The Capcom Home Arcade is a giant, plastic Capcom logo with two arcade sticks. Just like micro-consoles such as the NES Classic Edition or the PlayStation Classic, you can connect the device into your TV through HDMI. But Capcom’s retro machine isn’t about console games. It’s tapping into arcade nostalgia.
And that’s part of what makes the machine so cool.
I own an NES and PlayStation, but being able to play arcade games at home — and not just console ports — was impossible. Capcom Home Arcade will have 16 built-in games, including classic fighting games like Street Fighter II (Hyper Fighting edition) and beat-em-ups like Final Fight.
It’s a cool lineup of games that includes some surprises, like Capcom’s Alien vs. Predator arcade beat-’em-up. I haven’t played this in years, as it’s never had any console ports. And since I’m giant a Mega Man fan, I love seeing The Power Battle on here. This arcade spinoff is like a normal Mega Man game with only bosses, and it even supports two players.
But the library is also confusing. Why include Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting and not Super Street Fighter II Turbo, the one that most people (including me) consider to be the definitive version of the iconic fighter? I’m also sad that my favorite game in the series, Super Street Fighter III: Third Strike, isn’t in there.
An expensive, playable logo
Then there’s the form of the actual console itself, which is literally a giant logo. Now, I don’t have as much of a problem with this as some. I dig the Capcom logo. This also makes the device double as a pretty cool display piece that could look nice in places aside from under your TV.
But it is a clunky shape, especially since two players would have to share it. It’s hard to imagine just sitting down on a couch and using this thing on your lap. You’d need a table or something to set it on. It almost makes me want to make my own custom stand-up cabinet for thing … but that sounds like a lot of work.
Finally, we have the price. So far Capcom has only given posted a price in euros of €229.99. That is about $250. That’s $50 less than a Switch, and the same price as the upcoming Xbox One S All-Digital Edition. Hell, you can even buy an actual Street Fighter II arcade machine for $250.
Paying that much for a plug-and-play machine that will only ever play 16 games sounds absurd. The machine does have wi-fi support, but so far it’s just for leader boards. Capcom could use that connection to let you download more games, but that seems unlikely. Even if they did offer downloadable games, you’d probably have to pay for them (and I’m not sure if the machine has the storage for additional software).
There are a lot of reasons to not be excited about the Capcom Home Arcade. Still, I want one. Part of it is because of my love all things retro. Capcom also holds a special place in my heart. I just wish it looked a bit less clunky and had a much more reasonable price.
The RetroBeat is a weekly column that looks at gaming’s past, diving into classics, new retro titles, or looking at how old favorites — and their design techniques — inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have any retro-themed projects or scoops you’d like to send my way, please contact me.