Arcade game is basically the name given to any and all entertainment machines with TV screens and joysticks that are stuck together in one single unit. When it comes to race games, it is also common that the machines have chairs for the players. These characteristics naturally result in arcade games taking up a lot of space, and therefore they’re not really suitable for home use.
The story of the arcade game dates back to year 1966 when then pioneering gaming company SEGA developed their first machine Periscope. It was an instant success, maybe since it only cost a quarter to play a round of the addictive game.
In 1972, Atari was founded. The company’s first product, Pong, was the first block buster in the beautiful world of arcade gaming. Atari’s competitor was Taito, who achieved great success during the 1970s. Now classic Space Invaders was launched in 1978 and is one of the most popular arcade machines in history.
Along came Donkey Kong
The golden era of the arcade game stretched from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. Pac-Man was launched in 1980 and shortly thereafter became Donkey Kong. One reason for the great success of these games, was that bars and restaurants began to install arcade machines in their venues. In fact, during the early 1980s, all venues with self-respect had a couple of arcade machines.
Mid-1980s marked the beginning of the video game era. Atari, Nintendo and Sega consoles were launched. All of a sudden, happy gamers could play video games at home in their living rooms and even play different games in the same console. In addition, the consoles are relatively inexpensive.
In order to compete with the consoles,arcade game manufacturers had to improve their machines and introduce new games. A new approach was a fighting game where two players could play against each other. Street Fighter II launched in 1991. The following year Mortal Kombat on the market becoming an instant success.
Today’s arcade games
Even though video game systems such as PlayStations, XBoxes and Nintendo Wii’s can be found in almost every home today, there is still a great interest in arcade games. Music and dance games are examples of common arcade games that you now find in arcades and bars / restaurants. The classic arcade game halls, however, are nothing more than a distant memory.