Beatmania (ビートマニア) (styled as beatmania) is a rhythm video game developed and distributed by Japanese game developer Konami and first released in December 1997. It contributed largely to the boom of music games in 1998, and the series expanded not only with arcade sequels, but also moved to home consoles and other portable devices, achieving a million unit sales. The Bemani line of music games from Konami is named after the series, and was first adopted in the arcade release of Beatmania 3rdMix and kept ever since. The series came to an end with the last game being Beatmania The Final, released in 2002. Beatmania gave birth to several spinoffs, such as the Beatmania IIDX series (a more advanced version featuring 7 keys and higher difficulty levels) and the other being Beatmania III, a remake of the 5-key series which featured a more modern hardware platform, a pedal for optional effects and a 3.5" floppy disk drive to save play records. While the series was never ported to home computers, there have been unlicensed hard-drive copies which made it playable on a computer's keyboard, or even with a modded PlayStation controller. Its popularity led to non-official simulators, with one of the most popular being BM98. Beatmania and its variants have a following in Japan and all around the world. The password based Internet Ranking service allowed competition wherever a machine is available. Today in the United States, many of the original beatmania cabinets are in the hands of arcade collectors and Bemani enthusiasts, and consequently are a rare sight at many arcades.
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