Japan's Arcades Fall Before Mighty Wii
Kids can easily replicate atmosphere at home—and portable players have role, too
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 19, 2008 4:00 PM CDT
A visitor enjoys the 'Initial D arcade stage 4 limited' driving game during its press preview at the Sega amusement park, Tokyo Joypolis in central Tokyo, 26 July 2007.   (AFP/Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Japan’s arcades are in trouble, Reuters reports. For years, they’ve been immune to the ravages plaguing arcades elsewhere, but the $6.9 billion industry has met its match in the Nintendo Wii. A new generation of game consoles, coupled with an explosion of high-end TVs, has made the arcade experience easy to recreate at home—leading to big store closings at major chains.

“Arcades are expensive, noisy and filled with cigarette smoke,” said one 15-year-old. “Besides, I can stay home and play NBA Live on PlayStation 3.” New video-game systems always bring a slowdown, but some worry this one could be permanent. “We need to innovate,” said one executive. “We need to develop games that can’t be played at home.”