Why Japanese Arcade Gaming is Light Years Ahead of the Rest

Whenever you hear someone talking about how there is no progression in the modern arcade gaming world, you instantly know that they’ve never been to Japan. While unfortunate, this statement is very true when you think about how arcades are received and perceived in the United States. While you struggle to think of the name of just one 24 hour arcade gaming spot in the U.S., fans can rattle off at least three or four amusement park sized arcades in Japan. The traditional cocktail arcade game is no more, but Japanese developers have made it into something even more exciting. Titles like Konami’s Steel Chronicle Ganesh is modeled to look like a space capsule of sorts. With two joysticks set on either side of a small control display, the arcade game unit moves, twists and shakes as you play.

First person shooter fans won’t be able to get enough of Thrill of the Night, a title from Bandai Namco that combines pop idols with the undead. Whether you sit down or stand up at the arcade, you want the experience to be as fun, memorable and unique. While U.S. based game developers may have ran for the woods during the Crash of 83’, but Japanese game makers have never stopped creating new trends.

Part of the reason that arcades are popular in Japan is because of the real estate market. Those that live in Tokyo, Kyoto or another major city likely live in a small flat or house with roommates, relatives, or friends. The Japanese go to what are known as love hotels so that they can have privacy, and owning a car is a luxury due to the efficiency of the transportation system. While you might be most comfortable setting up your Xbox in front of the TV, the average Japanese citizen finds more solace in the arcades. Cocktail arcade games can be fun, but playing them endlessly can cause the senses to become overwhelmed. Meeting a happy medium between the hopelessness of the U.S. arcade gaming market and the overzealousness of Japanese arcade gaming is ideal, but not very likely at this point.