In Western arcades, the 1player and 2player joysticks are typically side-by-side for fighting games, and in Japanese arcades, the sticks are only side-by-side for co-op play. Fighting games traditionally have cabinets placed back to back in rows so that you cannot see the player you are fighting — that is, unless you actually look over the cabinet. Bad manners! Regarding how the cabinets are linked, Street Fighter IV is hardly traditional.
The SFIV arcade version has four cabinets linked so that matches can be made from that four cabinet hub. That means, you could be fighting the person across from you, next to you or diagonal to you. The good thing is that if you want to play versus, this system will ensure you get a match. The bad thing is that, unless you're a solid SFIV arcade player, you're going to get your arse kicked pretty damn quick.
But there's something to be said about the traditional set-up. You know, walking into an arcade, seeing a good player and choosing to sit down at the cabinet on the other side of him or her. That's exactly what SNK is hoping to keep with its hand-drawn fighter The King of Fighters XII. As the game's producer Masaaki Kukino explained, "It's a traditional fighter, a traditional SNK fighter. That's exactly what we wanted to make: A traditional arcade fighting game. That's why we used the standard arcade set-up of linking two back-to-back cabinets at a time."