It’s E3 time again, which means that the gaming world has their focus on new developments for the console side of the business. Outside of that, developments continue in the arcade sector particularly with new venues opening their doors. Let’s dive into the latest:
Namco Opening Full VR Zone Facility In Shinjuku
UPDATE: The Japanese website Ryuutsu.biz is reporting that Namco has plans on expanding the VR Zone idea to more locations throughout the world, including an international facility in London. This will entail twenty total locations once all is said and done – although variations in the number may depend on how popular the locations end up being.
After having experimented with a smaller scale “pop-up” Virtual Reality venue last year, Bandai Namco is now diving head first into their Project i-Can idea with a complete out-of-home VR facility set to open in Shinjuku Japan next month. That smaller venue held some influence over other VR developments, particularly with the “walk the plank’ idea.
With the new VR Zone, they are expanding on the six original games that were tested last year, moving up to fifteen different VR amusements. The one that will certainly draw the most attention is Mario Kart Arcade GP VR, a version of the game that is based on Namco’s MK Arcade GP series but with improved graphics and a focus on first person racing. The consoles for all of the equipment feature arcade quality controls and some times motion; in the case of Mario Kart, gesture sensing to throw items like shells. Here’s a promo video that shows it all in action:
Beyond that they have Dragonball Z VR (first-person fireball battles), a variation of the plank idea where you are riding a bike high above a canyon with a rail as your ‘road’, an open space battle arena with guns based on the Ghost In The Shell series, a fishing game, several battle games, an escape room like game called Panic Cube and a non-VR waterfall drop simulator. Interestingly enough, the building will have Pac-Man on the side but so far no Pac-Man VR (why not just remake the old Pac-Man VR in HD?). This facility will open on July 14th.
N2 Arcade Opens A GoFundMe
Where they are in the funding/raising capital phase I imagine it will still be a little while before this arcade in CLinton, TN will get off the ground but if it does, that means a retro arcade will be coming to that area of Tennessee. If interested, you can visit their GoFundMe Page here.
The Garcade (WI)
Almost immediately after I hit publish on this post, I was informed about a new arcade opening their doors on July 1st in Menomonee Falls, WI. They are setting up as a retrocade with an entry fee and all of the game set to free play. As a part of their opening celebration, they will have the upcoming indie arcade game Cosmotrons on hand to enjoy. Some of their 50+ game selection includes: Area 51: Site 4, Carnival, Dynamite Cop, Frogger, Joust, Moon Patrol, Rampage, Road King Pinball, Robotron 2084, 6x San Francisco Rush The Rock, Smash TV, Terminator 2, The Simpsons, Time Pilot and Vs. Golf among others. You can check them out on Facebook here; here’s their Rush setup from a recent event (Midwest Gaming Classic I believe):
Sega Prize Zone Opens In Hatfield, UK
Sega is continuing to expand their “Prize Zone” style arcade in the UK, opening a new location at The Galleria mall in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK. This looks very similar to the last Sega Prize Zone we reported about, with a strong focus on prize games like ticket redemption and claw machines. That said, there are some video amusements to find on hand including an unusual Operation GHOST (32″ with a cabinet that reminds me of the original Xenophobe), OutRun 2 SDX (yes, the 8-player motion base version), 2x Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Arcade, 2x Storm Racer, and a Transformers Human Alliance DLX.
TOKEN Now Open In Smithfield, Ireland
We mentioned this one some time ago and now they are open for business! Their games list includes games from the 70s to the 00s including Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Double Dragon, Metal Slug, Time Crisis 2 and more.
— Toby (@7Ten) June 7, 2017
Round1USA Opens In Hicksville, NY
This is also a venue we have mentioned before. If you are anywhere near Hicksville, NY then you now have a Round1USA in your neighborhood. Go and check it out!
We are bringing the fun next to Hicksville, New York! Look for our spot at The Broadway Mall! pic.twitter.com/0SU1zbGz8n
— Round 1 USA (@Round1USA) June 5, 2017
That’s all for now – if you find yourself anywhere near these facilities, drop by and drop some coin to help them out.