Traditional Game Arcades
going Digital?

New Digital Distribution System Could Revolutionize Traditional Arcades

Although they may not be as ubiquitous as they once were, thanks to Japanese software developer Taito, traditional arcades are finally trying to catch up with the times by incorporating a new digital distribution system.

This past week at the 48th Amusement Machine Show in Chiba, Japan, Taito – who’s owned by publisher Square Enix — unveiled their plans for “NESiCAxLive,” a revolutionary digital distribution system for traditional arcades.

Current distribution models for arcades are incredibly outdated, requiring arcade operators to purchase the physical copies of the games. Taito’s NESiCAxLive system will allow games to be stored on their servers in a data center, and arcade operators can simply download the games via the internet directly to the arcade cabinets/boards.


The considerable advantages to this system are similar to those of digital distribution models on game consoles. In addition to decreased costs, Taito claims arcade operators will have access to a backlog of titles, which they can provide to users based off demand. They also added that in the future, they want to make this into a system where players themselves will be able to select the content they want to play.

Thus far it’s being reported that nine companies are supporting the system, including SNK PLaymore. The first title to be distributed via the system will be Arc System Works’ BlazBlue Continuum Shift II.

Taito’s NESiCAxLive distribution system could create a revolution in the arcade world, with proper support it certainly has the potential to save operators a bit of money as well as provide lower risks when purchasing titles — since theoretically, Taito could provide demos to operators the same way consoles do. Any time content steps into the digital age there are certainly risks involved, most notably the prospect of the NESiCAxLive opening the door to piracy should the system be cracked. These are issues I’m sure Taito is aware of and taking the necessary precautions and steps to ensure operators that never happens.

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