Press Start: Why?

By Lo-Ping - Thu Oct 25, 9:00 am

Back when arcades were more popular, cabinets had something called ‘attract mode’, which was just the game playing itself and showing off how the gameplay looks. You’d press start after you put in your coins or tokens, since in some games the character selection was limited by time.  This continued with consoles, but seeing it in PC games is really kind of retarded. Well…some games do show off eye candy or a demo. But frankly, there’s not much of a point in it today.  You’re already sold on the game.  Literally!  You’ve already bought/rented it, so what’s to gain from trying to attract you by the time you’ve reached that juncture?

“Uh,  it’s generally the title screen. You press start when you are finished looking at the title screen.  And you’re, like, ready to start.”

Some games choose to unify the title screen and starting menu, but there are various reasons that many games choose not to. Although it’s sometimes bullshit. Another train of though is that there’s some weird subconscious trick going on about having the player press start to “Commit” to the game before you can throw any content at them.

Whatever the case may be, it’s nearly a moot point. I mean, come on. You’ve got a game to play now. So it’s probably best not to commit too much thought to such trivialities.  Cary on, Player One.

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    Well, on the reverse side, some of them still force you to use the Start Button.

    For example, the PS2 release of Fate/Unlimited Codes refuses to take any button other than the Start Button for the “Press Start” screen.

    It doesn’t address the why they still do it (though this is a port of an arcade fighting game) though…

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