The Zone Dome As An Arcade Display

arcadehero October 14, 2014 4

A short time ago, I mentioned an interesting new product by the name of Zone Dome in a weekend news collection post. I couldn’t find out if this was designed to also work in arcades/amusement but fortunately the company reached out to AH and I have a little more information on these now.

It is no secret that dome screens are becoming important in the arcade space, Bandai Namco has been taking the charge with that technology in games like Mach Storm, Lost Land Adventure and Star Wars Battle Pod. That is their own patented method for doing it but not the only one out there.

According to Running Unlimited which has designed the Zone Dome, their dome is available for use in any out-of-home entertainment product and “arcades are front and centre of how we see them employed…We want to help grow the development of gaming (and attractions) content.” Given the new push for unique displays like dome screen, this is one alternate way that other concepts could jump into the dome fray, at a cost of around £3000 (in the range of $4600 – $4700) for the dome.

Here is a video I found of the dome being used with a treadmill/running setup (EDIT: This is running their “version 1” of the hardware, it has since been updated with a slightly smaller design and clearer screen):

The units project the image in Full HD and have VGA or HDMI out. Given the R&D has already been done here, it offers an already available alternative for any arcade company that was wanting to get into this technology.

zonedome1

I imagine there are a number of concepts that could benefit for arcades – on one end perhaps “standard” versions of Namco’s dome screen games (although admittedly I have no idea how much their dome technology already costs and what the comparison is – the Zone Dome does look smaller so with the right cabinet structure around it, it could work) or perhaps lower cost dome screen gaming which could explore some different ideas. Lower cost dome screens would be ideal right now since there is a big push to do something different for arcade games from a hardware perspective.

I think that is one of the exciting things about the whole concept – new tech makes game designers think in different ways in regards to entertaining with that tech. Purely circular screens alone have never been huge in arcades but they have existed from time to time. What do you think the potential is for screens like the Zone Dome in arcades?

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4 Comments »

  1. Arcades4ever October 14, 2014 at 2:39 pm - Reply

    I think there could lots of great potential with the dome screen. It makes me wonder if this might be the thing that time crisis 5 might incorporate as every new game in the series has something that makes its stand out from the previous one over the years. This technology would be great for light gun games and racing games deffinatly. Remember or ever heard of a game called rolling extreme by gaelco? you pull yourself in a seat that moves left to right controlling a person laying on a giant skateboard (no idea what they are called). A bobsley game would prove very interesting using this technology or something similar to the gundam pod games. It’s endless really but there is such as thing as a gimmick though but if used correctly with the games I’ve suggested then this will work 🙂

    • Steffen October 17, 2014 at 8:10 am - Reply

      The sport Rolling Extreme is based on is called street luge.

  2. Arcades4ever October 14, 2014 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    A dead storm pirates 2 using this dome screen technology would be a wonderful edition as well as another tank game like tank tank tank. A cyber sled and something like resident evil arcade (forget the name of the arcade version) that namco and capcom worked on together years ago.

    • Nobod_E October 15, 2014 at 4:06 pm - Reply

      Couldn’t agree with you more on the first part. This seems like a perfect fit for a fixed-gun shooter. Silent Scope + this = a mind blown, i think

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