I know for some Sega fans, hearing new hardware and Sega in a sentence may sound like link trolling. We’re not here to bait with fantasies of a Dreamcast 2 but in the world of arcades, Sega still needs something to power their arcade games with, topped off with fancy names for the configurations like Lindbergh or Europa.
For a while now those configurations have been based on PCs. The last time something was built from a non-PC source at Sega was the Atomiswave board, which was based on the Dreamcast(launched under the Sammy name. It was in fact, less powerful than the NAOMI, as it eschewed the extra RAM that NAOMI had). Other boards up to the most recent Ringedge 2 have been PC-based.
The RingEdge 2 was quietly unveiled not long ago and has primarily been used for their ALL.NET Pras-Multi network in Japan. Big games like Guilty Gear Xrd are going to be using it, I believe that the new Transformers game will be too although that is unconfirmed for now. Today at a special “private event” in Japan, Sega has unveiled the newest arcade board that they are calling “Nu”. It will power their upcoming Project DIVA Arcade Future Tone game. Let me emphasize once again, since there was a small problem in the past on this subject, this is not a new game console prototype or anything like that. It’s just sticking to the arcade world to power some of Sega’s latest titles.
UPDATE: Famitsu reports that Microsoft Japan has endorsed the board, since it uses Windows 8 Embedded and Direct X11.1. The Famitsu report also covers how Sega plans on using this board to power various next generation arcade titles and handle their ALL.NET+ needs. Perhaps the strangest omission from the specifications has to be an HDMI port – instead they are sticking with DVI. Best guess is so that they keep the audio on separate cables but no reason both can’t be used. We probably won’t hear about this being used in Western arcade releases until 2014 though.
AM-Net captured a shot of the spec sheet in Japanese. This is also a PC-based unit running on Windows 8 Embedded and will have ALL.NET capability. It uses an Intel Core i3-3220 processor, 4GB DDR3 PC-12600 RAM, an nVidia GTX650 Ti graphics card with 1GB of Video RAM, and a combination of a 64GB SSD hard drive and a standard SATA 500GB hard drive for storage (I assume the OS stuff is kept on the SSD, game data on the 500GB). It’s not the highest resolution pic but here you go:
According to this, the game will be launched in November. We’ll have to wait and see what other games will use the hardware although its looking like this may be spelling the end for the RingWide hardware, which has been used in several games Sega has done for the US so far (Giant Tetris, Dream Raiders, Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade). It wasn’t a particularly strong graphics powerhouse so that will be a welcome change. Here’s a video of the upcoming Project DIVA Arcade Future Tone (also an AH post I wrote up about it in May) in case you are curious about that title.