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megatron0016 avatar 10:16 PM on 07.04.2009  (server time)
Fanboy Weekly: Virtual Console Arcade

Welcome to Fanboy Weekly: Once More With Feeling Edition. For those that haven't checked it out yet I have been writing a new weekly feature for Game Observer. I thought I would repost the older issues so that those that haven't scoped it out yet can enjoy them and that hopefully you will all like it enough to head over to Game Observer to check the newer and current issues of Fanboy Weekly.

Welcome back once again to Fanboy Weekly. This week I want to take a look at the introduction of arcade games to the Virtual console. With the induction of arcade games to the virtual console Nintendo has jumped into the brave new world of digital distribution. The question is what are its limitations and where will this take us?

Letís start with the obvious. This gives us a unique chance to look back at the begins of a video games giant. To get the arcade originals instead of some of the terrible home console ports would be absolutely fantastic. There is of course the flip side of that argument that says there are also some home console games that were terrible in the arcades. Given the current track record of the virtual console we are bound to get some of each.

The first and most likely problem that weíre going to come upon is the likelihood of duplicate games. Letís face it, we already have way too many duplicate games on Virtual Console already. Donít believe me? Go look up how many different versions of R-Type of Ghosts and Goblins you can download. The other issue is what games do you allow never ending credits on and what games do you allow only three credits, or even only a single credit? Thatís a major issue when you are emulating arcade games. Another is pricing. The problem here is that flat pricing can either kill Nintendoís retro digital distribution or make it. That means their safe bet is to get away from flat pricing. The issue with it, though, is a lack of systems that can be used as bench marks for pricing.

Arcade game werenít restricted to what you had at home. Makers could define what could or could not be done. Arcade developers could create hardware that was custom made to their needs. That meant that arcade games could grow and evolve a lot faster than their console brethren, which is why a lot of console versions of arcade games were terrible compared to the arcade originals.

The upshot to finally having arcade games on Virtual Console though is the monster selection of games that were in fact arcade only. There are a lot of hidden gems that never made it out of the arcade for one reason or another and to finally have these games at home is fantastic. Now with all these new titles to choose from it would be great if we could go back to more then one Virtual Console game a week and we would be all set.

The Fanboy has spoken.

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