There’s no denying that the PS4, and really all of the “next-gen” consoles, are quite spectacular. Graphics and gaming capabilities are significantly improved, with the result that games are bigger and more beautiful than ever before, and that’s not even touching on all of the capabilities of the PS4 beyond gaming. But for old-school gamers, there’s one drawback of the constant advancement and improvement of console play: the risk that arcade-style games will fall by the wayside.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t popular arcade-style games on major consoles. Arcade classics like “Street Fighter” and “Mortal Kombat” have released modern editions on PS3 and Xbox 360. In a way, the most significant example of this type of arcade success on a modern console is the “Super Smash Bros.” series on the Nintendo consoles.
More basic arcade games have also remained very popular in their own forums, with perhaps the best example being the Internet casino industry. Take one look at the Bet Fair online casino and you’ll find a large arcade section with offerings that range from basic slot machines to small, arcade-style computer games. The difference here, of course, is that real money is on the line, which makes the competitive nature of arcade games that much strong. Also, it’s become one of the most popular forums for arcade-style gaming in today’s world, with over 10,000 players logged in on a consistent basis.
The concern, really, is that the vast capabilities of new consoles will lead further away from the relative simplicity of arcade-style gaming and more in the direction of “open world” formats, mind-blowing shooters, and so forth. This may be true in general, but it’s also naive to think that mainstream arcade franchises will simply fall off the map. However, all it takes is a look at confirmed PS4 games to get a bit of reassurance.
Specifically, there’s word that Capcom’s beloved “Tekken” series will be coming to the PS4. Also, there have been strong rumors that the oft-delayed “Tekken x Street Fighter” game will finally hit the shelves for next-gen consoles. That’s if it ever gets through development, though. And then, for those who enjoy simpler arcade games, there’s the newly released “Pinball Arcade,” which is actually a blast with the guarantee of online capability and new modes on the way.
It seems as if those worried about a potential decline or full-on disappearance of arcade-style gaming on major consoles can probably relax. The biggest reason is that the major fighting-style arcade franchises will adapt as needed. While the games may be a bit less simple, they’ll retain the feel and, most importantly, the characters that we all grew up with. And going one step further, it seems that there will always be a place for the simplest of arcade games (such as pinball), even on the most complex of consoles.