Or companies have gone straight to training the Japanese youth as pilots. I think companies have exhausted the practical musical instruments to replicate and are now just greenlighting whatever pops into their head but they could all feasibly be re-branded as cockpit controls for mecha or military support systems.
SOUND VOLTEX has a similar button setup to Beatmania, featuring two rows of buttons, but adds in two knobs on opposite ends. While mashing and holding buttons you now also have to rotate these knobs to match a line on the screen, sometimes “slamming” the line to one side and rotating the entire screen in a circle like CRAZY! The current version if subtitles GRAVITY WARS and each stage is called a “WAR” so I wouldn’t be surprised if these are remotely controlling mecha in combat right at this moment.
jubeat features a matrix of 12 buttons with screens in them, allowing these to be used as both the interface and the control mechanism. You have to hit each button as it lights up and generally you’ll have many of them lighting simultaneously. This is one of those things that serve as no facsimile of something music related and was created only as a controller (or some weird military control system?).
MÚSECA has buttons again but this time they spin! So now you have five “dials” you need to press or spin plus one pedal on the floor you need to depress.
Just launching is Otoihora. This features the typical row of buttons but now you have slanted arced sliders on either side of your person which you need to move to the designated level or slam upwards when told to do so. Buttons themselves are also screens, just like Jubeat, but I don’t know if that is relevant to the gameplay at all.
Groove Coaster is a rhythm game from Taito that features two knobs that can be pressed and pulled in any direction. The concept here is very simple in that your avatar travels across a line and you just press the knob when your avatar reaches a marker. Some markers will be to press any knob or both knobs, or move one or both knobs in specific directions. Much of the appeal here is the visual presentation of your avatar journey on the line across a 3D space, the background and effects and camera constantly shifting with the music. Since the game’s control method is so simple there’s are faithful mobile versions of the game featuring tracks for both one hand or two handed “arcade style”. ZUNTATA does most of the music so if you like them this game might be up your alley. I think the most recent mobile version is Groove Coaster 2: Original Style, which also lets you play the game using sounds instead of tapping the screen.
Sega’s MaiMai features a round touch-screen with buttons placed on its circumference. Markers flow from the center of the screen to the edges and you have to press the button the markers hit or you need to drag you hand across paths on the touch screen. A lot of people wear gloves when playing this game to make it easier to move their hand quickly between the touchscreen and buttons. This one is infamous for looking like a laundry machine, which Sega was quite aware of based on their promo videos and the “Washing Festival” they held in cooperation with SHARP.
Chunithm has a flat touch panel with hand sensors placed up higher on both sides. You tap or slide on the panel where incoming notes hit and raise a hand by the sensor when commanded, making you look like a mad pianist.
And then there’s a whole host of touch-screen only games out there. What other arcade games with unique controllers have been coming out lately?