Okay, so... I originally had wanted to hold off on this post until after more information had come out, but let's get into it.
Capcom announced their new Home Arcade mini-console. Let's take a look at what we currently know about it:
- Contains 16 games built into the unit (1944: The Loop Master, Alien vs Predator, Armored Warriors, Capcom Sports Club, Captain Commando, Cyberbots, Darkstalkers, Eco Warriors, Final Fight, Ghouls and Ghosts, Giga Wing, Mega Man: The Power Battle, ProGear, Street Fighter 2: Hyper Fighting, Strider, and Super Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo), most of which are really solid games.
- Uses all Sanwa parts, no generic knock-offs.
- Joysticks come with octogates.
- Wifi-enabled to allow you to compete for high scores with online leaderboards.
- 22cm x 74cm x 11cm, so this is about the size of your average Pandora's Box case, if not a bit bigger perhaps.
- Final Burn Alpha is the emulator that has been licensed for use on the Home Arcade.
- Cost appears to be about $260 and it launches in October 2019.
- Everyone universally hates the way the thing looks and calls it "tacky".
Personally, I'm not too hung up on the look as much as perhaps the shape of it, as it would have been nice to have a more rectangular shape and allow artwork mods and that sort of thing. The cost is... pretty fucking high for what you get. While you are getting 16 great games for your money, it's disappointing that there isn't more. I would have really liked to have seen Capcom drip-feed additional games every month.
Perhaps the oddest thing about this stick at all is licensing. in two different ways. On one hand, this is - I believe - the first time that Aliens Vs. Predator is available legally anywhere except for the arcades and for Capcom to do that, they clearly would have to relicense the game for use. That usually costs a pretty penny to do, so I wouldn't be shocked if there's a significant amount of the cost going directly to paying for the relicensing. On the other, it appears that Final Burn Alpha was licensed to Capcom by the head of the project without consulting with the others that have contributed to the project as he is required to. So yes, there could be all sorts of GPL type licensing issues here and it sounds like it's not actually Capcom's fault either.
So I hear you asking already, "Jay, are you planning on picking this up?" And my answer is a solid... maybe. Personally, if the hardware is decent and gets hacked or cracked and allows us to add our own games, has no issues with frameskipping or screen tearing, I could really really enjoy having something like this. Obviously, for those of you who already have a Pandora's Box (as I imagine most of you reading this would), I have to say that at this point it sounds like there's little point to getting this Capcom Home Arcade unless you want to keep your game playing as legit as possible or want to show Capcom your support.