Friday, October 14, 2011

Can "Infinity Blade" Save Arcades?

You may recall me suggesting that a "partnership" between standup public machines and the ubiquity of mobile/smartphone gaming would be one thing that might help keep the American arcade scene going. In at least one respect, that "partnership" is now getting a shot at reality: An arcade-sized version of the iPhone hit "Infinity Blade" is coming to Dave & Busters - with plans to expand further if it works.

This has already been tried, with some success, with "Flight Control" and "Fruit Ninja;" but what's notable is that "Blade" is regarded as the "gamer's game" on the iOS scene. I'd like to see this catch on - though one imagines we won't know that it has until "Angry Birds" gets similarly ported...


Anonymous said...

I've seen a Fruit Ninja Arcade game already. It was the most popular game there.

Evilkinggumby said...

For the arcades to work like that, you have to up the ante in some way. Back when we had arcades, they were really the best gig in town for graphics and gameplay, the social aspect was a natural added effect but nowadays it is unimportant considering social networking online and portable electronics.

What would make kids and adults want to go to an arcade to play games that are already available to play on their phone/tablet pc's? Most games can be purchased for what we used to spend on a few hours in an arcade, so the old model is limited.

I'd say they'd need to find a way to merge the portable gaming scene with the arcade booth. If customers could bring in their phone/psp/DSI/itouch and have a method to connect it(wirelessly streaming the audio/video) to the booth they want to use so that they could see the game on a larger screen(heck even a 25-27" flatscreen is a fair bit larger, eh?) with robust stereo sound is upping the ante quit a bit. Create booths developed custom for each format, an itouch cabinet with connectors and touchscreen, a droid cabinet for all droid apps, a psp booth .. etc.

Then you can charge a either a substantial entrance fee or a 'per hour' fee, as well as charging a nominal fee for those players that want to use the facilitie's 'quick charge' services(since if you had to leave the arcade and charged it in your car, coming back would incur another door fee) or sell those emergency cell recharge batteries for those that want to stock up on a few and stay at their cabinet. Heck serve food and drinks, since the only hardware potentially getting damaged by eating is.. people's own phones.. no harm done *lol* (well ok touchscreen monitors would need screen protectors applied regularly and maybe a canister of wetnap type things to allow users to disinfect it)

I know most of the listed devices aren't really designed to accommodate this. It'd be interesting to see attempted.

Eventually 3ds games could display on a 3d tv without glasses since you'd be forced to stand a certain distance to use the cabinet anyhow, so the "3d effect" could be optimised.

SO long as the technology utilized in the arcades was not readily available to use at home for consumer purchase(or so expensive it wasn't conducive for most budgets) it would be the only game in town to kick back and play.

One problem is the fact a lot of those games off the varied appstores are quickie time killing games, not lengthy grindfests... But if that was the direction it went.....

Another problem is the fact when you upscale a game designed to play on a tiny screen you usually end up with a great view of a crappy image... On the upside, a lot of phones and portables are achieving near-HD resolution for their displays, and with tight pixel packing it is amusing to see. Blowing it up larger but still the same resolution(just larger pixels) could still display decent. If the device was designed specifically for this tech, there is the possibility of the rezz transmitted through the wifi could be a higher native rez to fix this. THen you just have to worry about

It's got wrinkled to iron out, but I think it'd be kool. Maybe I'll shoot for it when I hit the lotto. ;)


Philbo said...

Short Answer: No

Long Answer: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo