I haven’t spent too much time on discussing the mini-arcades that have exploded onto the home scene, apart from some mentions on Newsbytes, but enough news has come along this week for several competing brands that it warrants it’s own post.
Let’s take a look at what’s out there:
Neo Geo MVSX Announced
I was given a heads-up on this one a few weeks ago, but the official announcement came on a day where I was traveling out-of-state to scout out a potential new location for my arcade. That is a new home compilation unit for the beloved Neo Geo MVS called the MVSX:
The official website is here; it comes with 50 MVS classics, including the King of Fighters, Metal Slug, Fatal Fury and Samurai Shodown series; it also has some other genres such as sports to round it all out. On the game selection, I think it covers all the bases that people would like or expect from the MVS, although it would be cool to include a “homebrew” or indie release or two (like from NG: Dev Team) The unit sells as a table top, but also has a base available to make it work more like a proper upright cabinet; you can get both for $499, and they will be available this November. Pre-orders for them open in September.
The units come with a 17″ 4:3 LCD display, supports pixel-to-pixel scale or scan line effects and even allows users to switch between AES (Home releases of the games, which sometimes had some changes) & MVS versions.
Now for some info on this that you won’t find elsewhere (at least by what I’ve seen). Some of the principal people behind this have been involved either with SNK or other aspects of the arcade business for many years. One of those, the North American representative, is Paul Jacobs, who was the head of SNK USA back in the early ’90s (he has an extensive resumé in our industry – worked for Exidy, Data East, various distributors and most recently has been working for Gold Standard Games). He was responsible for launching the MVS in North America back then, so knows it pretty well. Ben Herman, who took over SNK USA from Paul around 1995, is also involved with the MVSX project. These units are also being built by Fun Company, who has extensive experience in creating game cabinets for the amusement and other related industries.
Overall, with that kind of industry backing, this should end up being one of the higher quality home solutions we’ll have seen in an increasingly crowded market, but we’ll have to see what these are like once they begin shipping.
AtGames Launching “Next Iteration” Of Legends Ultimate Arcade
We’ve mentioned the AtGames Legends Ultimate Arcade in the past, which was initially offered last year and has been available a few different retailers. Now, the company is prepping the next generation of the unit that will be available on August 31st for “$599 at major retail outlets and online.” The website for it is found here.
This version will come with 300 licensed games, a 24″ LCD, down-firing stereo speakers, WiFi connectivity and more. Here’s the games list, which does include a number of console games, primarily from the Atari 2600. This makes it like a Super Atari Flashback, although it does have plenty of other brands and consoles on it too. With the Disney license, they’ve been able to offer the likes of Fix-It Felix Jr., TRON, Aladdin and The Lion King.
They have spinners on the control panel, as well as USB and audio ports:
They have also been quite focused on the network features, which they are calling their ArcadeNet games service. This includes leagues, leaderboards, new game downloads and the ability to stream “your favorite PC-based titles from the top digital distribution platforms from our cloud servers or your home computer” (Bring Your Own Game). Players can also enjoy voice chat, and they can stream their gameplay from the unit to services like Twitch.
The press release I received also mentions “Optional accessories like light guns, interactive marquees, steering wheels, and more!,” although those will probably be coming around later.
Arcade 1up Updates
I didn’t see a press release for Arcade 1up, but I can’t recall if I mentioned their latest, so let’s do so here.
I’m guessing that the court battle over Ms. Pac-Man has been settled to some degree, as A1up has obtained the coveted license for one of the most popular arcade games ever created, and they are taking pre-orders for it now. In looking at the AtGames game list, Ms. Pac-Man is no longer mentioned for the Legends Ultimate. It’s too bad that MPM has been such a legal mess, as we haven’t been able to see it on the commercial arcade side in many years. If the legal stuff has been hashed out though, maybe that can change (and we can get MPM on something like World’s Largest Pac-Man). This unit also includes Super Pac-Man, Dig Dug and Galaxian.
Arcade 1up is also taking pre-orders for X-Men Vs. Street Fighter (which includes X-Men, X-Men Children of the Atom, X-Men Vs. Street Fighter and Marvel Vs. Capcom), Marvel Pinball and Big Buck Hunter. They’ve also launched titles like BurgerTime (plus Karate Champ, Bad Dudes & Caveman Ninja). Certain games like X-Men Vs. Street Fighter include WiFi features for online multiplayer.
So there we go – have any of you invested in any of these home solutions yet? What did you think about them?