IAAPA is just a few days away and this is unfortunately one event I will not be able to go to. But we will have information pouring in straight from the floor as our friend Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report will be there and I also hope to be able to get some info from other sources there as well. So what can we possibly expect to see at the show? Here are my guesses/predictions for now – as always the arcade companies are being very tight lipped about everything as usual so the best we can do is guess.
Andamiro: We saw Hammer 2 at ASI and AMOA so that will likely be there; the latest Pump It Up! games should be there (Pump It Up Jump would be a mild surprise – it was tested but what happened after that?) and of course Arcana Heart 2. Could we see other Examu games coming over already, such as Demon Bride? I’m not sure but they did say that AH2 would not be the only game coming over for this new hardware.
Coastal Amusements: The new Sea Wolf will be there and we then should find out how it compares to the previous game and how much it costs. If another video product were going to be there we probably would have heard by now.
GlobalVR: We were hoping to have something in advance on Justice League but it looks as though they are waiting to show it there at IAAPA. Whether it will be a cabinet or just a video of the game in action I do not know, GVR has a decent booth there so expect to see NFS:Carbon and maybe NASCAR & Sky Bandits too.
Incredible Technologies: They have a smaller booth than they did at AMOA so I think that they used that event to really show off their new stuff (Power Putt Golf, Golden Tee LIVE 09, the new pedstal cab) and this is just going to be a downsized version of that with their newest stuff.
Konami: There is a bit of talk going on about Konami making a comeback in the US and I know that they are supposed to have a booth at IAAPA but I have looked around the Expo map and I cannot find them so they might be sharing with another vendor. I think it’s a given that we will see DDR:X and uBeat but there could be some other surprises too – maybe DrumMania & Guitar Freaks or even CastleVania? UPDATE: Konami is at the Betson booth, which also is shared by none other than Raw Thrills. Could this be confirmation the Guitar Hero rumor?
Namco: They have a fairly large booth so we can expect to see more than what they had at AMOA. While it’s hard to guess what they will be showing off here since Namco has been fairly silent this year in the US, it will be very telling to see what they offer here as it will likely be a glimpse into their plans for 2009. What would be great to see there: MaxiTune 3 DX, Razing Storm, Nirin.
Raw Thrills: Big Buck Hunter and Safari should be there, including the Deluxe version of Safari. The DLX version of the game was supposed to have been released last month but I haven’t heard anything since so perhaps we’ll get a fixed date for the game this time around. American Idol should be there since it was found on test recently but who knows what they will say about the Guitar Hero rumors. Of course if GH shows up then it will be a plesant surprise. Also expect to find Nicktoons Nitro and Tokyo Drift.
Sega: Sega has a larger booth for IAAPA than they had at ASI and AMOA combined so I am curious to know what we will see there. I’d put Sega Rally 3 and Rambo into the definite category, Clay Challenge, Primeval Hunt, Mini-Rider 2 and Hummer Extreme into very likely; R-Tuned, House of the Dead EX and any surprise announcements into the ‘maybe’ section.
Stern: While Stern has a small booth, I imagine that this willb e the first chance for the public to try out the new CSI pinball. Since that is the only pin that is coming out within the next month or so it will probably be the only new product there but the Spiderman redemption game and Batman and Indiana Jones could easily make it there as well.
Other stuff: What else could possibly be seen in the world of video coin-op? I do not know if ArcSys has any presence there, maybe through a distributor we could see BlazBlue – the game is scheduled for release on Tuesday. On games like Friction and Get Outta My Face! it’s hard to say but we will be trying to find out the latest on those titles as well. I doubt that Capcom will be showing off something like Street Fighter IV or Tatsunoko Vs Capcom since they have snubbed other big arcade events in the US and where they are gearing up for the console release of those games within the next few months I wouldn’t expect them to go pushing the arcade games they don’t plan on releasing here anyways.
I am not really sure what happened with the company known as iMotion – they weren’t at AMOA and I don’t see their booth on the IAAPA map now. Perhaps Power Boat has been lost in the US. There is one company based in Taiwan that does have a booth at IAAPA though, known as Tecway Developments and I am curious to see what they will be offering. We have covered them before when it was revealed that they made a new tank arcade game called Tank Adventure – that game is still on their website and it would be cool if they have decided to bring it to the States. Maybe they will bring Rythm High as well.
So there you have it, my best guesses. It’s nothing earth-shattering I know, but we will do everything we can to cover news as it happens.