardware, what the hell was "ridiculous" about stuffing half of an arcade machine in a $200 games console, so you could port all your top-end arcade games straight to the home for minimal cost? No developer ever stated the Dreamcast was difficult to develop for. The problem was Sega had no idea about marketing it, so no-one got to know how good it was. And we know what happens when the inferior tech gets all the marketing dollars: the inferior tech wins.

    If it's "ridiculous" hardware you are after, then take a look at the innards of the Sega Saturn, or more to the point the PS2 with it's crazed innards.

  • Is this to compete against cyber-cafe's? They were the first to start using broadband and computers to get business...
    I know there is a cyber cafe next to the university I went to. It got its business by charging by the 1/2 hour to play quake on their network (which was hooked to the internet). We all know competing against people is more fun, especially if its a lot of people (64 player quake2 games, for example).

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You see whole internet style cyber cafes, except they're not for surfing, they're for networked games. These places are jam packed.

    Bangkok had loads of them.
    Tokyo was the same.

    Sega wanted to compete in that market, but Sony could own it.
  • I play golden tee 2k [] all the time at the neighborhood bar. You can enter contest against people nationwide and even win money.
  • Okay...Joe's coffee shop has a PC with a mouse and a copy of UT. Now, if sony wanted to do it, they'd have a 50 inch screen, a platform to stand on, and a "real" gun thing to aim and shoot with.

    Play Star Wars:Pod Racer on a PC. Then go to Dave & Busters and play it there - as AMC Theaters say - "There is a difference".
  • by the Man in Black ( 102634 ) <> on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @05:58AM (#414363) Homepage
    I'd love to see an environment that actually is a world... a place where people can actually talk with each other by talking, or even smiling, and frowning, and gesturing, instead of typing.

    Dude. Step away from your computer. Walk towards an immediate exit. Exit. Look around. Thos funny looking avatars in khakis with ID badges on? No they're not crabheads, put that rocket launcher down. Those are called PEOPLEv.2.1(GPL). You can have all the interaction you just described and more with them!

    P.S.-->The sweet-smelling ones are called girls. I'll let you figure that one out.

    --Just Another Pimp A$$ Perl Hacker
  • This sounds like a really cool and interesting idea...swipe your card...put in your bet amount... and play away. A lot more fun than games of chance that you have no control over. However, I could never see this happening due to most arcade users being younger than the legal gambling age of 21. At least from my experience anyway.
  • After seeing the uninterested replies...I feel I have to point out the only advantage to the arcade room. Bandwidth!

    I can see arcades popping up in Internet apartments. Most of them in Houston have at last a t3 connection. Toss in the Malls and you can have some great late night parties.
  • Maybe cuz a game isn't as likely to crash on a console that its made for than to try to adapt to the infinite variations of hardware and software you could have in your PC.
  • I see your point...Imagine playing a FPS in an arcade and depositing 25 cents every time you got killed ;-)
  • OK, I'll bite.

    Dude, I can only assume that you're just starting out as a troll. Now, you've got the inflammatory part right, but you have to be more subtle on your blatant factual inaccuracies. For example:

    until the president of Japan...

    Now, no one's going to take you seriously if you insist on sounding like an angry 4th grader who's dad beat up on him too much. Japan is a parliamentary democracy (sound it out, it's not as hard as it looks). What this means is, there's been an Emperor in Japan since around the 7th century. He's rather symbolic nowadays but, still there.

    Have a nice day!

    --Just Another Pimp A$$ Troll-Killer
  • I thought the arcade industry was dieing.... remember how Midway isn't making pinball games anymore?? I think pinball and air hockey are the only reason to go to arcades anymore (at least they don't cost $1.50 per play). To me, networked arcade games don't make sense. I don't understand why anyone would go to the arcade to play with somebody that isn't even there. If I'm leaving my house, I'm going to be playing with somebody standing right next to me! It's much more fun to "trash talk", etc. when you are playing with somebody. Now if I am alone at home, then I might play "long distance."
  • This idea has me really excited. I still remember my most exciting video game memories from the arcade at Canada's Wonderland (amusement park a la Six Flags in the US). They had a Daytona USA rig with 8 player simultaneous side-by-side action. When a group of friends came to the park, we'd easily spend $10-15 racing each other (game cost $1 each, seems cheap by today's standards), taunting loudly the entire time. Warcraft 2 still gets the nod as my favourite all-time game, but that 8-player Daytona will always remain my favourite gaming experience. It certainly won't be as exciting racing against someone in another location, but the human factor which is so critical to the enjoyment of today's games will be there.
  • Unless, that is, you want a game that ISN'T an FPS or RTS, because it seems that's all that PC game manufacturers make anymore.

    Face it, consoles are your best bet for games. Especially now when you can buy a $300 console and get graphics that rival (if not surpass) a $1500 computer.

    As always, though, it's all about the games. RPGs are strictly console territory. 99.9999% of the RPGs for the PC *SUCK HARDCORE*. Everyone was ranting and raving about Baldurs Gate 2, saying it's the best RPG ever, and, my god... Talk about a BORING game.

    Oh, and if you want something that isn't the same old recycled dribble... something ORIGINAL, consoles are the best as well. Take Chu-Chu Rocket, Samba De Amigo, Seaman, etc.

    Fighting games are better on a console than a PC. There's *no* argument on this one.

    Stick to your PC if you want to play the same games over and over again. Consoles are for the true gamers.

    -- Dr. Eldarion --
  • A bit slow with the forethought, wouldn't you say?
  • That would be great. Four people could play Gauntlet without crowding.

  • Probably along the lines of the "Waterworld" game from The Simpsons:

    -move one step-
    "Game Over. Please deposit forty quarters"



    I'm a mame fanatic, and for the sole reason of bringing me back to my child hood days hanging out with y friends playing donkey kong. I do the same thing now with my grown up friends at dave and busters. The traditional arcade has died, but with the new games that are coming out now i'm sorry but I just cant' afford a six car array of indy cars with one huge 8 foot screen. If you go to up to date arcades you will be blown away by how much better the game play is, plus it's also a matter of social interaction that safe and none threatening.
  • It was also done on a much larger scale with San Francisco Rush/Rush The Rock. I worked for Midway at the time. They had arcades in So. Cal, No. Cal and Chicago all hooked up and running, with tournaments and a ladder system. I really enjoyed playing it, but our machines were on "free play" :-) I believe the plug was pulled because of a combination of political squabbles and not enough revenue coming in vs. costs for all the leased lines, servers, development, etc. A big part of the networked play thing was trying to find a way for Midway to get some of the "take" beyond the initial sale price of the game.

  • This is the funniest thing i've read all week.

    "welcome to the desert of the real "
  • As soon as they hook up those scent chips so I can smell the sweet girls at those faraway arcades I am there. Honestly Desperate or is this more than desperate?
  • Alas, pinball *used* to be a test of skill, until they took out the mechanical flippers and made them all electronic. There's no finesse anymore...
  • If you did find a girl at an arcade, 99% of the time they were with a boyfriend or husband,

    Damn, forgot to take out my Speak&Spell and do a grammar check.

  • $5 a game!? I've seen like $1.00 a game or 50 cents a game to play Mortal Kombat "on the bigger screen" and I think its a rip when I can play the game on my PC for free.

    $5 a game!? Jesus Christ..the game better suck my dick for that price.

    $5 a game = 1 beer
  • Er... isn't this old news considering blizzard games and battlenet. Granted, its game consoles rather than actual boxes but given that lots of people on battlenet are on high speed conections, I think this has been around for a bit.
  • Imagine some of the cooler arcade games networked?
    like the better 4 player hack and slasher games... if you could play with others or against them!

    This might be what is needed to re-vitalize the arcade. although I see $2.00- $5.00 per play games coming out of this (The price per play has gotten a bit insane hasen't it?) as the operators and manufacturers squeeze the player a bit harder.

  • If that's what you're after, try Phantasy Star Online for the Dreamcast.
  • I've gotta say, I wouldn't really call myself a gamer.

    I'd much rather spend my spare time driving my car, hacking something apart, or putting something together (hardware or software - doesn't matter to me, same level of enjoyment). In fact the only reason I bought a 3D video card with 16MB of ram was cause my old 2D card died, and I had a $200 (australian) gift coucher for the local computer superstore.


    That was ofcourse, untill I played counter strike. This has to be one of the best FPS I've played ever. I'm constantly amazed at the clarity of play capable over a 56K dial up internet connection.

    When i first jumped on, it was like the feeling I got the first time on IRC, talking with peopl from a different world. Except on a higher level. THis time I was working with people asa a team to to kill other people.

    The fact that there was limited aural (ie direct spoken or typed messages) communication made the experience even better. It was like in real life skirmishes, you have to know the signs and what they mean, as well as applyiong a little intuition.

    That was my rant about networked games any. I just gotta say because of Counter Strike [] I haven't touched my 3 month old PS2 in 4 weeks.

  • Anything that gets Sega doing its great software, instead of its ridiculous hardware is a good idea.
    Hopefully they won`t be working with MS, so it`ll be MS vs sony/sega/namco/etc.
  • Problem is when you play network games it becomes the central focus of the night (not a sidebar distraction) and you lose track of time. You don't really end up paying attention to any of your friends, unless they're in the cyber world with you. Hence the introduction of lan parties
  • Feh.

    Gauntlet was the first videogame on which I regularly made new friends. There's been nothing like it before or since; it invoked a spontaneous camaradarie among the players, as you taught each other the tricks, gave up health for the weaker players, and watched each other's backs.

    I'm surprised that the notion of a cooperative, rather than competitive multiplayer game hasn't seen more exposure. The modern 'two gun' lightgun games are hardly in the same league.

    But I don't think it'd work if you weren't all on the same machine.

  • Atari Games [] (now completely absorbed by Midway?)'s "San Francisco Rush" series is Wide Area Networked. I was at Atari's offices once and played SFRush against folks in Los Angelese and New York.

    No cameras, though. :)

  • How much are they planning to charge per game? Someone's got to pay for all that bandwidth!


  • by Jon Erikson ( 198204 ) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @05:36AM (#414391)

    Not being a teenager I'm not really sure about the answer to this question, but what does the arcade really have to offer any more?

    Home console systems now have pretty much all the power we need to run arcade-quality games, and every year sees a huge leap in performace with the release of new systems. The only thing I can see that traditional arcades offer is games with novelty controllers, like those huge ones that have fake motorcycles. And those cost so much that they're hardly economical...

    So where does this leave the traditional arcade? It seems to be to be a doomed business...

  • A company in Lousville, KY [full disclosure: I worked for thier previous incarnation], has been working on this with great success for quite a long time. Agora Interactive [] the system they call "GATE []" also includes video conferencing in the system.

    They also developed a virtual reality game based on a doom/quake-like engine using the iGlasses [], a standard arcade box, and a Pentium 133.

    Unfortunately, look like they filled for Chapter 11 [] (reorganization) in January.

    .e. []
  • Right now, I'm able to go to a local arcade and play Unreal Tournament and a few other "arcade" games on a T1 connection to the internet for a certain amount of time per dollar (not that I'd spend that money)... What's the difference between that and what Sony plans (except for the obvious in using the PlayStation.. a lesser machine anyhow)?

    *shrug* Nothing to see here, move along, move along...
  • IMO, I think that arcade games have lost some of their sheen in the past few years. Some of the games on the new consoles and the PC look every bit as beautiful as their arcade counterparts, and you simply can't beat the ability to play online with lots of your friends.

    Even still, perhaps what's hard to replace is the social aspects of the arcade environment itself. I'll still play the odd arcade game or two if I'm in a bar with friends and it's lots of fun. So if Sony can combine the power of online games with the social aspects of the arcade I think they may have a powerful combination.

    Tux Racer experts. The Linux Pimp []

  • What about our favorite bar game -- Golden Tee 2k? That has an access card you can apply for and you swipe it through and you play tournament games (FOR MONEY) right from your local watering hole (or whereever). This has been around for at least several years that I know of. I guess it isn't like playing a 4 player race car game hooked up against 50 other players, but it is the same general idea.

    I happen to prefer drunk golf than drunk driving :)
  • P.S.-->Oh, the other reasons that traditional arcades will never die out. You can play pool, pinball, and meet girls in them. Girls are good.

    Maybe I've been out of the arcade scene for too long, but best I remember a video arcade was about as good a place to meet women as a CS department as a Tech school. Naturally there are some flukes, but I can't seriously recommend going to arcades to meet women. Also, very few arcades anymore have pool tables (at least in this area). If you want to play pool with a bunch of friends, you have to seek out a community centre or one of those smoke filled pool halls. Finally, pinball is certainly out of style, although you can usually find a couple of old disused machines in the back corner of the arcade these days, I'm not sure how long they will stay around.

    Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Arcade games have home console and pc games beat because of hardware. Totally immersive environments that one just cannot duplicate at home without thousands of dollars. That's where arcades come in.

    I'm not sure where you got the idea that arcades are pretty much history. In fact, the arcade industry doing just fine. It's just that the industry is changing. The better arcades are now aimed at adults - not teenagers. Places like Dave and Buster's [] and Jillians []. They are making millions. These are the companies that have the capital necessary to buy and install those types of networked games. They also cater to clientel that can and do pay the outrageous prices they charge. Hell I'm one of them, and I think it's worth the 50 - 100 bucks per visit, drinks and food included of course.

    It's the mom and pop shops that are losing their shirts. Sorry kids, you'll have to wait for the cool shit - or get your folks to take you.

  • Imagine an arcade with hundreds of big screen machines, together with hundreds of triggerhappy people pointing big guns at those screens and shooting each other. Hell, if you make enough of those arcades, we can solve wars this way. You just need a Mod so the soldiers from the opposite side were the correct uniform.
  • Lots of people are saying "What's the point? My PC/console is just as good and a lot cheaper in the long run than an arcade."

    While that may be true for many games, arcades have always allowed much more elaborate setups, some of which may be quite involved. Picture, if you will, a room full of enclosed generic cockpits, each with wrap-around screens and surround sound. You go in with a bunch of friends or strangers, pay your money, pick a game, and next thing you and your team know you're in a big competition flight/space/mech sim against your archrivals thousands of miles away.

    Now I'd pay more for THAT.
  • Mod him up for hitting the nail on the head. I just wish there was some way of proving his point, or at least of reducing the subjectivity, for example taking an arcade game and seeing how much effort is needed to port it to DC and PS2, and then asking users which looked and played better.

  • A few weeks ago there was a "glimpse of the future" clip released showing people play the online Final Fantasy in arcades. Also I remember some article mentioning Square, Sony, and online arcades. Maybe this is the same deal.

    Like to trade music, check out my shows at
  • no one's going to take you seriously

    With a name like 'Flabdabb Hubbard', being taken seriously is not something that I often need to worry about.

  • "Well considering Sega already worked with MS to provide a copy of WinCE for the dreamcast, this hardly seems a solid viewpoint."

    As long as they keep it away from the PS2 i dont care what they`ve done in the past! I thought Sony were working on their own OS anyway?

    I dont think the DC`s hardware is all that - its good, but its old now. All the games i`ve seen have that pc-style frame dropping effect.
    The professional thing to do is fix the game in one frame rate, like on arcade/ps1/n64 games.

  • a couple of things - 1) don't use modems - they introduce their own latency, disconnect, take a long time to dial, etc. The only advantage is they are cheap. 2) if you can, use some sort of "dead reckoning" algorithm where for a short time in the absence of any updated state objects will continue along in a sensible way and you can slowly "bring them back" to where they should be when you do receive the data. This is a lot harder than running the games in a lock-step config, but much more lag resistant
  • Yeah, but it's the RIGHT girls you DO end up meeting 8^)
  • Imagine two gamers on opposite points of the earth. A signal would travel 21k kilometers. Double that - you want a response.

    Maybe it's just me, but if a company has serious $$$ to invest, I'd be looking to position a server midway between these two hypothetical players and halve the distance of which you speak.


    This should get around the "double that" gotcha, right?

  • ...will we be able to play Tradewars? :)

    ...More Powerful than Otto Preminger...
  • pinball is the best part!

    Seriously, you may spend your first couple dollars on the new flashy arcade game, where every quarter buys about a minute of fun, but then you'll find your way to pinball, where it's truly a test of skill and it won't make you bankrupt anywhere near as quickly (unless you suck)

  • Pinball enthusiasts aren't dead, but arcades these days don't seem to want these "old school" machines when they can stick in 2 more Tekken Tag Tournament consoles that will draw the crowds for six months or until another fighting game comes along, whichever comes first. Quite frankly, the people who love Pinball games have grown up and don't spend nearly as much time in the arcades as they used to.

    Down that path lies madness. On the other hand, the road to hell is paved with melting snowballs.
  • I can certainly understand their desire to get a more solid revenue stream going. All the MK games were huge, I know I personally put probably $2000 or so in MK3, and I know of at least a dozen more people who did the same. Wavenet was fun, but the cost was just nuts. I'm sure the leased lines were pricy, especially because that was a while before the internet explosion. I wonder if the econmics will work out better now, with T-1s going for a fractions of what they used to..
  • Joe Sixpack won't have to do anything - - the article isn't talking about revamping a PS2 for home use. It was talking about revamping a PS2 for ARCADE use. Joe Sixpack can certainly figure out how to walk into an arcade, put a dollar in a slot, and shoot stuff. I don't think Joe Sixpack has a gaming station with a propietary operating system that is networked, with cameras, removeable storage and a scanner.
  • The various Pete's around town (last time I was there I counted four) are an exception rather than the rule. Just staying in southeast Michigan, how many other arcades are there really? One, maybe two in Ypsi. Then there's the vast wasteland which is Oakland county. I swear some places put in a laser tag game, three video games, and one of those cheesy claw games and call themselves an arcade.

    Thankfully, there will always be exceptions to the rule, but for now the local arcade as an instituion is dead. As a pickup spot, it may have been still born.
  • You must live in a nice neighborhood. At the local mall near me, those things would get trashed in less than a day.
  • I am sure I posted part of this somewhere before.

    In Australia most local game halls have the games ethernetted to provide a centralized "pay-by-paper-card" system. Basically, you walk into the arcade, drop $10 bucks for a paper "credit card" (or if your more hard-core you can get a plastic one). That card basically stores a number on it's magnetic strip.

    Every time you swipe your card at one of those games, the number is checked on the server for avalable funds, the game cost is subtracted and you get to play. During the game the ethernet sits idle. Hence, it would make sense to link a few of these "Acade-LAN's" via Cable and use the pre-existing infrastructure. It's perhaps also a more social form of gaming. Gimme a game arcade full of C&C RedAlert .."It will be a silent spring"...

    It's really a natural progression.
  • by Hairy_Potter ( 219096 ) on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @05:38AM (#414415) Homepage
    Sorry Sony, but I already have a gaming station with a propietary operating system that is networked, with cameras, removeable storage and a scanner. It's called Windows 98 PC.

    What's the value added for my going to Playstation? Are the games that much better to justify buying all new peripherals and learning an all new operating system, with all it's new quirks?

    Nope, can't see it, stick with console games for the Joe Sixpacks out there who can barely boot a PC, let alone do something as complex as editing their registry.
  • I always thought it was Japlish for "dot-com." Like "pasokon" or "pokemon." The thing with "dokomo" was probably a convenient double meaning.
  • This would be interesting if it led to say something to the nature of playing for money vs. each other. Then letting the arcade take a 10% off the top of everything. Just a couple this would apply to would be any Player vs. Player:

    Street Fighter
    Mortal Kombat
    Soul Calibur
    add fighting game here

    Racing Games
    PinBall....oh please! Top score takes the cash

    This would get me into the arcade again.

    Typed in haste, no need to spell check.

  • Performance in front of one's peers. An arcade is a public forum for kids to show off. The economics issues are real and the cost per square foot along with the cost of machines is a real issue.
  • And thats before we get onto the racist and sexist overtones that most japanese video games (and anime) seem to exhibit. What parent would allow their kids to play NAMCOs 'F-zero kamakazi' for example with its relentless portrayal of racially 'superior' Japanese bombing US ships at perl harbor ?

    Can someone please mod this down to flamebait before the war breaks out again? This has to be one of the most idiotic statements I've ever read in this forum.

    There is a whole wide world outside your door. Different people hold different values and they have every right to do so. The Japanese bombing Pearl harbour was not Hitler murdering an entire race. It was a tragedy. I do not see what it has do with "racially superior" Japanese video games.

    Jeez: you wound me up so much I replied to your drivel. :(

  • The model for mobile phones in Japan is pretty different to that in the US & Europe, as I understand it, in that most cells are small - a block or so - I wonder how this affects the opportunities, and how it plays on bandwidth.

    There are some new technologies coming out at the moment to provide smaller cells for better (and broader-band) access within GSM, but I'm not qualified to talk about them. How will this affect take up outside Japan?
  • ... very cool.

    Picture a starting grid of 100 international players all vieing for the world championship in the 500cc superbike ....

    There is definately a cool-factor to this idea...
  • I have a question? What kind of games are they going to network. Racing Games for sure. 2-player fighter games are not going to work. How about Quake-like games? Those would be a huge hit. Team sports games like NFL Blitz woul work. Each player a different football player.

    This could defintely work, all that matters is how much is it going to cost/

  • IMHO I love the experience of the Arcade. I've been going my whole life (and felt the merging of bars and arcades, i.e. Namco and Jilians go together like peanut butter and bannanas). I will continue playing arcade games because the experience is uncomparable to home console play (which is on a plain all of its own) and pc gaming. The thrill of beating someone standing write next to you and seeing their look of dissapointment and defeat. This is the arcade. Standing in front of a machine after putting 0.25$ (2.00$ by today's standards) and chewing through other people's money as they try to beat you. This is the arcade. Network games add a level of remoteness to a world that revolves around the human interaction. Network arcade games are great for you living room but not for an arcade. This idea to me makes no sense.

  • In a few pubs in the UK I've seen a networked golf game. I've not played it, nor seem anyone else playing it, so I can't comment too much.

    It appears to display the high scores based on location. Since at least one of the pubs is in a town without broadband or cable, and with ISDN being too expensive, it must transfer scores via modem at the end of the day.

    Can anyone add any more?

  • Different people hold different values and they have every right to do so

    Sure, its when they murder me in my bed that I get upset. NAMCO and other Japanese corporoations are part of Kiretsus which go back to the old Zaibatsu system hundeds of years old. It is this racial ideology that leads to thinks like perl harbor and Nanking. Ask any Korean. The point is, that they have yet to apologise for perl habor, and yet we grant them open access to the US marketplace. This is not a good thing.

    They have not learned their lesson, and the violen t videogames, anime and manga demonstrate this clearly. It should be banned until the president of Japan formally apologises for the atrocities at perl harbor.

  • Yes, thanks. Some necessary perspective most appreciated. I guess what I meant is that you could have it however you want it. There'e the customization/optimization of a computer. Oh yeah, and I can't jet across the country in real time to hang out with my old friends. It would be kind of nice to actually see them once in a while.

    Doesn't the idea of being able to make anything you ever wanted (besides, like, uh... valuable human relationships) out of thin air? Isn't that at all tantilizing? Not to spend your life in, but to experience every once in a while.
  • Nice Troll, Bob, nice Troll. Actually, good games are made everywhere but in the US..
  • I live near a college campus (University of Michigan) in a college town (Ann Arbor). Townies and students alike tend to congregate en masse at one of four places: 1)Movies, 2)Bowling, 3)Bars, 4)Pinball Pete's (video arcade). You're just as likely to meet women at ANY one of these places as you are the other. If you're having a good night, you'll hit all 4 of the above in that order. :-)

    Check Ebay's listings for 'Pinball machines' and tell me again their going out of style.

    Oh, and GO BLUE!

    --Just Another Pimp A$$ Perl Hacker
  • 5. When was the last time you were in an arcade and said, "Man, what's up with the load time?"
  • by toastyman ( 23954 ) <> on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @08:48AM (#414432) Homepage
    I no longer work there, but while I was at Midway Games, I briefly worked on a project(called WaveNet) like this.

    We took the arcade game Mortal Kombat 3, added a tiny board to an expansion connector with a 386 with a TCP/IP stack and ethernet port to it, and connected it to a Bay router hooked to a 56k leased line... We had a small NOC at Midway where all the 56k lines terminated, and some servers that acted as the hosts for the games.

    At its peak, we had about 15 games in the Chicago area hooked up. It worked pretty well, we had to make a few modifications to the game... Mortal Kombat is a very very very twitch-reaction speed game. The delays introduced from networking it were, while unavoidable, kinda high. But, most people couldn't tell the difference after we were done.

    (My only involvment with this was gameplay related changes to MK3 after the project was nearly completed)

    After Mortal Kombat 3, the same thing was done with San Francisco Rush in a bunch of arcades in the California area. Same idea, but with a driving game, delays aren't nearly as noticable.

    (I had no involvement in this project)

    Now the project is called MTN. (Midway Tournament Network). They're taking several Midway games and networking them across the world... (You may be able to find details about it on Midway's website)

    I'm not trying to downplay what these guys are doing, but i don't think many people here recognize that this is already in place, to some extent.

  • You may have something there...

    Square has been BIG into Sony for the past few years (basically ever since they dumped Nintendo) -- they've already announced the intention for FFXI -- MMORPG done right. Square makes great games (FFXIII excluded) so there's a chance they could actually pull it off.

    Now...Sony has basically won the console market (Nintendo's been slipping due to a lack of good games, Sega dropped out, even though their console is just as good as a PS2) - so now it's time to make a bid for power -- imagine the temptation of a MMORPG-done-right that's accessible (for $$, of course) at the local mall arcade...

    Wife decided to go to Bath & Body Works again? Go down to the arcade and play your character for a little while - sure, it'll cost a couple bucks, but you won't have to put up with the boredom =)

    That's just an example, of course, but I think it's a possibility of what Sony's going for here.

    Good call.

  • The only times I've been able to meet girls in arcades are at the arcades located in pool halls or bowling alleys. It seems I'd meet girls there who didn't like pool/bowling, but were there with friends.

    But yeah, your standard arcade is pretty male-dominated. I once asked an ex of mine why I didn't see more females in arcades, since I knew quite a few gaming girls. Her only answer was, "The only reason for a girl to go to arcades is to check out guys' buts." *grin*
  • by the Man in Black ( 102634 ) <> on Wednesday February 21, 2001 @05:47AM (#414443) Homepage
    what does the arcade really have to offer any more?

    You know, people have been saying that as long as I can remember. The analogy that I think fits best is, What do movie theaters have to offer anymore Home theater technology is to the point now where you can get an equivalent (or superior) experience sitting in your living room in your underpants.

    Video arcades, just like movie thaters, benefit from the fact that they get first-run games. Before PS2 was even finalized as a system, I was destroying people left and right in Tekken Tag Tournament. As long as powerful video boards are cheaper to mass manufacture for video arcades, arcades will receive the first slew of 'hot new games'.

    --Just Another Pimp A$$ Perl Hacker

    P.S.-->Oh, the other reasons that traditional arcades will never die out. You can play pool, pinball, and meet girls in them. Girls are good.

Competence, like truth, beauty, and contact lenses, is in the eye of the beholder. -- Dr. Laurence J. Peter