Welcome to Newsbytes, a curation of quick arcade & pinball-related content that I hold for the weekend. I meant to post this on Saturday but getting sidetracked never helps. I was hoping that more news would’ve shown up in the interim, but since it didn’t, let’s go:
Namco Testing Fishing Spirits Real Hit In Japan
Back in 2015/2016, Bandai Namco Amusements joined the fray of fishing games that have found popularity out there, with a game called Ace Angler. Known as Fishing Spirits in Japan, BNA’s take on the concept did step things up a little by offering a more realistic fishing reel controller, while most competitors were content with a joystick & button. BNA has done well with the series – well enough that they have another version that was on test at an open Namco-owned arcade.
This new version is called Fishing Spirits Real Hit and it appears to be aiming for a full simulator experience that is closer to the 3D fishing arcade games of the late 90s. The pics above were snapped by Aries Game Room, but I was confused for a moment on the game, since this test doesn’t feature a game cabinet – just a huge TV, some large speakers, then the controller setup in front. This setup includes a realistic fishing rod and apparently a net for catching them. At 500 yen per play and a giant setup like this, it’s definitely aiming to be a full blown simulator. It also appears to have some kind of augmented or mixed reality aspect to it with a photo booth kind of setup, with users standing in front of the screen to hold up their ‘digital fish.’ There is no mention of a VR headset as a part of this setup, but we’ll probably have to wait and see what this looks like if/when they create a real cabinet for it. Will this pop-up in the States? No clue, but it would be cool.
Stranger Things Topper
Stern Pinball posted this video about a new Stranger Things pinball topper and reactions are mixed. It’s a cool topper, thanks in great part to the infinity mirror, but at $650, it’s not an insta-buy for most people. If you can afford this and all of the other extras though, you’ll have a rad-looking machine, at least.
Homepin Creates Porsche Pinball
If you’re a Porsche fan, then don’t get too excited here – this was only made as a tradeshow marketing tool in China. That said, we haven’t heard anything from Homepin in quite a while. If you don’t recall them, they developed Thunderbirds Pinball, but haven’t done anything else that I am aware of. They have also moved their operations to Taiwan, where they’ve had to “start up all over again.” I imagine that when one of the four units find their way into the collector’s market, they’ll go for a pretty penny:
Also in pinball news: The 2020 Annual TWIPY Awards was streamed last night
New In Amusement Payment Systems: Tigapo
It seems that more payment systems are jumping into the alt-coin-op space, and today let me highlight Tigapo. They have been around for a few years already, but for whatever reason I didn’t hear about them until today (sorry!). The main difference in their system is the use of “smartphones or NFC tags,” the latter meaning that a location can still use cards or NFC wristbands. The readers look quite nice too; You can read more about them here; Frank Sensinky also did an interview with the CEO of the company back in 2019:
Clockwork Aquario Gets A Teaser
Last June, Strictly Limited Games announced that they were going to bring an unreleased arcade title known as Clockwork Aquario to consoles in 2020, but obvious reasons pushed that back. Today I saw Arcade Otaku post this new teaser, although the date is still just “2021” for the moment:
The Last Starfighters Concept Reel
Readers to this site are likely familiar with Universal/Lorimar’s 1984 sci-fi adventure film The Last Starfighter – so I won’t get into what it is. As Hollywood has become obsessed with reboots and seque-boots (sequel/reboots), TSL has been on that radar for a long time. I’ve heard of a seque-boot that was in development hell called “Son of the Last Starfighter” to a TV show concept that sounded like it was wanting to be a buddy cop show in spaaace. Nothing has stuck (in part due to problems with the rights), but one screenwriter is looking to give it another go. Hopefully, arcades can still play some kind of role here – the reel makes it look like a reboot, so you could still have an arcade machine showing up at a trailer park (there are still plenty of operated games out there!); If it’s a sequ-boot, then why not have Alex Rogan keeping a reminder of home where he has his own arcade game room on Rylos?
Arcade Memories: NIRIN
I’ve got several more games that I can take a look back on while we wait for June (Amusement Expo) to get here – Here is Namco’s NIRIN
Not much to share for these today:
Howard Scott Warshaw Pleads Not Guilty To Killing Video Games (you’ll need to log in or subscribe to read the whole interview) – Also, E.T. is not the worst video game of all time. That just came out of one of the first “clickbait” articles created for video games back in the 90s.
An Arcade-Focused Mix For People Into Synthwave – Needs more Tempest 2000 if you ask me…
Stay tuned Monday or Tuesday for another Location Watch post!