As you saw the headline for this one I’m sure it elicited a reaction not unlike the many wonderful memes online that fall under the “wut?” genre, but no worries, I’m happy to explain and get everyone on the right page.
In the arcade business, you often have instances where a competitor company promotes and sells games and cabinets made by a rival. This often causes confusion for people who are well versed with the operations of a particular company but recognize the name. This happens in our realm due to how production and sales works – you have the game developer, then the manufacturer (sometimes these are the same company, but not always), then you have a distribution company (the “middle man”), then the location operator, then the players.
Some companies that are known for producing games also have sales/distribution divisions, which is where the lines can get a bit blurry at times. Way back in the initial days of the video arcade (talking 1970s), companies like Atari simply picked up on vending machine distributors and tactics to get their games out there – vending used to be notoriously territorial. Territory sales still exist these days, although it’s not quite as stark as it was in the pre-Internet era. In Europe, companies like Sega have sales divisions that promote Sega stuff, but also sell ICE. Bandai Namco Amusements Europe sells BN games, but also Raw Thrills games. In South Korea, I had thought that Sega handled stuff there, but that apparently isn’t the case, as instead Andamiro is in charge of selling stuff over there.
Keep that all in mind and it explains what this new upright model of House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn is all about. I did check with someone at Sega UK about it – they stated that they do not know of any plans for this model to be headed out West, so it’s entirely a special model that you’ll just find in South Korea for now:
Thanks to BemBlake for finding this – the listing URL does say “hdz_kr” which also seems to indicate a special designation for Korea. Unfortunately, the listing is pretty bare-bones at the moment, lacking dimensions and other details that could help us know more about what makes this one different. My contact at Sega did state that the software had some differences, although he wasn’t 100% sure what they were (most likely changes to the gore, watering it down to make the game more acceptable to users there).
Looking at these images closely, the game does not appear to include the “air gimmick” system that the Super Deluxe version has – that is a special feedback system that also includes specialized lighting that reacts to the situations. It does have the X-Treme Audio button though, so while it wouldn’t be surround sound like the SDX model, it still should pump out the audio in a way that keeps people engaged.
While there are no plans for the SD model to find its way here at the moment, I imagine that can change. Most companies have been moving away from offering various models over the past few years (excepting some tests on alternate versions here and there) – up until the pandemic. In a post-pandemic world, it makes sense to me to offer some smaller/more affordable editions of the same games. Granted, I’m a fan of choices anyways – I just don’t have the space to get every game as an environmental cabinet, so I really hope that we can see a return of the upright cabinet here in 2021 and beyond.