July is almost over (booooo!) and while this means we’ll soon be in the “dog days” of Summer, it also means that gamers on both the East and West coast of the United States have a place to make a pilgrimage to this weekend.
East Coasters – ReplayFX
Granted it is a bit more of NorthEast coast but unless you live near either one of these events, you’ll have to do some travel regardless. ReplayFX has been taking place for a few years now in Pittsburgh, PA and they just opened their doors today with the event going through this coming Sunday. You can check out the official website for them here.
Branding themselves as “The Greatest Arcade In The Universe”, ReplayFX features “750 arcade and pinball machines, over 2,000 retro console games, tabletop games, a showcase of new products by game developers, magicians, live musicians, balloon artists, face-painters, competitions offering over $110,000 in prize money, and more!” Of the 750, a vast majority of the games are pinball (500) so it is certainly a ‘pinhead paradise’; most of the arcade games are from the 80s & the 90s.
— Looking for Group (@lfgpgh) July 27, 2017
West Coasters – California Extreme
Pittsburgh isn’t the only place that gets to enjoy tons of arcade and pinball goodness. Over in Santa Clara, CA is the famous California Extreme, or CAX as it is known in collector’s circles. It is one day shorter than ReplayFX but I am sure that just as good a time will be had there. You can visit the official site for CAX here.
According to the website, “California Extreme is the “Classic Arcade Games Show”. It’s an annual celebration of coin operated pinball machines, video games and other novelties you once found in game arcades. All games on display are set for free play, so leave your quarters in the ash tray in your car. You won’t need ’em.” They are expecting around 300 video arcade games to show up with a couple hundred pinball machines to make an appearance as well. They also will have tournaments, seminars and will be previewing a documentary about Midway from their arcade developments in the 1990s.
One big piece of news for CAX 2017 is that Stern has brough almost two dozen Star Wars pinball machines to the event, where designer Steve Ritchie will also be there to talk about his latest creation. I found this from a Facebook friend who is setting equipment of his own up at the show:
UPDATE: Big prototype news! William’s unreleased Predators has been restored and will be playable at CAX! We covered this one way back in 2013 when we were taking a look at Midway/Williams arcade prototypes. Game creator George Petro had confirmed at the time that it was NOT a vector game but something that him and Steve Ritchie enjoyed playing. Arcade whiz Andrew Weburn has been working at fixing it and now it will be at CAX to enjoy. Here’s a video of the game in action, the first footage we’ve ever seen of the game as far as I know…
One of the things that seems to stand out about CAX are the prototypes that are on hand. Since California was Atari’s backyard, many rare prototypes from the company can be found there, such as Firebeast, Nightmare and others; they also have some new games such as Cosmotrons, Killer Queen Arcade, Pac-Man Battle Royale and some others.
— California Extreme (@CAExtremeOrg) July 27, 2017
We’ll keep our eyes peeled and our ears open for any interesting news that might come out of these events over the weekend and if you happen to visit one, feel free to report back in the comments below!