Someone has recently tipped me off that the underlying issue highlighted in my previous complaint regarding the omnipresent “Press Start to begin” screen actually has some roots at Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony headquarters.
According to a few people, the “Press Start” screen and the “Attract Mode” that follows it are mandated by console developers on nearly every game. These screens are part of the Technical Requirements Checklist (also known as TRC, TCR, and lotcheck) that console manufacturers give to developers as must-have items for software certification.
While the “Attract Mode” demo moniker makes the most obvious intention clear (to give the game an excuse to play an enticing demo video if nothing is pressed), the Press Start screen also serves as a showcase for the game’s title screen. Additionally, Attract Mode prevents screen burn-in (on applicable screens) and helps retailers showcase games. After all, the electronics section of your favorite store would be pretty lackluster if every 60″ plasma was just showing a game’s static menu screen.
Though plastering the menu with an animated, bouncing model of your titular female heroine certainly helps a little.
Note: Actual in-game menu contains 4000% more bouncing.