The Wii is hurting Japanese arcades

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Nintendo's Wii claims more victims; Japan arcades hurt
Wed Feb 6, 2008 11:01pm EST

By Edwina Gibbs

TOKYO, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Nintendo Co Ltd's (7974.OS: Quote, Profile, Research) hot-selling Wii game console may be a major headache for main rivals like Sony Corp (6758.T: Quote, Profile, Research), but for operators of game arcades the pain is proving just as, if not more, intense.

In a shock downward revision to its earnings outlook, toy and amusement arcade firm Namco Bandai Holdings (7832.T: Quote, Profile, Research) said it would close between 50 and 60, or roughly one-fifth of its arcades, causing its shares to plummet for a second consecutive session on Thursday.

"A lot of the types of games that people played at an arcade can now be done at home," company spokesman Yuji Machida said.

The Wii, which has gained worldwide popularity, offers an innovative motion-sensing controller that can be swung like a bat or sword. The addition of "Wii Fit", which features a pressure sensing board that players can use to simulate ski jumps or surfing, has also propelled sales.

Many Japanese kids got a Wii last year, particularly over the holiday season, and it seems as if much of their pocket money is now being saved to buy more hardware or software for the console, Machida said.

Sky-high oil prices have also done their damage, as Japanese families, eager to save on gasoline, cut back on trips to big shopping malls where many of the company's family-oriented arcades are located, he added.

Namco Bandai is the second arcade operator to announce a major overhaul. Sega Sammy Holdings (6460.T: Quote, Profile, Research) also plans to close around 100 of its arcades.

Namco Bandai, perhaps best known for its virtual pet toy Tamagotchi, slashed its full-year net profit outlook by 38 percent from an earlier estimate to 16.5 billion yen ($155 million).

Its shares were down by their daily limit again Thursday afternoon at 1,095 yen, set to put in a 27 percent slide since Tuesday's close. Sega Sammy shares were down 5.0 percent at 1,102 yen. (Reporting by Edwina Gibbs) 

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now this is sad. Japanese arcades are amazing. To see them struggling sucks.

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What happened to American arcades in the 90s to 2000s is now happening to the Japanese ones.

I have never been in a an arcade in my entire life.

The Namco Arcade by me shut down over the summer. Pissed me off.

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My brother love The King of Figthers, he is really good... But I'm not really interested on arcades... I'm a bad player...

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only $155M - my heart bleeds for them.

I blame Wii Fit


Wow, I remember reading about an article months ago that Wii was blamed for the reason that tv ratings went down in Japan. Now its arcade, man the wii is a monster. I wonder if wii would take the gyms next with wii fit?

naw the gyms were smart,,,they installed wii's

actually the american arcades died cause of the bad games coming out and having to pay more for the one time play of the game. like it takes a buck to drive a car game and the same went for alot ofthe other stuff there too. and as this was all happening the consoles started taking off cause of the cheap games you could get. what the arcade has that the home consoles dont have was better competition and getting to know them better and making them your best buds. take mortal kombat 2 for example. me and my buddy would go to an arcade that was also a putt putt and go cart track but everyone knew us there cause we were good at mk2 and would help out buying pizza etc etc. when mk3 came out the same guys were there but when mk4 came out it started the same but as the game started showing it wasnt even close to being as good as mk2 or 3 for tha tmatter everyone started leaving and not came back. when SF3 came out the arcade was about dead and that is mainly why capcom was like no more. but the arcade lived by the fighting game and died by the same type game. i think if the fighting genre ever mad ea comeback it would have to start with online and with simplier gameplay and mechanics. no more push button combos. that killed the genre.

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mkwii code- 1977-0565-0049