Let’s cast our eyes over to Japan for some news, as there are a few developments going on there.
First off, Konami has a new entry location testing there starting tomorrow called Jubeat Saucer(not-so-much-better known as uBeat outside of Asia). Per usual we don’t know anything about it yet but that will change soon enough. Switching over to speculation mode, it could just be a software update but at the same time the “saucer” moniker could imply something new with a round display to compete with Sega’s new MaiMai rhythm game. While most of us won’t ever see this unless you frequent Japan, there’s always a possibility if you visit certain arcades in California. The last possibility is that Konami is gearing up early for a fun April Fools joke. UPDATE: Looks like it’s just a software upgrade, no hardware changes at this point.
Also the Kinect-enabled Dance Evolution Arcade launched in Japan on Tuesday. I could see a few places out West importing this one since Konami probably won’t bother with an official release, despite this being the kind of game that wouldn’t present a difficult barrier for players to get into (just a difficult price for some operators to swallow is more likely).
Next up there has been a bit of news about that hot new AAA arcade game coming to Japan, Square Enix’s Gunslinger Stratos. 4Gamer.net reports that the game is on-track for a summer release with a suggested charge of 200 yen for 2 plays. They are going to hold some events in Tokyo and Osaka for the game where SE will be holding prize give-aways and a chance to play the game as well. The main website for the game has been updated with a bit of information although a good chunk of it is in Japanese that an online translator doesn’t work on since they like to do a lot of text as pictures. Here is a new trailer for the game:
And a video of a guy playing the game for the first time
I’m not really sure we’d ever see this one as an import although light-gun games aren’t something the West shies away from. Of course this is much more than a typical light-gun title since it’s off-rails and has thumbsticks but I wonder if it’s easier to work out than it looks. Seems like it wouldn’t be any more difficult than a typical Wii game with the nunchuck, which millions of people are accustomed to already. But I’ve been surprised by how often I see customers become totally confused by a standard, everyday light-gun game. That’s the state of casual gamedom I suppose.