While the concept is about two years in age, the actual product is starting to make its way into arcades on a more available basis. As the product is becoming more available, it is also becoming more popular, with a number of locations now operating leagues based on the machines.
The arcade machines are welcome for bowling as it offers a cheap, quick and easy alternative to renting a lane. For casual bowlers there’s no shoe rentals, you don’t have to spend five minutes picking out a ball and a full game costs about two dollars less than at most allies. As a bonus, good play is rewarded in some locations with redemption tickets. If I can score above 100, that means Tootsie Rolls for everyone.
Most machines are also in bar locations, which mean the beer frame doesn’t disappear. With most machines supporting up to four players, the social aspect of bowling is still present.
Will the arcade machines replace bowling as we know it? No. But the fact that bowling could possibly be found at the arcades I love to frequent? That’s awesome.