A few weeks ago a co-worker and I wandered up to the university's Student Union while on an errand, and while taking a break for an Icee, we found ourselves outside the Union's game room. Inside were all manner of entertainment for the college crowd: air hockey, pool, Dance Dance Revolution, and more arcade games than I've seen in one place in a long, long time. We wondered if the little restaurant that ran the room would consider buying a Street Fighter IV unit to set next to the many iterations of Capcom vs SNK and Virtua Fighter, and moreover, if the college did install SFIV, how we could barge to the head of the line to play without inciting a riot. Unfortunately, after reading about the legwork that MTV's Stephen Totilo did to find out what one has to do to buy a SFIV machine, I don't think the university will be stocking up on Ryu's latest challenge anytime soon.
1) Spend A Lot Of Money: Capcom won’t divulge the price. All I could find out is that the 2,349,400 Yen cost I found on a website in March is a re-seller’s price. Capcom is selling for less. But considering that re-seller price amounts to $21,802, I guess we’re talking about an actual price that is still greater than what I usually spend on a PS3, a year’s supply of socks or a honeymoon.
2) Buy In Bulk: Want a Street Fighter IV arcade cabinet? Too bad, you can’t get one. You have to get four of them. So be ready to write a really big check. Capcom won’t take orders for single units. The company requires a purchase of four units of “Street Fighter IV.” I wonder how many “Street Fighter V” units they’ll require when that game comes out? (Apparently Bungie Studios inquired about buying one — but do even they have money for four?)
I know that the arcade is basically dead in the United States, but sometimes I wonder if it's purchasing conditions such as these that helped kill the golden goose or if these prices and terms are necessary in order for game producers to turn what little profit there is to be had in what's left of the arcade industry.