Let’s get one thing straight. I love video games. I’ve pwned n00bs, caught ‘em all, finished the fight, gotten tactical, collected COG tags and found that air-headed princess that was always in another castle across various platforms for years.
Arcades and consoles have provided equal amounts of entertainment for me. However, they both cannot provide equal amounts of convenience.
Arcades are extremely annoying. You wait in line with people who are not exactly friendly.
You feed quarters into a machine in the hopes that either the computer or another player will not soundly punish you for being there. You walk home in shame after a 40-year-old that lives with his mother pulls off a Raging Demon against you.
This, of course is the worst-case scenario. You could also spend days on end destroying challengers or racking up high score signatures.
Here’s the problem: Not everyone has that kind of skill. Not everyone can beat down opponents and enemy AI or take losing gracefully. Consoles (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation Portable, Nintendo DS, etc.) afford a level of convenience unmatched by arcades.
Arcades offer something for one type of person. The only people arcades cater to are hardcore gamers concerned about dominating everyone in their path. Consoles offer something for everyone. If you need power, grab a PS3. If you want unmatched online play, purchase a 360 with an Xbox Live subscription. If you just want to wave your arms around and feel a random sense of accomplishment, pick up a Wii.
Portable consoles allow you to take the competition everywhere. My DS is in my pocket right now, ready for action at any moment.
All of these consoles offer options for fantastic player versus player entertainment or single player campaigns.
Arcades require you to go out, find a place, bring at least one friend (why game alone?), hop in the car and hope the place you are going to has at least one game you like. Consoles require you to buy one, press the power button and hope you do not have a bricked unit.
Some of the gaming greats have lamented the loss of arcades, but admitted it has been necessary to advance the entertainment medium.
Shigeru Miyamoto (Nintendo) revitalized an almost dead industry.
Tomonobu Itagaki (Team Ninja) admitted to being “sad to seeing the American arcades go, but happy that gamers are picking up games in their homes.” Hideo Kojima (Konami) never even liked arcades to begin with.
If the masterminds behind modern gaming are not sad to see arcades go, who am I to argue?