Welcome to Newsbytes, a post of curated, but brief, arcade/pinball news from around the world.
Stern’s Insider Connected Is Now Live
As the headline says, you can now make an account with Stern Pinball’s Insider Connected service. There’s a free and paid tier at the moment, but nothing about operators at this time. As of this moment, there are only six games showing support for it (Godzilla, Led Zepplin, TMNT, Jurassic Park, Black Knight SOR, and Elvira’s HoH), while the others are awaiting “licensor approval.” It’s kind of a moot point until the retrofit kits are made available, but Godzilla should be arriving at locations here soon. Hopefully, the kits can be ordered this week, although for myself I currently only have one game on that list (still, I’ll grab kits for Mandalorian and Guardians of the Galaxy for when they are live).
I’m curious to see how this will pan out between Stern and Scorbit, the latter being supported by Jersey Jack with their latest machines, and the latter can work with all sorts of older games across different brands. Scorbit also responded to Stern’s platform recently by launching achievements of their own. Either way, I’m happy that we’re seeing some stuff come along in pinball that has the potential to engage players and make the machines earn their keep.
Mark Seidan Joins Jersey Jack Pinball
Speaking of pinball, JJP is sure busy with the personnel announcements as of late, and with Pinball Expo approaching fast, I wonder if that is when we’ll find out about their next project. The latest announcement adds a “homebrewer” to their design team, who had recently been working on his own Metroid pinball table. Granted, don’t get your hopes up for Metroid coming to pinball anytime soon, as Nintendo is not exactly the easiest company to deal with when it comes to their licenses, but a similar thing happened with Stern when they hired Keith Elwin, who created his own Archer pin, and he’s designed some of Stern’s latest hits, including the new Godzilla.
Making Zoltar Fortune Tellers
I was surprised to see this pop-up in my feed this week, as Characters Unlimited’s YouTube channel has been quiet for the past year. If you’ve ever wanted to see who is behind these kinds of machines, then this mini-documentary is a great watch:
Nolan Bushnell Launches Arcade O.G. NFTs
I won’t pretend to understand everything about NFTs, but as they continue to grow in popularity, I imagine we’ll see more about them relating to arcades. Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell is now in the NFT game, as he and Zai Ortiz have launched Arcade O.G.. This is offering NFTs of Computer Space and Pong, and will also come with “immersive videos + Augmented Reality experiences inspired by two of Bushnell’s earliest and most iconic creations.” You can find out more here; Also as a note, I am seeing about doing an interview with Nolan Bushnell soon, but no promises until I know for sure (just mentioning that I am trying for it).
Speaking of NFTs, Dave & Busters is also jumping onto that bandwagon
Atari To Launch Black Widow: Recharged On Halloween
Another arcade classic, albeit a bit of an obscure one, is getting a new remake, as Atari is re-doing their 1983 title Black Widow for various home platforms (I can’t find which ones, but likely all 3 major consoles + PC). BW never received any home ports, in good part because it was a color vector game, and it was only released as a conversion kit for Gravitar machines. This joins the likes of Missile Command and Centipede, while they will also be doing the same for Breakout and Asteroids soon. This all seems to be the push by the new CEO of the company, although I have to roll my eyes at their definition of “exclusive” in the comments to this video:
Space Out In Action
A while back, we discussed an odd prototype game that popped up for sale in the Bay Area by the name of Space Out. No one knew much about it, but with some sleuthing, it was discovered to be a rare, virtually unknown game from Project Support Engineering. I didn’t know who had grabbed it at the time, but it turns out that it was someone local to me – a friend I’ve done business with many times over the years who goes by the name “Divingbuddy” on arcade forums. He, his cousin, and another local arcade operator have been working together to scoop up tons of classic machines (the arcade op is the one who bought the Grinkers collection; a lot of those games are what you see in the background here) and it looks like Space Out is the latest in that group. Here, DB shows off Space Out in all of its…glory, if you want to call it that 😛 I’m a little surprised that this was 1978, as the controls and the gameplay feel earlier than that, although looking at the KLOV entry for the company, it looks like most everything they did was 1977 then they folded. As it is, Space Out was most likely their very last game, and since it probably bombed in the face of Space Invaders, it’s quite the rarity.
Playing Luigi’s Mansion Arcade
Arcade Convention Updates
Arcade Belgium is showcasing the exA-Arcadia, among other games, at the Made In Asia 2021 event in Brussels, Belgium.
Arcade Impact has brought some Japanese titles to Banzaicon that is taking place in Columbia, SC.
TRON, Ridge Racer & Killer Instinct Are Next For Arcade1up – The Ridge Racer one also includes Ace Driver, which has never been ported to consoles.
Bandai Namco Amusements America Has Moved Facilities (They’re still in IL)
Kung Fu Master Is Being Remade For The Amiga PC – For those who still have an Amiga around
[Non-arcade] The Evercade VS Has Been Delayed – If I ever come across an Evercade device, I’ll have to review it, as it has a bunch of arcade stuff on it.
That’s all for this weekend. See you on the next story!