Welcome to Newsbytes, a post where we take a quick look at bits of arcade & pinball news from around the world. It’s been a little while since I’ve done one of these as news like this can be a little slow around this time of year. As it is, this Newsbytes will be shorter than usual, as I’ve struggled to gather just these together. Thanks to all those who sent in or shared the links 🙂
Stay tuned this week for a post showcasing games that are turning 50, 40 and 25 years old in 2022.
Arcade 1up Goes Pro
Arcade1up can be a touchy subject in certain parts of the community, but the new Pro series seems to be taking aim at Originalist collectors to some degree. Coming in a larger size with bigger LCD screens, Suzo Happ controls, improved audio, and a bigger price tag, we’ll have to see how collectors take to it, although I’m sure some won’t budge until these come with a CRT (which probably won’t happen :P). The Killer Instinct model will launch this summer, while others in the Pro series are going to be announced at a later date. More details here (thanks to everyone who sent me various links)
One thing this makes me wonder about is whether or not Arcade 1UP may be looking to do some re-issued commercial coin-op games down the road. That could be interesting, although the commercial market is a bit of a different beast than the home retail one. Still, seeing some re-issued games or JAMMA compatible boards would be quite nice for certain titles (not all classics are guaranteed hits in the arcade though).
Sega Releases The Astro City Mini V In Japan
Speaking of smaller home cabs, if you liked the Astro City Mini and wanted more, well Sega’s got you covered. This one…borrows…an idea used with Taito’s Egret Mini, the ability to switch the screen into vertical mode, which is great for TATE games (mainly shmups).
Funhouse Receives New Conversion Kit
Mods and DLC are pretty normal in the world of home gaming, but arcades and pinball, not so much. When we do get something like that, it’s usually known as a conversion kit, but often that swaps an existing game out with something else. This interesting new kit for old Funhouse pinball machines from Pedretti Pinball is like a mod and DLC wrapped into one; It adds new playfield items and new code to make for a whole new experience. It looks like a lot of fun; If you have a Funhouse, would you grab this?
New Pokémon Medal Game Testing In Japan
Arcade Belgium has some details on a new Pokémon medal game coming to the Japanese market, although despite the name I wouldn’t expect to see this one show up out West. That said, Round1USA is very busy with imports, so maybe they could bring over or finance an adapted version.
Visiting A New Timezone
Recently mentioned on a Location Watch, here’s a look at the new Timezone that opened up in Sydney, Australia. H/T to Liamc for this:
Slowing Down Vector Games
What do vector games look like in slo-mo? Well here you go. One thing the host says near the end isn’t entirely correct – there were a couple of very late-era vector games like Quantum and Aztarac which used filled/solid shapes (which I believe had something to do with processing power – those two games used Motorola 68000 CPUs, while most other vector games used the 6502 or the Z80). Regardless that tiny tidbit, this is cool:
Bonus: How Atari’s Quadrascan vector monitors worked:
This Kid Has Skills
Thanks to Kieran May for sharing this (and a few of the other links on the page). Have you ever seen a kid perform a Reptile infinite combo in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3? Well now you can. He’ll definitely be showing up again on the FGC circuit in the future:
Another champion who is preparing for #MK12 with only 6 years from #CHILE. Again Max surprises us with this combination @Kitana_Prime @Osu16Bit @DKirtzic @MisterAquaman @PNDKetchup @PNDMustard @topsietegames @ETCChile @MFSlayer @CrimsonShadowMK @2eZMK @HiFightTH @tabmok99 pic.twitter.com/Y0PQtFs44b
— MGC/T7G/GG/ETC Mcfly #LigaMovistarFibra (@ETCMcflyChile) December 12, 2021
More details from Event Hubs. This reminds me of the time my son, back when he was 8, performed the counterburst attack in Dariusburst Another Chronicle. When a kid can pull off difficult or advanced techniques, you know they’ve got the gaming knack.
Nippon Marathon Turbo Direct
One of my latest direct captures, Nippon Marathon Turbo Hyper=Running on exA-Arcadia.
Speaking of exA, pretty much every arcade forum out there is discussing the recent takedown on MAME of two CAVE titles DoDonPachi-SD and Akai Katana. The request came through exA-Arcadia, but they were doing so on behalf of CAVE, who is their partner. I reached out for a comment, but there is no official comment to pass along.
Any time emulation seems to come up, it quickly becomes a divisive issue, which is why I tend to steer clear of it, but in this case, I just see a lot of ignorance and unbalanced responses out there. This isn’t unprecedented; Here’s a post from 2003 asking “Why do the MAME developers remove games from version to version?” CAVE themselves requested certain titles be removed years ago, and other companies like Incredible Technologies have also done so in the past. Why is exA/CAVE drawing all of this attention for doing what others have done?
Can IP holders do such a thing? It’s their property, so yes, they have the right to do so. You don’t need to be a lawyer to understand that much. It makes business sense for them to do so when they are still selling the related IP in some way. No, not all companies make these requests, but they can whenever they want to. They’re not just protecting their interests & investments, but that of arcade operators too. I know that not everyone likes to hear this, but the exA is made first for operators, then collectors, not the other way around. That comes with certain realities to the business model for creating the games in the first place.
ExA/CAVE also only requested two games, not other related titles on the exA platform (such as Psyvariar or the Cotton games), nor all existing CAVE games.
I also think that concerns such as “these games won’t be preserved for future generations” are hyperbolic. You’d think from the way some are talking about this, that all existing copies of the game have been Thanos snapped from existence. Between the original arcade boards, the Xbox 360 versions, and these new exA carts, the game is out there and will be outside of emulation for a long time to come. I also imagine that at some point, emulation support will be there again. Overall, the forums just need to:
Anyways, on a different CAVE note, here’s one part of the Dai-Fukkatsu flyer that I got my hands on years ago from an IAAPA. I sent the whole scan into Flyer Fever:
Finally got around to scanning in that DoDonPachi Dai-Fukkatsu flyer+pouch I picked up from IAAPA years ago. Sent the full thing in to Flyer Fever 🙂 pic.twitter.com/Jem3WCadTp
— Arcade Heroes – The Saviors of Coin-op Newsblog (@arcadeheroes) January 10, 2022
Marc Mandeltort Passes Away – Founder of Marco Specialties and a big champion of pinball in general. RIP.
Genda To Make A Big Announcement Later This Month – Genda does already have a foothold in the US, so it will be interesting to see if this expands that or more expansion in Japan. But tell me more about how dead arcades are.