Episode 303: Why The Capcom Home Arcade Misses the Mark

Hiya!

Wouldn’t you know it? I have been struggling for the past few days, figuring out what I should write about this week. I was going to go through my list of unfinished works and ideas that have been piling up over the years. Maybe there was something there I could use. But wouldn’t you know it? Capcom decided at the eleventh hour to reveal something rather ridiculous that I just had to give my thoughts on it.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Capcom Home Arcade!

To tell you the truth, the Capcom Home Arcade isn’t a bad idea. In fact, the concept is almost genius, if you ask me! It’s essentially a sturdily build arcade sized board with two dedicated joysticks and buttons laid out in the very familiar six-button layout Capcom’s Street Fighter made famous. It comes bundled with classic arcade hits like Street Fighter II Turbo, Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors, Final Fight and Alien vs. Predator. The buttons are from actual arcade manufacturers so they should be pretty durable as long as you don’t bang on them too hard and they should be easy to replace since these are going to be the same buttons you find on any decent arcade stick.

The Capcom Home Arcade is a good idea but man, Capcom really screwed up with it! Just by looking at it, I can already see a lot of problems!

First, the design of the actual Capcom Home Arcade. I totally get that they had to put their branding on it. But did they have to design the entire thing to look like the brand name? Narcissistic much, Capcom? It’s shaped like the freaking Capcom logo! And it’s not like they got a box and typed in the logo either! No, they had to shape the actual case to fit the Capcom logo! It looks really tacky and, if I ever do get my hands on it, I’ll probably feel like a corporate sellout because of how blatantly obvious that it’s made by Capcom!

In their hubris to make the entire thing look like their logo, Capcom unintentionally made an incredibly grave error with their Home Arcade: it’s difficult to see the buttons! Did they really have to color the buttons to match the logo! It’s like the buttons are wearing camoflauge and they don’t want to be seen! You want the buttons to be very stand out and clearly labeled so the players who are going to use it can push the correct button at the same time! By disguising the buttons, Capcom just made it more difficult to play the 16 built-in games!

Buttons? Where are the buttons?!

Designing the Capcom Home Arcade to look like the logo gives it another unfortunate side effect. The left (the “CAP”) portion of the Capcom Home Arcade has a pretty straight bottom. In other words, the portion that’s facing the player is flat because the letters CAP are all straight lines. The right (the “COM”) size is uneven thanks to that letter “O” in the middle. I’m not sure how that will feel if you keep your hand pressed on that size. Sure, it looks smooth but by giving it an inconsistent edge, that could feel uncomfortable for extended play sessions. At the very least, it can be distracting.

Another thing that I find issue with are the HDMI and power ports. It’s only logical that they put those ports on the top of the board. That’s obviously going to be the side that’s pointed towards the television you’re going to hook it up to. Technically, it’s the best place to put the HDMI and power ports. So, why do I have an issue with them? Well, my issue isn’t with the placement. Rather, my issue is… why have HDMI and power ports in the first place? This’ll take some explaining…

What’s the USB port for? I bet it’s future DLC!

Supposed you did buy a Capcom Home Arcade. You bring it home and hook it up to your TV. It should be easy since it’s all “plug and play,” right? So you get one of your HDMI cables and hook it up to the thing. So far so good. You then hook up the micro USB to the back of your TV and the Capcom Home Arcade. You power it up fine and it boots up.

Now you want to sit on your couch to play some Street Fighter Turbo or Darkstalkers with your pals. No can do! Why? Because your stupid HDMI and micro USB power cord is too freaking short!

I don’t know about you but most HDMI cable are never super long because they’re never supposed to jut out of your home theater system. They’re usually rolled up in the back in a gnarly mess with all the other cords. But imagine that you need some unwieldy cable stretched across your room just to play on the Capcom Home Arcade. Actually, make that two cables because you’ll also need one nasty long micro USB cable to power that thing! I guess you can power it up with a power bank but that still doesn’t help you with the uber long HDMI cable.

I have to talk about the games as well. The Capcom Home Arcade will come bundled with 16 arcade classics, which sounds like a sweet deal. But on second inspection, it might not be since you’ll probably have at least a few of them in your collection already! There are some previously unreleased gems here. Alien vs Predator stands out as a game Capcom fans have been dreaming of getting a home port for ages. Armored Warriors looks really good as well.

But do I really need another copy of Darkstalkers? And Captain Commando? And Final Fight? And Street Fighter II Turbo? And Strider?

Final Fight? Have it. Darkstalkers? Have it. Ghouls and Ghosts? Have it. Street Fighter II Turbo? Have it.

Capcom already made a killing by selling those games in their previous collections and they’re doing it again with this bundle! I guess the experience could be different since you’ll be playing on an actual arcade stick but I don’t think it’s going to be worth the hefty price tag that the Capcom Home Arcade commands to get that arcade experience.

Speaking of the price, that’s my biggest issue with the Capcom Home Arcade. It’s going to cost 230 Euros! That’s a lot of moolah for what you’re getting, in my opinion! I know a couple of rich kids who won’t have any problems buying it as that would be pocket change for them. But for people like me (ie. regular people), that’s more like an investment. And unless the Capcom Home Arcade will expand its 16 game library in the future for free, that’s too much cash just to play a bunch on nostalgic games.

The Capcom Home Arcade should’ve been something glorious but Capcom made a lot of decisions that made their good thing look awful. Look at the bright side: at least the PlayStation Classic won’t be lonely sitting up in the unpurchased shelf for long!

What do you think of the Capcom Home Arcade? Let me know in the comments section below!

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