Since the pandemic began a lot of companies have had to adapt in order to keep growing. Others, such as a popular arcade and bar in my neck of the woods, have had to close their doors permanently, unable to survive the harsh conditions and restrictions placed on them. Konami, the game company behind the music-based arcade machine Sound Voltex III, has chosen to adapt in a very interesting way: by bringing the popular arcade cabinet to the PC.
In this article I will cover:
- Sound Voltex III
- How to play Sound Voltex III on the computer
- How to get an e-amusement pass
- How to download Sound Voltex III
- The pitfalls of the monthly payment system
- The future of arcades
Sound Voltex III.
Sound Voltex III is a music arcade game where you play a variety of different songs and hit the corresponding buttons as the notes appear on the screen. It is a unique take on the genre, going beyond simple button mashing and even incorporating knobs (see picture above) that you have to turn when indicated to do so. At higher levels it gets really complex, making the player have to hit buttons while using the knobs. It is certainly a game that takes time to master.
How to play Sound Voltex III on the computer.
With Sound Voltex III having been ported over to the PC players can enjoy the arcade game from the comfort of their own homes. However, you will need an e-amusement pass, a Konami ID, and need to charge your e-amusement card account with PASELI, the currency used to play the game.
How to get an e-amusement pass card.
This is probably the biggest hurdle in getting Sound Voltex III up and running. Normally, the e-amusement pass is charged with PASELI at the arcade itself in Japan after which the player scans the card on the arcade machine and is charged for the playthrough. On the PC you instead charge the account associated with the card with PASELI and then login to the game.
The pass sells on eBay for upwards of $60 brand new. Though the card is free in Japan, sellers are selling it to those outside of the country who are not able to procure one themselves. It’s not the most ideal situation, but if you’re an avid fan of Sound Voltex III it’s a necessary component.
An alternative route would be to ask a friend in Japan to mail a card. But without those connections eBay may be the only option.
How to download Sound Voltex III.
If you have all of the prerequisites met (an e-amusement pass, etc.) then you are ready to download Sound Voltex III! You can head over to Konami’s Sound Voltex III site page, login, and then download it. The download will likely take a very long time, but once it’s downloaded and you’ve charged your account with PASELI you’re good to go!
Pitfalls of the monthly payment system.
There are a variety of different monthly plans you can get in order to play Sound Voltex III. But whatever plan you pick you have to be careful about the start date. For example, if the start date of the plan is on the 2nd of the month, then you will be charged on that day every month. If you buy a plan on the 31st, it will charge you again two days later. It does not matter if it hasn’t been a month.
This is different from America where plan dates typically start from when they’re activated and they charge you a month later. So if you are planning on getting a plan for Sound Voltex III it’s best to do it near the start date they have listed to get the most out of your first month. If you only want to purchase one month at a time, you don’t have to worry about the recurring fee taking more than what’s in your account. If there isn’t enough PASELI the plan will cancel itself.
Opinion: The future of arcades.
What does the future hold in store for arcades? Will the pandemic cause more companies to adapt like Konami has and make them consider porting over their arcade games? With SEGA having sold its company to Genda because of the coronavirus the future of arcades seems very bleak indeed.
It’s obvious that arcades have been hit extremely hard by the pandemic. Is it the end of them though? It’s hard to say. With the continued development of VR and AR technologies arcades may be rendered obsolete, unless they adapt with the times and figure out ways in which they can grow and succeed in an industry heavily impacted by COVID-19.
It doesn’t look like arcades are just going to vanish forever, it still rings true that they are a fun way to socialize and get away from the usual devices that hold our attention on a daily basis. With a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, it’s very possible that arcades could turn around and flourish as they reopen and gain renewed life.